Information and Communication Technologies and the Internet are already integral elements of the marketing landscape; they are fundamentally transforming the market dynamics adding new dimensions to the marketing strategy. The rapid public adoption of a new generation of online applications known as Social Media (or Web 2.0) has resulted in a new breed of powerful, sophisticated, empowered customers increasingly challenging the corporate message and claiming control over the marketing process. The latest wave of customer empowerment has raised new doubts about the effectiveness of traditional marketing tools and mass media approaches. In reaction to the ominous loss of market control many businesses are rushing to integrate the Social Media into their marketing strategy, often without sufficient knowledge and experience. Understanding the essentials and effects of the Social Media Marketing can help corporate strategists to make sense of a marketplace where the customer is the dominant party. The article discusses the nature of the Social Media as the current stage of the Internet evolution, explains their effect on customer behavior, positions the Social Media Marketing as part of the marketing program and identifies the principal ways to use the Social Media applications as part of the marketing toolbox. Learning to use these applications properly opens to the 21st Century marketer the door to a collection of new marketing tools and new ways of listening to, informing, interacting, acquiring and retaining the new empowered consumer.