The discussions and debates sparked from these stories were amplified by the transparency of social networks. People are not only reading the news, but expressing their opinions to their community.
Thanks to the array of "Like" buttons, comment boxes and sharing options becoming a common feature alongside articles, news is now spreading wider than it has done before. As penned by the author of Socialnomics, "word of mouth" truly has been replaced by "world of mouth".
I was fortunate enough to attend the Social Media Results conference in London recently to hear from some of the world's biggest brands, including: Adidas, Google, American Express and Vodafone.
I made sure to take note as these brands are living proof that ROI (return on investment) can be made from digital media. The development of social media monitoring tools has made this even easier for marketers to assess which activity delivered the results, and more importantly, which activity failed miserably.
Over the last 10 or so years, social media has grown to become a global culture, a ubiquitous tool, one that has radically challenged the way we converse and connect with each other.
What fascinates me about social media is the shift in empowerment from brands to consumers. Consumers no longer listen to brands the way they once did during their decision making process. They are now far more likely to pay attention to fellow consumers; the real-life people that have eaten in the restaurant, flown with the airline, or stayed in the hotel.