As social media and marketing begin to merge the statement, “The days of ‘hear no evil, speak no evil’ have passed without lament,” has never been more true. Brian Solis said this in his book Engage and I completely agree, as social media becomes a everyday part of consumers lives there is infinite ways a consumer can voice their opinion on a product, and just as many ways for potential consumers to read about others opinions.

In the past five years I have not made one major purchase without doing research, and when I say research I don’t mean visiting the companies website, I mean looking up customer reviews, and social media has now made this easier then ever. Companies now more then ever need to be aware of their own public opinion on the company and the products the company is producing, which is why it is important for professionals to be well versed in social media.

The book Engage talks about how companies must “speak” to consumers instead of just presenting ideas in front of them and hoping they will take the bait. Through social media there are more conversations going on, which leads to trust in certain products, which then becomes brand loyalty, the ultimate goal for a business. Solis states, “For us to be heard, we have to engage as though we were speaking person to person. Social networks are hubs between the company and its consumers.” As companies begin to see social media sites as the in-between for products they are now investing time and effort making sure they are doing it right.

Solis also speaks about these conversations happening with or without the company being present, which is why I think so many review videos are popping up on YouTube. If your looking to buy a product there is someone who already tried it and is ready to give their thoughts in their own video, which is great for consumers, not so great for some companies. For instance I decided against buying at home tanning spray because of multiple bad reviews.

At the end of the day social media is becoming at one with marketing and nothing is going to change that. People will talk to the world about a new gadget or product, and possible consumers will seek out these conversations when deciding what to spend their hard earned dollars on. Companies now need to start worrying about joining the conversation because this is no longer a one sided discussion.