The idea of social media being part of the buying process is quite new to most brands even though a lot of forward thinking people started thinking about it a few years ago.
Today the Economist has a piece about how consumers buying habits are changing during the recession, the quote below stood out for me:
The downturn will also accelerate the use of social media, such as blogs and social-networking sites, by consumers looking for intelligence on firms and their products. As trust in brands is eroded, people will place more value on recommendations from friends.
Social media make it harder for brands to pull the wool over consumersâ€™ eyes, but they also offer canny companies a powerful new channel through which to promote their wares and test new products and pricing strategies.
Brands need to start using social media, fast.