I received the link for the May 2011 Trend Briefing early this morning from, a site dedicated to watching global trends. I immediately thought about last nights class where we began to define what ‘social media’ is and its importance as a phenomenon. Clearly the folks at have spies within the GBA, the brief details the growing influence of ‘friends’, ‘fans’, & ‘followers’ ( calls this The F-Factor) in daily purchasing decisions.

The article describes how social media, particularly Facebook, is impacting purchasing decisions, the outline 5 ways social media is impacting consumer behavior:

1. Discovery – Through social media we are introduced to new products and services

2. Rated – We’re receiving product and service ratings through our social networks

3. Feedback – We can use our social networking to reinforce or deter us from making certain purchase decisions

4. Together – Despite not being together physically we can share of consumption experiences in real-time

5. Me – How our networks are becoming products and services for other to consume.

Overall I found the brief insightful, it clearly articulates some of the ways social media has evolved into a force capable of increasing the visibility and the bottom line of companies who are savvy and forward thinking enough to embrace it. One conclusion I drew from it is the importance of building a brand reputation as opposed to focus obsessively on the data. I think brand reputation in the social media universe is extremely important because it will affect how many people ‘like’ a brand and recommend it to others. The data should be referenced to understand how a company’s brand is perceived to allow them to make any necessary adjustments, however I believe the truth impact of social media on a brand is the credibility it should seek to cultivate with ‘friends’, ‘fans’ and ‘follower’.

All comments are welcome!