Each year, the Social Commerce Summit
brings together innovative brands and thought
leaders to share best practices and trends in
At the 2010 event held in Austin, Texas,
Mitch Joel, author of Six Pixels of Separation,
explained that social media is the first and
only real medium where users create their own
experiences. It’s the first channel where brands
have to force themselves in, because users
are in control, so they must “invite” them in;
“my” Twitter experience is different from
“your” Twitter experience. Mitch is excited
because marketing is finally back to being
about real interactions between real people.
While companies are still in control of their
brand, the amplified consumer voice is equal
to the brand’s voice.
The customer voice is a form of viral media,
meaning that it evolves naturally – not in a
forced or “branded” way. Douglas Rushkoff,
author of Get Back In the Box, first coined the
term “viral media,” which was meant as a type
of media or message that evolves naturally,
is invited in by users, and replicates just like
any type of information a user wants to share.
It’s called “viral” because, like a virus, it feels
natural, like it’s a part of the eco-system, and
replicates as part of the natural system of
sharing. A virus gets invited into the body
because it looks and acts like a normal cell,
then it replicates just like a normal cell.
Today, consumers use social media in many
ways, including making a variety of purchasing
decisions – from buying clothing and electronics
to selecting insurance or a new bank. This
paper uncovers the trends from this conference
and includes insights from some of the
thought leaders who attended.