Each year, the Social Commerce Summit brings together innovative brands and thought leaders to share best practices and trends in social media. 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.