The "social" consumer is King as far as brands are concerned.

One of the most significant phenomena of social media is the advent of the social consumer. Never before, has a consumer had so much power to influence the uptake of a product or service within their own social network.

They can recommend content about a brand, share offers, leave testimonials and such like. They can share their location, so brands can target them via area, or they share information about their purchases. Understanding what drives the social consumer is the key to growth for brands in social media.

Research carried out at the recent Pivot Conference indicates that many leading brands, plan to increase their social media efforts considerably. Many brands suggested that their social media strategies have been a success in terms of ROI.

An engaged and participative "social" consumer really represents a potential gold mine for brands. They can advocate your brand to their friends on your behalf. Give them a positive experience and a reason to share, and you will growing a very powerful sales force. You know yourself..if a friend recommends something, the chance of you acting upon it, is much greater.

And this is what brands are banking on in social media. Watch this space. If it works for the leading brands, there is no reason why it won't work for you..the same principles apply.