There were two great – and important – examples over the weekend which illustrated the significance of "social media". You might struggle to see how they'd affect your business, but it's important to look at the wider picture of how the end users are now starting the conversation. Consumer marketing may run with these trends far earlier than business marketing, but it will affect us sooner or later. Just because we can't see how yet, doesn't mean it won't happen.
The first example was the novelty story of someone promoting a record to be the Christmas number one through Facebook. While seemingly nothing more than a trivial holiday season story, you should look at it this way. Some ordinary bloke from Essex has just inspired half a million people to spend real money to buy a record by a band most of them never even knew, just to make a point, without any real help from the mass media. This is starting to be genuinely unsettling to a lot of people who like to think they set the agenda within their market. And so it should be.
The second example was the massive communications failure by Eurostar over the weekend. Many of its customers, wanting to know what on earth was going on, turned to the internet. And possibly in more significant numbers than ever before in terms of a major public event, they turned to Twitter. Where was Eurostar? Nowhere, it appears. Read the full story and discussion here – it's quite riveting.