First blogs were the dominant channel for consumers to share their product and service experiences with companies and as Facebook and Twitter have become more dominant, the speed, velocity and volume of feedback has escalated nearly exponentially. All of this now puts consumers in a highly influential position relative to brands (Bernoff, Li, 2008) and the rapid assessment of their social media marketing strategies as well (Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, Walsh, Gremler, 2004). As a result of Web 2.0 technologies today pervading the development of social networking applications and platforms the customer has a strong voice and electronic word-of-mouth has never been more relevant than it is today (Zhang, Daugherty, 2009).
Consumers then can actively participate even in the execution of the social media marketing strategies as well. This is unparallel power for consumers especially the opportunity to call out strategies that deliver exceptional value or attempt to mislead consumers as well. In essence social networking platforms and applications are today more of a truth test for social media marketing strategies than there ever has been before. The need for authenticity, honesty and transparency cannot be overstated for any social media marketing strategy today.
With regard to key influencers including bloggers, influential analysts, educators and writers in any given field, the same holds.