Chapter Five

I Care More about What My Neighbor Thinks Than What Google Thinks

Social commerce is upon us. What is social commerce exactly? It is a term that encompasses the transactional, search, and marketing components of social media. Social commerce harnesses the simple idea that people value the opinions of other people. What this truly means is that in the future we will no longer seek products and services; rather, they will find us. Nielsen reports that 90 percent of people trust their peers' opinions.1 This is neither a new concept nor new to the web (e.g., Epinions,, Angie's List).

What is new is that social media makes it so much easier to disseminate information. As the success of social media proves, people enjoy spreading information. This explains the popularity of Twitter, Foursquare, Open Table, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and so forth. These tools and products enable users to inform their friends what they are doing every minute of the day (“I'm having an ice cream cone,” “Check out this great article,” “I'm listening to a keynote speaker,” etc.). Twitter is interesting from the standpoint that its popularity began with older generations and then Generations Y and Z started to embrace Twitter. This is the exact opposite trend of Facebook, which was originally popular with the younger generations and then Generation X and the baby boomers started to engage.

Social media is creating something that I think eventually is going to be very healthy for our economy, ...

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