The big thing about social media, facebook, twitter and just the web in general, especially mobile is how much information at your fingertips. People want to speak their minds and learn whatever they can about whatever. This can be good or bad for brands. I’m sure for the most part you hear social media is used as a communications channel between brand and consumer.
The thing is, what needs to be said? Consumers can complain or praise a brand directly to them or to others. It’s the brands job to reply and give feedback in realtime. Brands need to work hard to educate consumers on everything about their brand before hand. People talk. Big topics are: going green, sustainability, renewable energy, recycling and charities. These are topics to be on top of and involved with. If your company isn’t paying attention, you can get a lot of slack from people bombarding your facebook page with obscene comments and then it’s something for PR to deal with. Ive seen it time and time again. Everything is constantly under a fine microscope and it’s a brand’s job to be prepared for anything.