Social media is an extremely powerful tool for interacting with consumers, who are increasingly demanding authenticity and transparency.
Thechemistrygroup.com chief thinking officer Gareth Jones explained that organisations are being forced to engage more directly with consumers.
This is broadly a good thing for organisations which are capable of adapting their online marketing strategies to meet these new demands.
However, inflexibility could prove damaging for businesses that are not yet online.
"Any organisation that ignores [customers sharing of brand experiences] is going to fall behind," he explained. "Basic product and service feedback, the opportunity to fix issues and create a better experience right through to getting customers to innovate for you … are just some of the benefits."
Gartner envisages social media, mobile technology, cloud and information playing an increasingly dominant role in consumer services and expectations over the coming years.
Mr Jones believes the usefulness of social media as a consumer interaction tool will only grow over the next decade.