Erik Qualman is releasing a new book called Socialnomics later this month and it’s already creating a buzz worldwide. There is no hotter topic in business today than how to leverage social media to build communities around brands and then leverage them into revenue that will make even the most capitalistic minded satisfied.

The thinking is that as we build out our online personas and migrate toward certain online groups centered around our interests, our likes, dislikes, opinions and friends. Products and services will find their way to us rather than we having to go out to find them. It changes the entire nature of advertising and how companies strive to create brand awareness and loyalty.

When word of mouth and peer endorsements become the primary means by which products are sold, making a better product and having a sterling reputation becomes the absolute king of all currencies. Business academics teaches us that good will is hard to quantify but having it in spades among your target market has never been more important.

The realisation that a competitor who is socially networked better than you will eat your alive has started a stampede of businesses and brands that are jumping on the social media bandwagon even faster than individual users were adopting Facebook last year (when 100 million users joined in just 9 months). Also reflacting on the fact that 34% of bloggers (and there are over 200,000,000 blogs) post opinions about products and brands - brings on the conclude the power and outreach of such marketing is literally limitless.

When you start to contemplate the impact of the statistics he cites and sources in his book you begin to understand the rapid shift in how business is seeing and reacting to the social media cascade. Erik discusses how two of the best marketers of the 20th century were Dale Carnegie and David Ogilvy. He says that today’s consumers want to be related to “more in the Carnegie way.” They want to be listened to and engaged in a dialog and not just hyped at. It no longer matters what you say about yourself. In fact, Qualman highlights that only 14% of people trust advertisers yet 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations. What matters is what others say about you.

Qualman offers that today, 80% of companies now use LinkedIn (a social network dedicated to business networking) as a primary tool to find new talent. It’s getting to the point you can’t even compete to get a job if you’re not versed in the ins and outs of social networking. That doesn’t seem to be a problem for most. The fastest growing demographic on Facebook is females aged 55 to 65. That’s probably because most other demographics just don’t have that much more growth in them. With their recently updated figure of 250 million users, if Facebook were a country it would be the forth largest in the world (another statistical gem from Qualman’s book).

Be sure to read Socialnomics when it’s released in late August - and be in contact with a professional for some good advice on networking and marketing your company online. Stay abreast of social networking tools that are expanding and growing on a daily basis and you’re endevours will always be successful!