Last week, I was on the hunt for brown boots. I need brown boots that go over my jeans up to the knee. I've got cash in my pocket and a hot outfit without boots. Dear shoe stores, look out! I went to a very big mall and sorted through endless options. Let's say I reviewed 30 pairs, seriously considering five. I was feeling a bit panicked' how to choose? How to make the right decision among the endless options in this ocean of brown boots!? Now let's pretend that everyone I know and love was standing behind me telling me what they would buy. Perhaps what they have already bought. Is this helpful? I am shopping alone (or so I thought) strolling through and WHAM!, there is my third cousin's wife's choice with a blinking star on it. I love it and you should too. Here's why: 1.) My third cousin's wife has great taste and I always wondered where she shopped. 2.)There are many times when a choice, even boots, is six-to-one, half dozen-to-another. But to someone else, the choice is much more clear ' its two-to-one and 10-to-another. 3.) My bestie shows up at my party with AMAZING (said in high falsetto) boots. If I had only known... To be free of buyers' remorse! 4.) My opinions will be shared ' I like to tell my friends about the good, the bad and the ugly of everything ' brown boots, charities, TV shows that I want them to watch so we can talk about them. It also matters to marketers: 1.) Happy Customers. Generally the more informed a purchase is; the more satisfied the buyer. That consumer is more likely to become a brand advocate, 'like' a product on facebook, have it show up on google, and around we go. 2.) More data. We're already swimming in a sea of 'interesting' data but linking 'likes' that show up in search to clicks on the brand site of that same page adds a tangible layer to the power of social influence. 3.) Deeper Conversations. While more information might delay a decision, if a consumer can go back to their friend, ask questions, talk it over that shopping experience just became a brand experience. 4.) Empowerment. When consumer love of a brand (or hate) can be easily expressed, the consumer is empowered. Dear brand, be good. 5.) Conversation conversion. A consumer might see that a trusted friend 'liked' something they specifically, and subjectively, do not like. What a chance to let a brand advocate turn a negative to a positive...or at least a neutral. Fears that facebook will take over the world aside ' easier sharing of information from friends can lead to a smoother and more beneficial experience for everyone.