Social media strategists and marketers are being advised to be aware of the reputation of the company that they represent.

The global social media sector covers a range of activities on the Internet, such as crowdsourcing, blogging, social networks, open debate, social tagging, social search, APIs, virtual worlds and online reputation management.

Social media operations have witnessed rapid growth in recent months and the sector is showing little sign of slowing down. Analysts suggest that it is "the most significant web development of the decade" and organisations and brands are starting to test its public relations and Internet marketing potential.

According to experts, businesses need to adapt their communications strategies immediately to embrace social media, understanding the risks and that not all social media opportunities are the right ones for their operation.

Failure to understand the rules of social media environments can ultimately damage reputations or sales and it is important that social media marketers develop a clear social media strategy, measure social media campaigns and take advantage of emerging trends.

Meanwhile, online publisher E-consultancy has announced that it is to hold an event – Harnessing the Power of Social Media – which will focus on the opportunities arising from succesful social media strategies.

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