Seth Godin, an author and former internet entrepreneur, believes social media killed mass marketing and replaced it with something from our past, the tribe.

“The internet was supposed to homogenise everyone by connecting us all. Instead what it’s allowed is silos of interest,” says Godin, who details the idea in his book “Tribes: We need you to lead us”.

“It’s about connecting people and ideas. The way to make change is not money or power to lever a system, but by leading.”

According to media company “We are social”, 40% of the world’s population is on social media. Which means nearly half of the world are participating in the tribal community concept.

Marketers are also catching on and turning social media users into influencers. And the emergence of these influencers has changed not only social media but the traditional advertising model.

Bloggers, vloggers, celebrities and everyday people become influencer gold based on their cult-like following or “insta-fame”.  These influencers give companies significant leveraging power when it comes to reaching a brand’s target demographic.

The rise of the “insta-famous”  marketer is raising serious questions about their ethics and practice, particularly issues of authenticity and transparency. In Australia, for example, influencers are not legally required to disclose paid endorsements.

And in Ireland, a spat between a YouTuber and a hotel manager is showcasing how social media popularity can backfire on your brand. So when it comes to these media messengers, what ethical questions should we be asking? We explore the issue on this episode of The Stream.

On this episode of The Stream, we'll speak to:

Ethan Marrell @ozzymanreviews
Social influencer and online entertainer

Heidi Nazarudin @heidinazarudin

Sirena Bergman @sirenabergman

Brittany Hennessy @2Legit2Britt
Author and influencer

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.