Adamus - 10:26 am on Feb 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
I agree that much of the social media hype is rather hollow and lacks a solid foundation.
That doesn't mean there isn't a place for social media marketing. Sites like twitter & facebook are often the default online destinations for many people, so a strong presence there can help your company.
The key imho is to adapt your company's 'voice' to the medium. A corporate website talks to its users in an often formal, business-like tone. On a facebook page a company can be a bit more personable and personal, while on twitter a company can post tweets about many things related to its industry that may not necessarily be appropriate for the corporate website.
To make sure social media investments aren't wasted on 'brand building' and other such fuzzy terms, any social media campaign should have solidly defined ROI metrics. In the end businesses exist to make money, and social marketing should contribute to that.
If your social media marketing isn't generating pageviews, leads, or sales, you're not on the right path.
Unfortunately too many social media 'experts' don't focus enough (or at all) on ROI and instead wallow in vagueness and fuzzy marketing speak.