I think this question is sort of subjective and dependent upon your own situation. I think a lot of businesses can engage prospects through social media and successfully convert those people into customers however it isn’t for every business. Further, I think some businesses jump on the social media band wagon because it’s the latest thing and they don’t really stop to think about if their customers are really present on networks like Facebook, LinkedIn or Google Plus or twitter or wherever.
I think without a clear strategy about what a business will try to accomplish by using social media, they are bound to fail or at least find it to be a waste of time when (if they had a plan) they could have seen something positive come out of it.
One thing is for sure. Many millions of people are now using these platforms to communicate on a daily basis. For some, it has become a primary means of communication for extended friends and family. It should be the goal of businesses to be present in the forums that their target audiences use to entertain and communicate with one another. That used to be television, radio, and appropritate public venus and still is to a large extent. Now, however people are using social media for these purposes and it only makes sense that businesses should be present in these arenas in order to develop a relationship with their customers.