What happened: Everyone who reads blogs, e-Zines and yes, magazines, knows that the topic of social media is filling lots and lots of lines all over the country. The central question for business operators, managers and owners to determine is “Is social media important to their business growth?” Answering that question is first on the logic board if you would like your business to stay in business. Barb Pellow wrote a piece, “Print Service Providers Are Going Social!” published last week here. She said, in part, “Social media has entered the mainstream, providing new opportunities for print service providers that build the right marketing strategies. Customers are having conversations about your company and your brand. As a critical component of the marketing mix, print service providers must learn how to listen to, engage in, and participate in the conversation. While brand marketers want social media to build buzz and engagement, social media users are seeking a return.”

Why it matters: People often confuse consumer and business online usage statistics. Having 18 million people engage Twitter throughout the U.S. on the one hand is an impressive statistic, but on the other hand knowing that the majority were for non-business purposes makes it less intriguing. Am I against social media? If you read this blog you know I am not. However, what I am against are companies thinking that engaging in social media networks is going to revolutionize their businesses in the short-term or at all. I realize this is not necessarily a popular view, but let’s be honest. I do believe that social media should be a part, perhaps a large part, if a business can figure out how to monetize the results of the program. But the bigger is All of us in marketing are interested in sales. It seems social media is the next actionable item on the list of things to sell. It’s a lot like the paperless office. Sounds great on paper (I couldn’t resist) but it never happened. What do you think?