Like Theodore Levitt’s old adage of marketing that people don’t buy a drill, they buy a hole, so it is with Social Media.
Social media is the tool, it can be used badly, effectively, creatively, and efficiently, like any tool, but it is the impact of the tool, the outcomes it delivers, that really matter.
The social media experience is the tool, the benefit is delivered by the effective use of the tool in the right circumstances.
The building of a SM presence that encourages people to order and pay on line, or signal preference, or interact in some other way, one to one, that delivers something both parties value is the benefit SM has the potential to deliver, but it is not easy, in fact, it is really hard to do well.
Having a 1000 friends on facebook is pretty pointless, the benefit comes when those “friends” act like real friends, and give you something you value, just because they can.