Most of my networks are small businesses, and pretty much everyone I talk to who is using social media in some way consider it as a part of their sales strategy, a tool to increase sales. Many would concede it is a marketing tool first, but why do it if sales do not come, and how do you measure success other than by sales?
The marketers amongst you will shudder.
What social media is good at is raising awareness, creating engagement and advocacy, what it is not good at is being a transactional process. Social media is not transactional at all, it does not create sales, rather it creates a conversation, the environment in which sales can be made, but the sales process itself is separate.
A subtle difference perhaps, but hugely important in any consideration of the return that comes from an investment in Social Media.