Was going to do part 2 today but Forresters popped up with some REALLY interesting statistics today.
In short, 91 percent of technology decision makers are reading blogs, watching video and lurking on social media like Facebook. Almost 70 percent are doing this for business purposes. Almost half are creating their own sites. We're not talking about 20-somethings, but real, mature business people.
It's noteworthy that surveys show that these buyers don rate social technology highly in surveys, but do count on peer opinion to make decisions. What they don't consider is they are getting those opinions off social technology they participate in.
What this means in the context of our question: "what does social media do?" is that if you are not making social media an integral part of your marketing, then you are behind the curve... way behind. So rather than asking about what it does, you should be asking why your are not doing more of it.