A recent study by a Chicago-based firm showed that small and medium-sized businesses are getting ‘heavily’ involved with social media. If you have yet to participate in blogging, wiki, twitter, or other social media, you are likely losing business to your competitors.
The best way to start using social media is to treat it like you would any other marketing tool. First, start by defining your target audience. Second, detail how you intend to create value for your customers. Finally, map out your strategy and objective per medium (blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.)
Yes, it is easy to get caught up in social networking and you can find yourself spending all day blogging, tweeting, and uploading videos to U-tube. To avoid this, start simple with one site and get your feet wet. Once you are comfortable with using social media with some positive results from your efforts (such as building an audience or increasing visitors to your website) then, and only then, is it a good idea to consider adding other social media sites to your plan.