Communicating and connecting through social media improves search engine results and is an effective awareness and nurturing tool. The challenge for many organizations is doing it on a consistent basis with sparse marketing resources. Companies should consider empowering employees outside of the marketing department to participate. Most companies have subject matter experts (Sales Engineers, Product Specialists etc.) who can add value and should participate in the "online conversation". They can offer thought leadership, best practice suggestions and other content appropriate for blog postings and other social media uses. And they can comment intelligently on other postings within your industry.
With a little bit of training this can be a valuable addition to your marketing efforts.