In the past it was sufficient to have managed a website to showcase your brand online. But that was while we were still getting into Web 1.0. Like anything, development has affected the web and the realisation that what makes the web so interesting is not just access to information but that it is a two way communication tool able to connect the masses while still being able to hear the individual.
Welcome to Web 2.0, a combination of static and dynamic content, conversations and responses. These conversations are ongoing whether you are part of them or not. The only way to influence those conversations is to be part of them. The more engaging your involvement the more you are able to influence the content to your advantage. The more you are involved, the more you are part of the ongoing conversation in your absence.
The extent of tools and platforms available are extensive, so a clearly defined strategy to utilise the most important to reach the existing and desired markets are critical.
The argument as to whether to be a part of social messaging or not has been long forgotten. It is now part of the de facto marketing mix. "That you should be part of SM" has been replaced with "How should you be involved with SM". The platform choice, implementation strategy and content development are vital to a successful outcome.