Wikipedia defines Social Media as this, "Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content." Furthermore, social media depends on mobile and web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which individuals and communities share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content. It introduces substantial and pervasive changes to communication between organizations, communities, and individuals.
What does this mean to your organization? It depends. Social Media really works best for consumer products and services companies. This is because social media is most often about people and their personal lives, preferences and likes. Many companies think they need to participate in social media – this is simply not true. If you are not selling a consumer oritented product or service, don't bother. If you are, then you want to be on the social media channels but, not necessarily all of them.
A second consideration is the time it takes to participate in social media channels. If you are going to post to a Facebook page, you need to do it at least once or twice a week, consistently. More frequent postings are required if you use something like Twitter. Third, be prepared for public comments that you may not like or agree with.