Based on my observations of how most companies are currently approaching the practice of incorporating social media into their marketing plans, I can see they do not truly understand all the components of social networking.
They get that societal means building relationships and that media is the form of communication they're using to build these relationships. But this isn't a deep enough understanding on which to base the marketing success of any service or product. There is a lot more to be considered, because social media is lively, nuanced, and richly layered.
To fully understand and be able to utilize social media effectively, marketers need to obtain a thorough understanding of all its elements. Without this knowledge they will only be sending out messages that won't have the capability to achieve their desired impact. These are the companies that have a Facebook page and run impressive campaigns to get people to "like" them.
Image Source: Google
They think that they are now using social media as they have so many followers and post something on their Facebook page every so often. Without incorporating the extra components of social media, these efforts are unfortunately doomed to collapse.
To be effective in social networking, it's helpful to think of its components as forming a cube, with social and media as just two of the sides.