Applying social media to business communications, while all the rage and perhaps effectively addressing millennial audiences' media use, typically requires a fairly radical change in company culture. It also demands an often substantial or even unacceptable investment of time and money.
In other words, its one thing to start a Twitter or Facebook account… It's something completely different to have your company team members well-trained and being actively, effectively, and carefully engaged directly with customers, competitors, critics, cranks, and crazies. Also, just because a competitor is using social media doesn't mean your company should or that your competitor is even getting major benefits from it. Apply social media to your marketing mix for much better reasons than just “the cool factor.”
Managing corporate social media engagement isn't something to just add on to an existing marketing campaign. It can certainly be an advantage if monitored and done well. And it can also be a huge waste of time or take you down a rat hole. To sum up, approach social media engagement with caution and eyes wide open before jumping in. Also, don't leave managing it to a millennial with little business sense or communications background just because he or she happens to have been using it personally for a few years and claims to know all about it. For businesses, social media use is a larger step than you may realize.
For B2B tech brands, if you're going to jump in, I recommend applying LinkedIn as an initial social media platform. Have those who will be involved in social media engagement (see social media management above) become active and knowledgeable in the ways that LinkedIn may be used as a business tool. For example, have them find and become involved in special interest groups on the site, starting and chiming in on conversations.
See what happens after a year of consistent, active engagement there. Take any next steps under the guidance of a highly experienced social media marketing pro, if your company culture is ready for it. Don't get spread too thin with social media. There are other media that are also well worth experimenting with depending on a company's size, competitive position, budget, and key customer behaviors and interests.
Most importantly, before applying any new tactic, ask yourself if your brand has a defensible, supportable, clearly differentiated competitive claim that will strategically guide social media and all other marketing initiatives? If not, figure that out first. Don't go off half-cocked without knowing how you want to be known in your market. Without a sharply defined communications strategy, you'll be wasting time and money regardless of what media you apply to growing your business.