A lot has been said about social marketing via social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Linked:In and others, and many businesses are realizing the online marketing potential of such sites. But simply creating a profile is hardly a means to increase brand recognition and/or a larger customer base.

As detailed in an article written by B.L. Ochman in Advertising Age, extra steps must be taken to ensure that a social marketing campaign results in some measure of success.

B.L. writes:

Social media can’t:

1. Substitute for marketing strategy.

A Twitter campaign or a Facebook page that announces your company’s weekly specials is not a marketing strategy.

2. Succeed without management buying in.

Social media requires a way of thinking by company executives that includes the willingness to listen to customers, make changes based on feedback and trust employees to talk to customers.

The culture of fear—of job loss, of losing message control, of change—is ingrained in corporate cultures. Top management has to want to change.

3. Be viewed as a short-term project.

Using social media is not a one-shot deal. It’s a long-term commitment to openness, experimentation and change that requires time to bear fruit.