It’s a great and wondrous debate in social media planning right now: When are you ready to engage in social media? Which is worse: putting yourself out there with huge uncertainty, but ahead of the game, or being left in the dust?

We feel pretty strongly that marketers need to get ahead of the game in understanding social media, its best uses and pitfalls. In other words, the research and strategy part is relatively risk-free – but exercise caution in execution.  Things like Twitter etiquette and promotional sensitivities are absolute musts to understand before engaging out there in social media land.

But if you’re not doing anything at all, are you at the risk of having customers take over your brand and messaging? Or worse yet, think you’re out of touch? Do you need a presence to ensure you have a say in the voicing of your own brand?

Is social media the best way to create a dialog with your customers and clients? More than 80% of marketers recognize it as an extremely effective way to hear and respond to the voice of their customers, in a real and ongoing conversation.  They understand the increasing value in talking with, and not talking at, their customers. The challenge seems to be in keeping the dialog going with real and meaningful issues, on a continuous basis.

What’s the worst thing that could happen to you in social media? Blog it here.