Why companies need to care about "social media"

Part of my day job now is to keep up with the "social media" stuff for my employer and for the technologies we play in.  And while I know it's important, and that it's part of my job, I've often been really annoyed by the cohorts of nearly useless "social media experts" who say very little and charge huge bills for knowing how to search twitter.
But I saw today on Chris Messina's Buzz about "The Browser as Social Agent, part 3" that really states simply and directly why corporations and organizations, especially non-tech companies, should care about social media stuff:
I noticed a sign on the wall that I’d not seen before, providing links to that local Whole Foods’ Twitter and Facebook pages. It struck me as rather strange that a company like Whole Foods would promote their profiles on networks owned by other companies until I got out of my tech bubble mindset for a moment and realized how irrelevant Whole Foods’ homepage must seem to people who are now used to following friends’ and celebrities’ activities on sites like Twitter and Facebook. What are you supposed to do with a link to a homepage these days? Bookmark it? — only to lose it among the thousands of other bookmarks you already forgot about?

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