What's the main driver for social media adoption?

I’m often talking to firms about their ideas around social media. Why they are interested? What is it they want to achieve? And how can they go about achieving those ideas?
There are many answers – it’s a big world out there and one executive plan for engagement with customers is another executive nightmare, but the people I talk to have two general ideas about what they can do with social media:

1. Promotion. Talk about their brand. Get videos out there and see the brand exposed in a way that would not usually be achieved… like the Cadbury Stride gum work with ‘Where the hell is Matt?’
2. Reputation management. Like the disaster Domino’s pizza faced when the dirty pizza kitchen video hit the net. They did react by using social media to get their own message out about how they were handling the crisis… rather than just trying to stamp on the story, which clearly would have been fruitless.
But the most desirable use of social media is clearly to engage with consumers. So how come it’s so difficult to get brand owners to understand that dabbling online is not just about blatant ads or crisis management?

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