Don’t get me wrong: I like social media with the best of them, appreciate its power and reach, and can certainly see how and why it should play an important and integral role in an organization’s marketing and sales endeavors.

Social media has leveled the playing field for small businesses and helps build visibility and credibility at little or no cost. All that can’t be bad. But here’s where things begin to go a bit awry.

The small- to mid-size firms that are deploying social media with amazing zeal and enthusiasm are doing so with one major — and ultimate — goal in mind. They want — no, need — this newfound visibility and credibility to lead to new business.

And this is where I believe many of them might be sorely disappointed. Increased visibility and credibility are awesome, but they don’t close business. People do.

Prospects can get wooed into your sales world, but a carefully deployed process must then ensue. What’s required? Well, screening and qualifying, presenting value, probing for wants and needs, and ultimately leading that prospect to see you and your business as a solution, an improvement, to his or her situation. Social media doesn’t do any of that. Not even social media “conversations.”

So jump in and add social media to your marketing mix. But don’t forget about sales processes, follow up and follow-through, and good old-fashioned customer service to turn the fun and games into revenue.

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Adrian Miller has more than 20 years of experience as a sales trainer. She is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training, which offers real-world solutions to real-world situations for clients. To find out more, go tohttp://www.adrianmiller.com or visit her blog at http://adrianmiller.wordpress.com.