Five years ago, the primary function of social media for businesses was community building. Today, the role of a company’s presence on popular social networks has evolved to include customer service, building brand awareness, and perhaps most importantly, lead generation.

“Social media has been the great equalizer in terms of lead generation for small-business owners,” said Bill Peppler, managing partner of staffing firm Kavaliro. “No longer must you be reliant on a sophisticated CRM system with thousands of contacts. You can find what you want for free through sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.” (more…)