Social networking for business was mostly influenced by the way that the social networks were already being used. The truth about most social networks is that they were developed by college students who were looking to communicate with each other more effectively and quickly. This lead to technology that was not optimal for business use. Therefore, the business owners who were early adopters followed the pattern that had already existed on the networks and tried to use the format for business success. However, any system not generated for business success is doomed to fail when used for business purposes.
Businesses were forced to share information across the social network in non-secure ways. In the early days of social media (and this still exists on most sites) a business could not pick and choose who could see a message and who could not. This leads to sharing of secrets that a business would normally try to hide (if the business was not careful). It can also lead to the inability to communicate effectively with their peers or business associates. Either one of these problems caused most businesses not to adopt social media systems in their businesses. They were just too risky to be used inside business systems.
Sharing important information was too easy to push down with other content. Most of the people on the social networks are individuals and not businesses. This means that content from a business can be easily pushed down by random chatter from the lists. This means that sales messages and business information that may be pertinent is lost to the influx of general information about another person's life. This made businesses far less likely to use the system, or to use the system like other people who were already using the system (which is ineffective for business purposes).
A lot of innovations inside the system did not appear until much later. This is especially true from business owners or business people, most people tried to swim with the tide instead of testing how different actions affected the tide. Most businesses tried to enter the status quo and talk like the users did (who were not using the system for business purposes). It was not until much later when businesses tried to optimize their profiles for search engines. This is a practice that is just in its infant stages on the social networking platforms. The truth is that most businesses are too willing to swim with the tide than to try different approaches to using the tide. This is all because of the original users of the system who set the precedent for those who followed them.
Most of the business practices that exist on the social networks were developed by people who were not business owners. These people set the etiquette for the users a very long time ago and most business people have not bothered to question why things are done the way they are on the social networks. When a business enters the social networking world, they need to look at the practices that are being used on those platforms. A plan must be generated and if a new technique is better suited for business than the existing practice then it must be tested and implemented.