Poll: Does Social Media Actually Produce Results?

Last Updated May 27, 2011 11:29 AM EDT

Poll Does Social Media Actually Product ResultsIf you run a business or are self-employed, you've got a ridiculous number of options for growing sales. But they all take time and resources, you're most precious commodities. So you've got to make your choices count, that's for sure.

In all likelihood, this is one of the most important decisions you have to make.

Once you get past all the hype and hoopla, in terms of "bang for the buck," I put social media at the very bottom of the list. I know that sounds heretic, but it's my considered opinion. You get to weigh in on a poll in a minute, but first, hear me out.

If you're a recruiter, in HR, or looking for a job, LinkedIn is a critical resource, no doubt. If you're in the media or entertainment business and getting paid for page views or eyeballs, Twitter and Facebook are huge. Otherwise, I challenge anyone to show me how all the time invested in social media pays off versus these more traditional methods of business development:

  • For medium-sized businesses and beyond, dedicated business development or sales resources and lead generation tools are clearly the way to go.
  • For small consulting businesses like mine, I find old school networking and schmoozing, Google SEO, and my BNET blog deliver the most bang for the buck.
As for social media, when it comes to generating an insane amount of noise, chatter, hype, and frivolous distraction, it's the greatest thing ever. In terms of producing real business results, not so much. Aside from a few specific professions, I seriously doubt it's worth the time commitment.

More importantly, time and resources spent on social media is time and resources not spent on other methods. And it's not at all clear that the investment in building a following on a specific platform won't be wasted when the next big thing comes along.

Okay, you've heard my perspective. Now it's your turn to weigh in and check out the results. Take the poll and, if you've got a strong opinion one way or the other, be sure to comment, as well.


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