What Is the Return on Your Investment in Social Media?
I was recently asked if signing up for a social linking service was “good” for the blogger.
How can I answer that?
First, what’s good for you as a blogger may not be good for me. How would I know what’s good for you?
Second, social media services are popping up all the time. Do they work? I don’t know. How much money has anyone honestly made from Twitter recently?
Hours a day are spent twittering, but does it really enhance your reputation, bring business through your virtual door, increase traffic and revenue on your blog, or just bring in money directly? Is it working for you, and only you? Or is it working for everyone?
You probably have a facebook, myspace, mybloglog, and numerous other social accounts in addition to your blog. How is that really working for you? Are these multiple services bringing in the traffic, and are they hanging around for good? Are they making you money? Are they building your reputation that brings in indirect income through consultation and services? Or are you neglecting your blog?
What about all those links you added to del.icio.us, Digg, Spurl, Furl, Reddit, and so on? Are they bringing in the traffic they once did? Are you still seeing the benefits? Or are the benefits now diluted because everyone is doing it and it’s so hard to find anything because there is so much too look through?
What about Technorati and all those tags you smeared all over your blog, which you thought would bring you a lot of traffic from Technorati. Does it still?
Does anyone use Technorati as a search engine or directory any more? Honestly. When you use it, you go looking for yourself, don’t you? You don’t begin your search there, do you? Do potential readers?
We spend a lot of time on these things on our blogs, but when was the last time these really were worth the time and effort you put into them? Are they really working for you?
Third, if they aren’t working, why are you still doing them?
The Return On Your Investment in Social Media
If they aren’t working, you must be getting something out of it. After all, you can’t wait to race to your phone to twitter to tell the world you are on the way to a meeting or off the toilet, right? You must be getting something out of the experience, as well as the time and energy you put into it. So what are you getting out of it?
Are you getting increased traffic and improved readership to your blogs? Are you making more money? Are you really building up business relationships and clients?
Or is it just “fun” and a bit addictive. Okay, it’s a little voyeuristic to read what others are twittering and linking to, and very narcissistic to share your own personal preferences and discoveries (Dad! Look at me! Watch me!). Admit it.
None of these are bad reasons, but we need to explore the “why” we do these things and the benefits to our life, work, family, friends, and blogging experience.
In economics, you have the Return On Investment (ROI) which is when the profits exceed your original investment. This Return On Investment can be applied to time, money, and energy, or combinations thereof.
If all those hours spent twittering, tagging, and socializing are paying off with compensation in whatever form that is equal or exceeds the cost of that time, then keep doing it. If it isn’t, why bother?
Why is ROI important to consider for your blog and social media efforts?
When the cost of your time, money, and energy isn’t getting the return on its value, you are wasting it. You are just playing games until the real work begins.
Games that can take energy away from your blog.
So what’s the ROI on your social media interactions?
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.
I don’t think you could be more right on this point. Very few social networks now in days actually reward the user with visitors to their blog. Most of them are simple addictions driven by habit.
Mostly, I have found that mybloglog is the most rewarding in terms of new readership. For me, twitter and facebook serve a more personal purpose.
I agree with Laura, MyBlogLog is the best for bloggers and networking. They do a good job of preventing spammers.
What is the reward you are getting for the investment you spend in those? What do you really “get” from them?
I agree — except, I do think that the ‘BlogFriends’ application on Facebook has potential.
I have been contemplating this very topic for months now. For me, all this social networking stuff is nothing more than a distraction from what is important in blogging…blog content and the sharing of information in your particular niche. Thanks for the nudge I needed to jump off this particular bandwagon.
Wow…I feel kind of stupid reading this…I mean you’re so right. We’ve all done all of this social media stuff with Technorati and etc to get our blogs HIGHER. But maybe we should go back to basics and have GOOD design. Make sure we’re high on Google, Yahoo and Live via organic search; have a good newsletter (Constant Contact / Feedblitz) and otehr things that some of us still do and some of us used to do….
Ramon Ray, Editor and Technology Evangelist
Stumbleupon and MyBlogLog are the two social resources that drive the most traffic my way. As far as the others go, they are definitely not worth the time. I do Reddit and Digg because I like the stuff submitted, not because I think I will get traffic.
Both private entities, such as companies, financial institutions, and the central or state government and other government institutions use this instrument as a means of garnering funds.