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September 22, 2009

Is Social Media Worth Your Time?

Everyone – from politicians, businesses, musicians, celebrities and many other groups of people – uses social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social networking outlets to spread their message, build their businesses and connect with others.

Do they know something we don’t?

Networking, whether online or offline, is a great use of time when done properly. As with anywhere you spend your time, knowing why you are doing it, how you will measure success and having a plan is the best approach.

With that said, I jumped in with both feet last year with the guidance of a social media expert, and I have found clients, joint venture partners, speaking engagements and other great connections through various social media outlets. I am a member of more social media outlets than I can count, but I currently focus on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. While I am not an expert in social media, here are five reasons to take some time to learn the benefits of social media.

1. There Is No Cost

There is no direct cost unless you opt for an upgrade, if one is offered. I haven’t paid for an upgrade and have steadily increased my list to include over 1000 followers between just three social media outlets, and without much effort.

2. Build Your Business by Connecting With Peers

Are you interested in finding joint ventures, affiliates, guest experts or other peers you can bounce ideas off of? In the last few weeks alone, I have located one large joint venture partner and have had several other partnership opportunities cross my desk. Business owners just like you are using social media to connect with others who are interested in using your articles, hosting you as a guest expert on teleseminars, webinars and live events, and even creating projects together!

3. Build Your Business by Following Reporters You Are Targeting

Would an article written by a certain reporter make your year? Follow them on Twitter or Facebook and see what is of interest to them and what they are writing about. You never know what golden nugget you’ll find by following them online that may open the door at the right time. Follow them and invite them to follow you as well! Or with LinkedIn you can find out how many degrees you are from them. You may surprise yourself by being only one or two degrees away from your target!

4. Showcase Your Expertise, Build Your Platform and Attract New Clients

Social media is an interesting animal. While many people use it to increase their businesses, you must be mindful about outright promotions. Generally speaking, heavy marketing of your products and services on these sites is a big no-no. Here’s how I do it. I’ll post something like this: “Just got off the phone with social networking guru Nancy Marmolejo. Now I’m off to finish writing my sales page for the Business Breakthrough Series.” People who are intrigued will check you out and may end up deciding to follow you and … bingo! They have just entered your world!

5. Reach Large Audiences

The world is your oyster in social media. There are only a few businesses that are truly limited by geographic boundaries, especially if you are in the information marketing business. Being active on social networking sites eliminates geographic boundaries and allows you to reach a vast number of people from all over the world. If you have products and services that can be purchased by anyone in the world, being active in social media is an absolute must for you. I recently held a teleseminar with people from over 10 countries in attendance, all from the comfort of my home office! And my sweat pants!

So, is social media worth the time? It depends. Social media is absolutely the wave of the future, and you will need to know something about it at some point. However, whether you work it into your plan for 2009 depends on your goals. If you have a goal of increasing your reach to prospects either locally or internationally, you can do that quite effectively through social media. However, if you can cannot and will not commit to
learning how to “tweet” on Twitter or communicate on Facebook or use your connections on LinkedIn, it will not be worth your time.

My advice to clients when they are just starting out is to select one social media outlet, whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, and master it before jumping into every outlet possible. You obviously need to schedule time for connecting, so select the social networking outlets that will benefit you the most.

Now that I am experiencing the financial results of my online efforts, I understand why this is such a great use of my time and I’m hooked!

Meredith Liepelt, President of Rich Life Marketing, offers a free report called “101 Ways to Attract Ideal Clients, Build Your List and Raise Your Profile,” which can be downloaded immediately at .

15 Responses to “Is Social Media Worth Your Time?

    Great article!! Terrific information!!

    avatar Hans Lak says:

    Yes absolutely but not all the social media…for me Facebook works perfect! The best social media site right now! Twitter? Forget Twitter!
    One person can make a difference in Facebook

    avatar Konrad Fischer says:

    I don’t agree. Social Media is not worth my time. What I’ve learned there: nearly all members of SM are looking for clients/customers, very few are prospects for you. To find the few there are better ways. Specialized forum discussions and blogs are much more effective than hanging around in multicontacts at FB, reading twitter’s gossip etc.

    Maybe there are branches which can find their customers at SM, but I do not know them …


    Twitter is a complete waste of time for business – Ok for twits.

    avatar Bhawna Garg says:

    Social media tools like Twitter are evry useful to send business updates to existing clients and friends. For Ecommerce websites twitter plays a great role while sale….

    Social media is not good for any numbers driven business model. Our one way link exchange for example requires a constant influx of new sites, and we cannot spend time wooing people via social media!

    avatar Eric Canja says:

    Most traditional businesses are wondering how to use social media. It is perceived as a beast, evident in your comment about it being an animal.

    Just like in any industry, there are tools that are used. Some are obvious on how to use, for example, a hammer. You just swing it, right?

    Having been in construction for short time, you need to do more than just swing it. There is an effective way to grip the hammer so it is doing work for you.

    It seems a bit trivial to make such a comparison. However, with all of the attention that social media and social networking is getting, it is now wonder people think it is the cure all for their business.

    Your article is very practical and a great way to start implementing in any business model.

    Thanks for sharing your insights. It has given me a renewed sense of hope as I pursue building my business here locally.

    avatar R English says:

    The article is a bit misleading if you are a business person wanting to establish business connections.

    I am a member of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The only professional networking I have done took place on LinkedIn and I believe it is abundantly clearly as to why. LinkedIn was originally set up for business professionals to communications with each other unlike Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

    Do not believe the hype about Facebook being this great place to do business because most of the people I have encountered were looking for non-business hookups.

    Twitter is a joke. I am a follower and people are following me which I have yet to figure out the purpose of either if there is no real dialogue. Twitter is a great place for people who enjoy writing to themselves or “talking just to be talking ” because that is exactly what is taking place. People post not in dialogue with one another but as if they are speaking only to themselves. How is this beneficial business wise? It’s not.

    Social networking is mainly hype and nothing more with the exception of LinkedIn. Honestly if business people wanted to network with other business people to generate more revenue they should not waste their precious time with Twitter, Facebook, and all those other network sites because it would be a waste of time. So far LinkedIn is the only serious site for business networking.

    avatar Alex says:

    You want to see interesting information

    avatar SeoNext says:

    Some are going commercial, most will go commercial if they haven’t already. Some have additional benefits and features for paying users. Some are probably compensated by Advertising which displays on every page that you view, including often your profile. Having a lot of eyes makes a pretty easy advertising sales. Imagine being Facebook or Myspace. Pretty much everybody and his brother and sister are on there. That’s a large advertising audience.LinkedIn is the best thing for business professionals to communications with each other. unlike Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

    avatar Judah Swagerty says:

    Like Facebook. Don’t like Twitter and Myspace.

    avatar Auctions says:

    Social media tools like delicious, twitter, linkedin, facebook etc., are very useful tools for getting good traffic and also for great social networking..Thanks for this great article.
    Sell Online | Dating | Matrimony

    avatar rose says:

    Thanks for sharing this information about social networking. It definitely help getting good social like linkedin,facebook,delicious,feed marker, digg. etc., are are plays vital role in getting good social networking..
    Auctions | Dating | Matrimony

    avatar Christina says:

    I found this article encouraging…

    I am actually wary of the SM sites, I value my privacy, & perhaps err on the side of caution. I’ve declined a few invites to Facebook & others. My website is not a venue for commerce, so I didn’t see much value in Facebooking, etc.

    But SM sites ARE a place for exposure, and my traffic could use some boosting, so I’m seriously now considering checking out FB.

    avatar Denise says:

    Thanks for this article. I found it useful. As an online marketer myself we tend to work with local business providers were social media marketing has not hot the big time. What was useful for me was clicking through to Merediths site and finding the perfect bit of her blog on speaking engagements ! Just today we have been asked to send our bio and details. Me thinks a definate law of attraction moment today. Only pity is I cant find anywhere to comment on her blog.


    PS I like your newsletter always useful!

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