social media bloggingOne question I frequently get from new bloggers is whether or not they should spend a lot of time working with social media.

To be honest, I have mixed opinions about social media marketing. On the one hand, I think it’s a hugely important pillar of online marketing, while on the other hand, it’s not something I personally see as being worth my time.

Over the years I’ve bounced back and forth in my engagement with social media (from a blogger’s perspective, at least), and finally I realized that the question is not really to do or not to do social media, it’s a question of what objectives you seek to get out of it.

Here’s my basic philosophy.

  1. Some Social Media Marketing Is Essential
  2. Too Much Is A Waste of Time

Simple, right? Let’s look a little closer.

Some Social Media Marketing Is Essential

I always like to distinguish between having a brand presence on social media and running social media campaigns.

Too often, I feel like marketers tend to squash anything that happens on any of the major social networks into the same big category of social media, but that doesn’t make sense to me.

In my view, having some sort of basic social media presence is essential. That means you’ve set up your Facebook and Twitter accounts (and Pinterest, LInkedin, Tumblr, yada yada yada), and have your brand page ready. You probably have links from your website to like or follow you on each of the accounts you have set up, and you even probably have the habit of sharing your blog posts across the various social networks.

Having a presence does NOT mean sharing endless amusements all day every day, or specifically trying to run targeted campaigns to increase conversions. That, my friends, is a whole different animal.

Too Much Is A Waste of Time

When it comes to social media campaigns is where I start to think that people wind up wasting a lot of time.

To be clear, I’m not saying that social media can’t be an effective form of marketing. It most certainly can be, and it’s very possible to increase your website traffic and get lots of sales to drive your bottom line. The question is whether those extra sales are worth the extra hours it takes.

The reason is because social media is a classic example of push marketing. in order to get any results, you need to be constantly “putting yourself out there” and publishing endless streams of new content. If you don’t, you simply won’t get the eyeballs you need to drive more traffic and more sales from your site.

If you’re a major brand with the budget to have a person (or a team) dedicated solely to managing all those social accounts, tha’ts great. But for the individual blogger…who has the time?

Read more about the importance of social media for SEO in this post.