skepticalI have been skeptical about social media from the get-go. It seems to me a great branding tool for large companies, but far less useful for small businesses or solopreneurs.

Most everything you read is positive about social media for business expansion. Proponents herald social media marketing as a free way for those with limited finances to bootstrap their business. However; I notice that social media consultants or those who profit from social media activity write most of those positive articles.

A significant aspect of social media strikes me as nearly worthless. That aspect is taking the news created by, researched by, printed by others and then smearing it broadly across social sites. The web is already 5% unique, and 95% replication and most of that replication is due to this litter of content repeated over and over.

Personally, I am way too busy to pay attention to social feeds, and I have unsubscribed from them. I notice I am far more productive when I focus on my business rather than when I attempt to know everything going on in my industry. Most of what goes on are unimportant, and when I do need information, I can search for it.

As to small businesses and solopreneurs, the main benefit of social media marketing, branding, is not that important. Blasphemy you might say.

Follow my logic. Branding is for companies that have a lot of money as branding takes a long time to pay off. In fact, it may never pay off. Small businesses do not have the luxury of investing money without a quick payback. Therefore, small businesses must forgo branding for direct marketing and immediate payback.

Direct Marketing provides immediate results, positive or negative. The small business owner knows immediately whether the investment has a positive return. If not, the business owner can change the message, channels or venues for their marketing campaign. My question, do small business owners generate sufficient new business to justify any monetary investment and time investment for the payoff? I am interested in hearing results and evidence that rebut my thesis.

confusedIntuition tells me that 75% of those committed to social media do not get a positive return. Maniacally posting news created by others seems to add no value. Those who do get a positive return need to have unique ideas and post something original. They need to be thought leaders or have a well-constructed contrary opinion to conventional wisdom. It is unlikely that more than 25% of those using social media would qualify for these two categories.

As a buyer needing professional services, why would I be impressed by someone who simply reposts existing content yet does not have an original thought?