I found this great article this morning on Twitter: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/6039/stop-wasting-time-with-social-media.aspx I had a few thoughts I wanted to share about it since I agree with the author about monetization.

I’m glad I’m not the only one realizing that Social Media has little monetization value outside of the self-promoting Tech industry that uses it most.  That’s fine for some, but it simply isn’t the venue for profits – right now.  Email still takes the cake as the most profitable way to reach out to your customers.  I’m not surprised at all by this.

In fact, it made me think about my own projects and the percentage of revenue based on the type of referral.  I grabbed some Analytics on Revenue by Source from January 1st, 2010 through today, split the referrals into the groups below and did a percentage of the total for each.  I didn’t insert the actual Revenue/Visit numbers, but I gave each type a ranking from most profitable per visit to least profitable per visit.

Here are the results:

Type of Site % of Total Revenue % of Total Traffic Revenue/Visitor Ranking
E-Mail 6.02% 2.00% 1
Direct Visit 37.59% 15.17% 2
Search 29.69% 40.12% 3
PPC 25.43% 39.33% 4
Blog referrals 0.93% 1.53% 5
Shopping 0.17% 0.78% 6
3rd Party Referrals 0.03% 0.15% 7
Company Profiles 0.12% 0.73% 8
Social 0.01% 0.17% 9

Social is clearly the lowest category with the fewest purchase referrals, almost the lowest in traffic, and certainly the lowest in value per visitor.  So unless Social isn’t a big portion of my time (which it relatively is), trying to convert sales in Social Media is wasting my time better spent elsewhere.

But this doesn’t mean Social Media and blogging do not have other, indirect values.  They do.  The marketing opportunities with Social Media have more to do with SEO, branding, and promotions.

Coincidentally, I just wrote on this last week, so if you want to know some ways to use Social Media as part of your Marketing strategy, take a look at SEO and Promotional Opportunities with Social Media.