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What’s the return on investment for social media?

A few weeks ago I was browsing Facebook and saw a virtual assistant I know had about 6 billion updates… I was puzzled because I couldn’t comprehend how anyone spending that much time on Facebook could get any work done.  Well it turns out she wasn’t, because sadly this week she closed the doors of her VA business.

Still it raises the question: How much time is too much time?

I know some VAs who get ALL their business from Twitter.  I know another one who specialises in Social Media and only uses those skills in her business – she has a full client roster and no time to do anything else.  These are specialists at the top of their field.

So social media is a fantastic tool to use to get clients, but it is just one tool.  So for example, you can be brilliant at connecting with people on LinkedIn and have 2,000 connects, but if some of those don’t translate into work, it is of no value whatsoever.

But how do you actually know that the effort you are putting in is the right amount?  Are you giving up on a networking opportunity just before it pays you back?  How much effort should you be putting in and what sorts of numbers should you be getting out?  As VAs our most precious asset is our time, so how should we be spending it?

See also  LinkedIn Profile Success

Those clever people over at Vocus/Marketing Sherpa have created a white paper this week – all about the effectiveness of social media vs the effort required to actually implement it.  For more info see: www.vocus.com

The good news is that level of effort required for most social media is relatively low – so you can very quickly create good content on microblogs such as Twitter, social networks like Facebook, and email newsletters.  The bad news is that, as with everything, the more time consuming social marketing is the most effective, with blogs and blogger relations being top of the social media effectiveness tree.

Highly recommend downloading the report – an interesting read!


  1. Tweets that mention What’s the return on investment for social media? | Society of Virtual Assistants -- Topsy.com on 19 October, 2010 at 12:31 pm

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  2. Sheree Lowe on 20 October, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Twitter. No question. Half the business I’ve ever had I wouldn’t have got without Twitter. And I find it doesn’t take time away from work work because I have it on my phone – so I can use what would otherwise be dead time (ie, on the bus, walking to a networking event, in the queue at the post office, etc) on Twitter.

    • Caroline on 20 October, 2010 at 4:37 pm

      Actually Sheree microblogging outperformed lots of other social media such as email newsletters and social networks in its effectiveness – and you’re using it in a way which minimises the amount of “working time” you’re spending on it. Good to hear it!!

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