Social Media vs. Networking – Which Delivers the Best ROI?


I know that social media is the rage today for businesses. Everyone wants to figure out how to Twitter, how to start a Facebook fan page, or use LinkedIn for leads.

But I’m starting to wonder if all this effort is really worth it.

Granted, the reason I started this blog was to educate people about search engine optimization, copywriting and marketing.  But let’s face it, you and I both know, the real reason businesses start blogs is to get business for themselves! Yes, I admit it, I want you to use my services (and I want to get paid for it)! 😉

But, we’re getting off topic here.

I think all the fuss over social media is just that – fuss.  I have yet to make any money from social media.  95% of my clients have come from my efforts at doing business the old fashioned way – networking. That’s right. Talking with people – face to face.  When you can meet someone, get to know them and their needs, establish a bond, you have a much better chance of either doing business with them directly, or having them refer someone to you.

I belong to a fantastic networking group that just celebrated its two-year anniversary. It’s called WOAMTEC – Women on a Mission to Earn Commission. It started out as a Central Florida based organization, but is growing nationwide. And I’m extremely proud to be part of it. This dynamic group of business women keeps in mind what’s important in life – family, faith & career.  Notice the order. Family & faith first, then career.

Yesterday, I attended our latest conference. I met new people, checked out some new businesses at the vendor booths, and heard some energizing speakers, including video mystery shopper & sales coach Melinda Brody who spoke about selling like a rock star: showing enthusiasm, connecting with your audience, and being fearless. Here’s some video I took to show you what a rockin’ good time we had! 

Now I’m not saying social media doesn’t have a place in business. I just think it’s one tool to have in your arsenal. In fact, you can use social media to reinforce your networking. When you meet someone new, you can tell them to check out your blog or Facebook page. But don’t hide behind the computer screen. Go out and meet people. Join your local chamber of commerce, or other networking group. Attend a trade show or have your own booth at one. Develop relationships. That’s the way you can grow your business.

Of course, this is only my opinion. What do you think? Do you get more sales from social media or more traditional marketing strategies like networking?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

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4 thoughts on “Social Media vs. Networking – Which Delivers the Best ROI?

  1. I find that social media helps me make my first impression connections much more powerful. For example, I just connected with a commercial lender on LinkedIn and had immediate rapport talking about people I know that she knows (something you can see on LinkedIn).

    I immediately went into a conversation around training at the bank, qualifying the opportunity and now setting up a meeting with decision makers within the next two weeks. I also have been able to get insider information as to how to sell most effectively into the bank,

    As I get 40% of my business from the social media tool LinkedIn I teach and coach the process that moves from teaching people how to use social media tools to networking to sales. It’s still all about building trust and strong relationships through win-win exchanges,

    Melissa Giovagnoli
    Founder and President, Networlding
    http://www.networldingblog.com

    • Melissa,
      Thanks for sharing your experience with LinkedIn. I’m impressed to see that you’re getting 40% of your business from this tool. Wouldn’t you know that just this past weekend, I was contacted by someone interested in my SEO services who found my profile on LinkedIn. So, I guess this service is definitely proving to be a successful tool to build one’s business.

      Gloria Rand

  2. I agree that the face to face networking is truly where business comes from. But with more people relying on their social media contacts opinions, there is a need to have a presence out there.

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