Subtract (Social Media) = More Sales, More Profit Part I

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It would seem counter-intuitive to think that your revenue and profit could go UP by subtracting social media from your mix of business activities. Certainly those who suggest that social media is an essential part of all businesses would disagree, sight unseen. But they would be wrong.

Your mileage may vary, of course, but we are seeing an increase in revenue and profit as we wind down our social media activities. Since early 2010 we’ve planned to eliminate our personalized use of social media as a business endeavor, but set a date of Jan. 2011 to do so. We did that for two reasons. First, I’m writing a book on business and social media and I need to stay connected to what’s going on until at least then, when, hopefully, the manuscript will be complete. Second, I wanted to give social media enough time to allow me to prove, one way or the other, that it could be beneficial.

Early Bird Action

That was the plan. It didn’t take into account my total “fedupness” with the lack of quality content relative to the junk. Twitter is a waste of time, and it’s worse because those that participate really DO believe they are having indepth discussions. Nuh-Uh. Read a few chat transcripts isolated from the fervor, to get a taste of how superficial the conversations are, and how the 140 character limits make even the smartest people sound stupid and lacking depth.

LinkedIn looked good, until I realized it just looked better. The discussion threads in groups that gain the most comments are the most trivial. Weighty topics, sometimes work out but again, the signal/noise ratio is bad.

Facebook…well, it’s Facebook. Who really expects intellectual stimulation there?

So, about two weeks ago, I realized the whole thing wasn’t fun anymore. If it ain’t fun it better have a strong and obviously measurable effect on business. It hasn’t had that. So, as much to save sanity as anything else, I cut back my personal involvement/dialogue and discussions to zero. My bet is nobody really noticed, which I believe is a comment on the falsity of many “relationships” via social media.

Early Indicators

So, it’s early of course, and any results are anecdotal and correlational. Whatever the outcome, it would be hard, if not impossible, to demonstrate positive business effects would be caused by subtracting social media.

However, since we’ve done the cut, our revenue and profits are up, relative to the month of September. We’ve simply had more sales from more diverse customers than we had before. How coudl that be?

I’ll let you think about this for a bit, and suggest some reasons, but I have some pretty good guesses as to why this would happen, and why it’s likely it will happen to others who run businesses under similar conditions — that being a small, microbusiness where most activity is done by one, or just a very few people, and where the business works in a niche, and doesn’t cater to the mass market.

Stay tuned. Next part will address what I think is the critical factor operating here, which is opportunity costs of social media.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Robert Bacal
Robert began his career as an educator and trainer at the age of twenty (which is over 30 years ago!), as a teaching assistant at Concordia University. Since then he as trained teachers for the college and high school level, taught at several universities and trained thousands of employees and managers in customer service, conflict management and performance appraisal and performance management skills.

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