Over at Cre8asite Forums, member Risa asks about the appeal of social media sites. She's tried StumbleUpon, Facebook, and Twitter, but hasn't used them more than once.
She's not alone. Autocrat adds that he also struggles to understand social media when used in conjunction with search engine marketing.
So what does one do? Well, speaking as a social media aficionado myself, it didn't happen overnight that I started understanding the nuances of social media. At first, I hated Digg. Then I fell in love with it. I've been a StumbleUpon member since 2005. I started using it aggressively in 2007. Twitter wasn't that appealing in 2006 when I signed up. It's now almost indispensable when I use it for advice and networking -- and it's a great tool.
Social media takes time and investment. It also takes understanding what works for you and your business if that is how you intend to use it. Build a profile on one social site and let everything else follow.
What others don't understand is that social media is not search. It is not something you should try in lieu of a decent SEM strategy. If anything, social media should complement it.
I'd also recommend that others should acknowledge that while there are hundreds (thousands?) of social media sites out there, it may be compelling to focus on a social media site that aligns mostly with your interests, but if it isn't a heavily-trafficked site, your efforts will probably not meet your satisfaction. A site like StumbleUpon is great because you can really drill down to your wants and needs and get served (and serve) pages that fit in with your interests. And if you're an active participant, people will become your friend which makes it a lot easier to network.
Forum discussion continues at Cre8asite Forums.