In the second part of our recent survey, the answer to the question:  “Out of all the Internet marketing tactics you use which is the LEAST effective?,” Twitter came up as the number one choice with 25% of the vote.

This is really no surprise since most small and medium-sized businesses and solopreneurs that we work with often express frustration with the purpose of Twitter and don’t see a direct connection between their business goals and and tweeting.  A direct correlation to ROI for social media sites such as Twitter is often unclear.  We often tell clients that if you want a direct accounting they should consider participating in strategies like pay per click advertising which is laser focused and every cent is accounted for.

While social media in general and Twitter in particular is a bit more subtle than tracking your ROI, it’s sometimes hard to argue with the point of view that Twitter is a puzzling time-suck at best and a distraction at worst. But as we discussed in a previous blog post, participating in social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ has huge search engine optimization benefits so there are many ancillary benefits that are a bit diffused in terms of confirmed ROI.  So  I really only recommend implementing a Twitter social media strategy as part of a more comprehensive Internet marketing strategy and even then, only if you have the resources to consistently participate and monitor your efforts.  For instance, good ol’ email marketing (still one of our favorite Internet marketing strategies) now has the ability to tap into social media outlets like Twitter, helping to automate some of the processes of getting your messages out across multiple channels.  Most email marketing tools like Aweber or iContact now have the ability to send out notification messages via your social media outlets and let your readers share your messages across these multiple social media platforms as well.

And lest we all forget, getting your message out across as many channels as possible is really what ALL of this Internet marketing stuff is all about.  Because you never know where people are going to consume your message.  That’s why you need to leverage your efforts and make sure that your marketing messages are distributed like virtual bread crumbs that lead people back to your main website and offers. And don’t forget, too, that by participating in social media such as Twitter, it’s also a great way to keep your ear to the ground to see what other people, competitors and clients are talking about as far as trends that effect you and your business.

OTHER CONCLUSIONS

But back to the survey, it was interesting to note that the Internet marketing tactic that most people were eager to try or get more involved with was YouTube videos.  But even there there was some ambivalence as stated by one comment that said:  “I list YouTube as “least effective” and also “most likely to try” because I only have a few videos out there right now, and think that if I increase my video production (both in quality and quantity), that it could be a much-more-useful effort.”

Which brings me to my final thought:  whatever tactic(s) you choose, integrate it into your overall marketing objectives and commit to two or three tactics that you can really devote at least 30 minutes a day to and commit to doing it every day for 6 months.  Try and pick things like Facebook or Twitter if you ENJOY participating in social media.  If not, maybe blogging or participating in LinkedIn Groups is more your speed.  Whatever it is, find something that dovetails with your business objectives and that you understand and won’t mind doing.  Because with any Internet marketing services you choose to get involved with, you have to plunge in from the sidelines with both feet because it’s all pretty much a participation sport.

What’s been your favorite and least favorite Internet marketing strategies?  Please add your comment below.