The research by ES Research Group is summarized on the Referral Key Small Business Blog. Simply put, the results imply that social networking sites don't help close sales.
Will this be a controversial study or will it be discredited and then completely ignored after a couple days?
- Some people in social media are going to disagree because they are using it very successfully, although not necessarily as a sales tool.
- Some people are going to be disappointed that social media isn't the answer to all their sales and marketing problems.
- And some people will ignore it because they are having waaayyy too much fun with the new media to care what anyone else thinks.
I admit, the study really doesn't say "have a clear purpose." I say it. This survey and the reaction from other technology bloggers such as Jessica Tsai remind me to emphasize to you that social networking is still very much like in-person networking:
It's not about selling, it's about developing relationships. And if you're not clear about your purpose for networking, it's going to be a big waste of time.