Social media is definitely the big thing in the marketing world. It hasn’t lost any of its luster. It’s the new shiny tool and everybody wants a piece. In all honesty, if I want to drive blog traffic in an easy way, all I have to do is put “social media” somewhere in the title and I’m almost guaranteed at least a few hits. The new world of Web 2.0 marketing, Facebook liking and Twitter following is enamoring. It’s a tidal wave of innovation that one can’t help but get caught up in.

Social media is what all the cool kids are doing.

We spend all of our time reading up on the latest trends, comment on blogs, post our own and find as many people we can to mention in our weekly Follow Friday. We rally for fans and make extremely good friends and contacts along the way. You start the process at 8am and WHAM it’s already lunch. In the blink of the eye. Time flies when you’re having fun right? I mean look at you! You wrote a lot of blogs, commented on several others and got an extra few fans and followers for your brand.

However, this is a false sense of productivity. My friend Christian Russell posted an excellent write-up about the false sense of accomplishment that social media will give us. Sure we got a lot done as far as the number of things read and the amount of things written. However, how much of that effort went into providing something of value for our business?

The time suck of social media can eat us all alive. If you have Tweetdeck, the tiny notification block at the top of your screen can distract you from the most important of tasks. “I got a mention? I need to check this out!” We blow off our legitimately more important tasks to do things that feel more important than they really are.

I speak as a fellow guilty (yet currently reforming) party. Social media is not an easy style of marketing and is super effective. However, I challenge everyone (including myself) to not become so social media savvy that we become utterly useless at anything else. Social media isn’t a replacement for traditional marketing. It’s a supplement to it. Once the luster wears off, your social media “expertise” will eventually go down in value. That’s why it’s important to not blow off other things.

Social media is work but there is other real work being done out there and rendering real results. Avoid the social media time suck. Get out there and do something!