I wasn't thinking about social networking until recently. In fact, I am still a little skeptical about social marketing (as it is advertised). I do believe in social networking, however, when done right.
So, what is wrong with social media when it comes down to doing business? I "think" most people perceive that social networking means to collect as many contacts as they possible can. In this perceived theory, it makes sense, kind of. For example, the more contacts I have in my social media network means a much larger audience.
However, if I learned anything while earning my marketing degree, it was to identify the target market. I think the question should be asked, who in my social network is in my targeted market? I am sure that number is quite small, but I do have some ideas to mitigate wasting time pretending I am networking via social channels.
One example would be to ask clients to conduct a survey on LinkedIn or Facebook (Company Page). This would be the truest form of social networking, and one of the ideas behind LinkedIn that I like.
All social media channels present the opportunity to be productive, when used correctly. So, if social media has not paid off for you, re-think who your contacts are and if they are in your identified target audience for the product you are marketing.