By Joyce Sunila

Despite the constant buzz about social media, Internet marketers worldwide are starting to sour on it. Facebook, Twitter, and the like may be great for celebrities, political movements, TV shows, trendy retailers, and kids’ social lives, but the vast majority of businesses (small or mid-size and relatively obscure) can’t make it work.Practice Pointers

A recent study from Econsultancy and Adobe found that in 2013, smart-money Internet marketers will be putting social media on the back burner and betting on content to lure consumers and increase sales.

I was glad to see the value of content (website copy, e- newsletters, and e-blasts) confirmed. Why? Because content marketing is what I do! I’ve been doing it for 8 years, and I regard it as the cornerstone of Internet communication. I’ve never strayed from it.

Well, almost never.

I did dabble in some Pinterest Boards for a hot minute. I posted photos of women who were looking fabulous in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond. My idea was to become the observer par excellence of exceptional aging. Once people saw my inspiring boards, I’d be just a few steps away from owning some serious marketing leverage.

I’d link the boards to a bunch of other social media sites, everybody would see them, and before you could say “90 is the new 60,” I’d be the leading expert on growing old with style. This would attract the attention of my target market of cosmetic surgeons, dermatologists, and medspas, who would deliriously pursue me, begging me to provide the content for their e-newsletters.

As you can imagine, it didn’t work out quite so well. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really nail down how to make that viral thing happen. And until and unless my boards went viral I was just—pardon the expression—pissing in the wind. Meanwhile, I was taking a boatload of time away from other productive tasks.

So my Pinterest boards eventually languished. I went back to my old standbys: direct mail, e-newsletters, publishing in Plastic Surgery Practice, and—most important—lavishing time on my existing clients.

If you’ve been scratching your head about the time you spend answering questions on Facebook, wondering whether it’s paying off, check out the Econsultancy study. Sometimes the big thing is OK for other businesses, but not the right fit for you.

About the Author

Joyce Sunila is the president of Practice Helpers, providing e-newsletters, blogs, and social media services to aesthetic practices. You can contact Joyce at or visit the Practice Helpers Web site at