If the social sites were isolated I would comfortably ignore them as a waste of time. Unfortunately, search engines are convinced there is signal to be had on social networks (in spite of how easy they are to game with promotions).
If I wasn't super busy I would run one such promotion to prove my point, but I am already drowning in email.

If the social sites were isolated I would comfortably ignore them as a waste of time. Unfortunately, search engines are convinced there is signal to be had on social networks (in spite of how easy they are to game with promotions).
If I wasn't super busy I would run one such promotion to prove my point, but I am already drowning in email.

Bing + Facebook
Bing is pushing Facebook integration everywhere. TV ads, on the search results, etc.

"Open" Cultural Revolution
Shortly after gutting RSS & making authentication harder (to lock down their "open" platform) Twitter announced they were going to test in-stream ads & turned on sending out automated email spam.
Awesome.

How valuable is that email? How about "not at all" for $500 Alex?
I think Fantomaster is brilliant, but I would much rather read one of his blog posts that dozens or hundreds of Tweets. Sure knowing that 9,000 might have saw a message can be comforting, but 1 blog post will get you way more views (and with far deeper context & meaning).

How to Test the Value of Social Media
Want to see big numbers get small quickly? Try charging anything...as little as $1 & you will quickly see that social media is mostly garbage. Alternatively, try giving away $5 or paying for the in-stream ads that directly manipulate relevancy & once again you will see how worthless social media is as a signal...something that anyone can quickly buy.
Even scientists (who typically pursue the truth even if it is uncomfortable) are considering investing in manipulating their online reputation:

Online reputation is important to most researchers, and about 10% of respondents to our survey complained that they or their work have been misrepresented on the Internet. The web has a long memory, and rumours, lies and bad information can spiral out of control to be remembered by posterity.
SEO Blog

It always makes sense with Aaron Wall, great article