It's important to understand and know what is best for you and your blog, when you start blogging and invest your valuable time writing for your blog, you want good return over the time you have invested. The way you will gain your profits is by getting more and more visitors to your blog. Now which is a better way to gain visitors social media or search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and other.
Social media traffic - Positive side:
• It can bring huge amount of traffic to a blog or website in a very little amount of time.
• Your blog get exposure to new visitors, readers and advertisers.
• It also gives you rise in your revenue sometimes.
• A popular story on Digg, Stumbleupon or Reddit makes people link your story with their blog or bookmark in other social media websites like Delicious, Netscape and more, which helps in creating backlinks to your blog.
Social media traffic - Negative side:
• To bring traffic from social media you need a network of friends active in social media which demands lot of time investment, it completely depends on you if you want to invest your time to build a network in social media.
• Social media traffic is not reliable because some day you might get peak in traffic and the other day you might get nothing also social media will only give you traffic until your post is popular and visible to mass audience.
• Don't expect social media traffic to click on anything else on your page, majority of traffic will not even bother visiting any other web page of your blog which will lead to high bounce rate of your blog.
• Eats up lot of bandwidth with almost nothing in return other than lot of page impressions and large spike in increased traffic.
Organic Search engine traffic:
• Search engine traffic provides targeted traffic to your blog, your visitors will look for more similar stuff on your blog if they like your posts and also will subscribe to your blog and more over spend time on it, all these factors will result in low bounce rate of your blog.
• Gives you a moderate traffic but the traffic is steady and you will not face ups and downs in your traffic unlike social media traffic.
• Search engine traffic pays you in long run.
• Money makers: Search engine visitors are those visitors who come to your blog looking for something that they really want and if there is something you have which is useful to them then they would even won’t mind paying money to get it.
Social media has evolved as a very powerful tool in recent times and the traffic from social media is very tempting to every one and to achieve that level of traffic people don't mind spending hours getting their story voted by others to make it popular.
I can only say that both the channels have their own power and importance in blog promotion. I prefer search engine traffic over social media traffic but also I like sharing some unique and interesting stuff with my social media friends once in a while because it also keeps my blog visible in social media also.
You can't just focus on either one of the channel's because you will be missing out on potential visitors from the other channel, so it's ideal to manage social media and search engines on regular basis and you can do this by optimizing your blog regularly for search engines and also chipping some posts for social media freaks to gain benefits from all the available resources available to generate traffic.