Sometimes, looking at things from a different perspective helps. Here are 4 ways to look at social media from a different perspective ... and none require the submission to go 'hot' to receive benefit.
Use it for:
1. Reputation Management - as my previous post on the subject (Reputation 50+ Posts to Help You Bury Negative Posts About You or Your Company ) suggests, by developing and building out profiles on numerous social media sites, you can often preempt negative posts about a person or company, so they never make it to the first page of the search results. You can also use it in a more reactionary way ... to bury existing negative posts about you or your company.
2. Generating Direct Backlinks - some social media sites offer dofollow links, so blog posts submitted to them actually generate good quality relevant links :).
3. Identifying and Reaching Key Influencers - as I blogged about previously Using Digg to Get TV, Newspaper, Radio, and Magazine Mentions . We've used this technique to get clients on each television, radio, in newspaper articles, magazine pieces, and even to get mentions by prominent sites, government agencies, and .edus. It works really well!
4. Attracting Additional Search Traffic - Often, submitting a blog post to a social media site will result in both the initial post and the portion on the social media site ranking for the given keyword(s). Change the title somewhat, and social media submissions can be used to target long tail keywords as I alluded to in this post Improving Search Traffic Using Social Media.
All in all ... like social media or loath it, it can benefit you! Enjoy, and happy socializing!