Myth Buster: Social Media is Free

Many individuals who are just getting into the game of social media have heard social media is free or cheap due to the fact that many platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are free to sign up for and maintain on a daily basis. Free to sign-up, but not exactly free to maintain.

“A significant 58% of marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more each week and 34% are 11 or more hours weekly. It’s interesting to note that 15% of marketers spend more than 20 hours each week on social media.” (2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Social Media Examiner)

As the old adage says, “time is money” and time is not free. Marketers who want to increase brand awareness and engagement do not spend just 10 minutes here or there Tweeting and posting. They take the time to listen to what people are saying regarding their brand, what the competition is saying, what consumers are saying regarding the competition, and more. Then they take the time to respond, question, and comment in a relevant manner.

“Those with more years of social media experience spend more time each week conducting social media activities. For example, 63% of people with 3 or more years of experience spend more than 10 hours a week doing social media activities.Only 41% of those with 1 to 3 years experience spend that much time.” (2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, Social Media Examiner)

Conversation in social media is not an overnight success like winning the lottery. It takes time, effort, and in turn money, spent on the people who “manage” the brand online. Those with experience in digital marketing realize the more time and effort spend in social, the greater the reward. Newbies, take note.

This was post was originally written for Socialnomics.