This post follows on from a post that I wrote a couple of weeks ago called Social Media: Are you a chicken or a pig? and expands on part of a list post that I wrote back in June called Social Media for My Business: 16 Lessons Learnt so Far, where I talked about some of the things that I had learnt on my journey over the last few months.
Going over the rest of the lessons, I noticed that some of them naturally bunch together but today I want to talk just one of the lessons that is about the ‘free’ nature of the social web and what I have learnt.
The lesson that I want to expand on today is:
- It doesn’t have to be expensive – most of the social tools on the internet, at their basic level, are free. This is true. There are many tools around the social media environment that are free to use whether you are a blogger, user of facebook, a member of the twitterati, Linked In or other social sites.
However, what I have learnt and the point I wanted to make today is that although many of the social media tools that are available are free. Social media itself is not free.
Just because something doesn’t cost us any money doesn’t mean that it is free. There is a cost of learning about a new system, there is a cost of coming up with the appropriate strategy, there is a cost of generating ideas for content, there is a cost of generating content and optimising it for distribution and there is a cost of monitoring results. There is even a cost of networking, commenting and connecting with other people.
As business owners, we need to be careful that we monitor the time and effort that goes into areas that can seem like they are free. Why? Because, they come with an opportunity cost. What else could you be using that time and effort to accomplish? Do you understand the true cost to your business? Have you factored that into your marketing RoI calculations?
Thanks to spiders for the image.