Facebook, Twitter, Google, WordPress, and YouTube are all free services. You can’t go to far on the Web without running into a free service or learning about the next best free thing to add to your social media marketing strategy.
Sometimes it is not quite free, but almost free by asking you to pay merely a few half dollars a month for a service.
From monetary standards, yes, these are all free, or relatively cheap, but don’t expect that adding these items to your plate won’t come at another cost: time. You can have access to a free or a $1 all-you-can-eat buffet, but you only have time, and room in your stomach, to consume a finite amount.
Before you start adding strategies and technology, sit down and map out how much time you think you will need to devote to checking statuses, updating, reading, responding, fixing broken logins, down sites, bad technology. Then double that amount of time you think it will take. Then triple it.
It takes time to learn and manage new technology and services. Add on what you and your team can handle. If you don’t manage the technology directly please consider your team’s current projects and discuss the resources necessary to implement something new. They might already be doing important stuff you aren’t aware of.
Need to make cuts? Quick tip: Don’t add something that doesn’t add value or solve a problem you don’t have. You have over a thousand active monthy customers visiting your Facebook page but only 2 Twitter followers? Either work on improving your use of Twitter or cut it. Use your time more effectively.
Is free good? Of course. If you have extra time and the resources add free marketing strategies. If you need to work extra hard for more business because times are tough, by all means use them. But be careful, make sure your eyes are not bigger than your stomach. Take on a little at a time and build up. After all, it is an all-you-can eat buffet. Once you have a great base and you can handle more free stuff, go back and add it on. Pace yourself as it is easy to take on a lot of services and technology and then wind up overwhelmed. (Also, don’t forget to consume slowly. Remember that it takes time for the stomach to notify the brain it is full.)
If you don’t have time to actively partake in social media strategies and do it well, you won’t be adding value to your customers or clients. Put effort in and the only way you can do that is by making sure you have enough time. You don’t need to, and you won’t have time to, do it all.