The folks at Focus put out this infographic, sharing actual data on the cost, benefit and return on investment of social media. I appreciate the fact that they approximate the hours spent to manage the medium and even provide a cost to benefit ratio for top brands utilizing social media. Did you know the average monthly value of a Twitter follower is $2.38 while the monthly cost to keep them is $1.67. Not a bad tweturn on investment!
Too many people see social media as free. Given the amount of mediums the average marketer has to manage, the limited resources, the ineffectiveness of tools and the segmentation of the market – there is absolutely a cost to social media. That said, there's also an incredible opportunity to capture market share by engaging prospects and customers via social media – especially when your competition hasn't!