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There’s a legitimate concern when marketing your business through social media that you will overstep your bounds and actually turn off users while you’re trying to attract them. Remember, in today’s climate, people don’t trust and simply don’t like salesmen.

Rachel King reports this was a hot topic at SugarCon 2013 over at ZDnet. Mathew Sweezey, a so-called “marketing evangelist”, had some suggestions to keep you from becoming creepy in your sales pitch to consumers. They could be of value when diagnosing your current social media philosophy. Of note, Sweezey doesn’t believe in connecting with consumers through Facebook because he feels it is more of a private, personal community than Twitter or LinkedIn. There could be some debate on that point, but at the very least you should approach users differently on different social media platforms.

I’ve written before about the hidden cost of social media marketing. While Facebook, Twitter and the like are all free to use, their is the inherent cost of your time to keep your online presence where you want it.

Heather Clancy, of ZDNet, now reports that managing social media for small or midsize businesses often costs hundreds of dollars per month for tools or for outsourced manpower.

Clancy’s report is based on research done by Duct Tape Marketing, who’s creator, John Jantsch, attributes the findings to business owners’ realization that social media is “an essential element of the marketing mix.”

Despite spending nearly $1000 per month on social media, almost all responding business owners said their online presence has “somewhat helped” or “helped a great deal”.

It appears social media has joined the ranks of print, radio or TV ads. It’s a pay to play system, so you’d better be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.