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.

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