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(New York Times) — Myth 1: It’s Free Advertising:  There is a widely held perception that social media is free. But to do it right requires good strategy and an investment of staff time and giveaways and advertising to build and keep a following. SocialTimes released an info graphic in May that pegged the average cost of a social media campaign at $210,000. Those numbers are for some bigger brand campaigns, but even scaled down, it can require a chunk of change. And if it’s not free, does it still make sense for your business to be using it as a tool?  Most small companies have limited budgets and should evaluate social media with the same rigor they would other marketing tools. Tending the social media garden takes lots of time. And, time is money, whether you do it yourself or pay someone to do it. It’s like saying it’s free to install your own kitchen cabinets. It’s not.

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