Yes, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Live Journal and most other social media and blogging tools are free to use. But the resources required for a company to make these tools effective can be costly. Perhaps a social media program is less expensive than conventional media, and certainly cheaper when compared to buying television time or placing ads in major publications. But at the end of the day, to hire professionals (see Myth No. 3) and run a successful program will require a significant investment.
You will need to build or adjust your site to incorporate social media elements that allow for interactivity and user-generated content. Even free software like WordPress will require a skilled hand to incorporate your company’s branding. At minimum you may need to create a micro site that can become the center for your company’s online community along with some applications to help distribute the content to networking groups like Flickr, Yandex Fotki, Twitter, Facebook or Vkontakte. Add more complex functions, and your programming and design costs can escalate further. And, of course, the ongoing content development, group interaction, promotional campaigns and overall maintenance costs will continue indefinitely.
That is why it is so important to plan your strategy carefully before jumping into the deep end of the social media marketing pool – which brings us to Myth No.5 "In Social Media Marketing, One Size Fits All".