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One reason that a lot of people have taken to social media marketing is that blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other tools of social media are all free. But are they really? They take time and this is a valuable resource for all of us. While it is possible to launch an all-out social media campaign with all these tools, anybody who has tried it knows that for the campaign to be really effective, it will be really time consuming. Facebook updates, responding to comments in a meaningful way, frequent tweets, building a network and finding fans and followers are all in direct relation to the time spent building links.

An old marketing lesson but well worth remembering in the social media context is: know your market. Do not set out to create a presence on all the tools out there. Find the one that is most meaningful for your product or service and give it a defined amount of time everyday. If the demographic you seek does not use Twitter, do not use it just to stay abreast with other businesses. If you find that a good website with solid information is what brings in most of your customers, focus on that and do not waste your resources on three or four other parallel directions.

Sometimes there is a great temptation to do something because it is there. Social media’s ease of use and the widespread buzz tends to cloud issues and make it seem imperative that small businesses have to dive in head first into Web 2.0.  Social media gurus add to the mix and talk about needing multiple points of contact with your customers. While there is merit to this argument in some cases, it is still possible to conduct an effective marketing campaign one platform at a time. So, pick one that makes sense for your business and give it a good shot!