One of the big reasons why social media can be so appealing to small businesses is because many of these tools/sites are free or very cheap to use.  Which is perfect for small businesses that probably have very little in the way of a marketing budget to begin with.  But there are still costs to consider when launching a social media strategy.

I'm often asked 'how much time a day should I spend on blogging?'  It depends.  If you want, you can probably get away with spending 30 mins a day on your blogging efforts.  They might not be that effective, but you'll be blogging.  But like so many things in life, the more time and effort you invest in your social media and blogging efforts, the better your results.

Take this graph of my blog's traffic for the last 12 months, for example:


Notice in the 7th and 8th month that traffic slipped, then suddenly shot up again in the next month, and has continued to increase.  What changed?  In the 9th month, I started spending a lot more time interacting with people on Plurk.  Since then, I've also started spending a lot more time on Twitter as well. 

The point is, while it might not cost a lot to get your social media efforts off the ground, you still need to make a time investment.  And the more time you can invest, the better your results.  Don't enter into the social media space unless you can commit to being here for the long haul, and unless you can commit the time that this space requires.  If you can't invest hours at first, then start slowly, and as you get more accustomed to these sites and tools, and as your efforts improve, then devote more time.  I was talking last week to a guy that spends a lot of time on Twitter and he explained that he could justify spending more time there, because he's starting to see results from his efforts.

I think you'll see the same, if you can commit to spending time on your social media efforts. 

October 29, 2008

Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, and in that time, has helped advise, teach and consult with businesses of all shapes and sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites. While being passionate about the social media space, what truly excites Mack is the human connections that can result from the proper use of these social tools. His motto is "Don't focus on the tools, focus on the connections that the tools help facilitate." His goal is to help his clients create those connections with their customers, and nuture them into relationships that help grow their bottom line.

His social media 'homebase' is The Viral Garden, which in 3 years time Mack has grown into an influential marketing/social media blog with a monthly readership of over 175,000. He is also a frequent contributor to the website Marketing Profs, as well as the marketing blog Daily Fix, and small business blog Search Engine Guide. His writings have been referenced in several mainstream publications and websites, including The Washington Post,, Ad Age, CNET, and The Boston Globe.

Mack is also a requested speaker and has presented at some of the top social media conferences and events, including South By Southwest Interactive, Marketing Profs Digital Marketing Mixer, and Small Business Marketing Unleashed. He is also passionate about teaching companies how to use social media sites and tools more effectively, and offers training and seminars privately to companies, in addition to his public speaking schedule.

You can learn more information about Mack's social media training and consulting services here. If you need a social media speaker for your event, or want to know where Mack will be speaking next, click here. If you want to email Mack, click here.

Mack wrote this bio. The third-person thingie is just for fun.


Those were some very interesting stats. Gives me concrete evidence of how my "procrastinating" efforts pay off...and how my true efforts will be effective.

I would also say that rather than worry about how much time I should spend blogging, I would be more intentional about my own networking efforts. One tip I found (from someone's blog, of course), was to set aside a content creation day. I can't literally do that, but it did inspire me with the idea to set a schedule. The key, then, is to keep that schedule. Even tho the prescribed schedule isn't public, it does help me be consistent as well as project consistency.

Really good post. Craig's List is a very effective advertising venue for our business, and lots of other apartment folks use it too. The listing is free, however it is far form free. In order to have successful ads, there must be good copy and content, and many folks aren't very good at that. There must be great photography, which doesn't just happen. A strange point here is, a marketing executive in our industry doesn't blink an eye at spending a lot of dough on prints ads and rental classified ads, (that don't really work, but are easy to do by calling the agency) but will have the property manager, who has no experience at writing copy or taking photos place the Craig's list ads, because those are free.

I think Social Media is much like that as well. If you can't expend the resources, the result will be reflective of that.

It's completely true. Social Media it's all about PARTICIPATION. Of course that you need to participate in a quality way : spamming is out of the question, small talk and things like please follow me or thank you for following me will not do you any good. If you'll get involved and you'll provide good posts and good links, you'll get followers and more traffic to your website or blog.

Thank you

That is pretty interesting. And I was quizzical when you said "not free" but I see you meant it takes a significant time investment. Which it does and in some respects one should look at it like a full time job. I know it is my dream to one day quit my job and do it full time!

John from antivirus 360 removal

Comments closed after 30 days to combat spam.

Search Engine Guide > Mack Collier > Social Media Can Be Cheap, But Its Not Free