There is a lot of misconception on this aspect of social media. Many businesses plunged right into social media with the erroneous mentality that it is free. While it is true that all the main social networking sites are free, such thinking is wrong, and is similar to the mistake of viewing open source as not costing anything.
First of all, properly executing a social media strategy takes time. And you know what they say: Time is money. It also makes sense, in some cases, to support your social media plan with contests, giveaways and perhaps follow-up events. A parallel to an unsupported social media initiative is like installing an open source CMS and SQL Server and then expecting a working company-wide system to materialize.
There is no set template or formula to creating a social media strategy; the correct approach depends very much on the products and services sold by your company, as well as your objectives. With this in mind, our Paul Mah cut straight to the common denominators -- the truths about social media. For more on how to make the effort meet your company’s objectives, check out Paul's accompanying blog, Propel Your SMB Forward Using Social Media.