Why break out of your marketing routine to delve into social media? The main reason to get social is this marketing medium’s incredibly low cost.

But just how low can social media go? The major social media platforms — from Twitter and Facebook to LinkedIn and YouTube — have no cost associated with their setup and general use for businesses or consumers. They also have excellent reach. Marketing doesn’t get much more cost-effective (or have a better ROI) than this.

Bigger Reach, Lower Cost

The one cost associated with posting to social media, however, is anything you may pay an employee to post information and photos to your social channels, and reply to comments. Time is, of course, money.

But if, for example, you pay an employee $15 an hour and they work five hours a week on your social media program, that cost will equate to $75 a week. That’s $300 a month and $3,600 a year.

Compared with traditional print newspaper advertising, which can cost anywhere from $500 to $800 for a ¼ page ad run one time only, social media delivers real bang for your buck.

Wondering if five hours per week is enough? A full five hours of work per week on your social media marketing will likely be enough for any business launching into this medium. Here are four tips for making the most of your employee’s social time.

Social Specifics: 4 Get-Started Tips

1. Get Set Up: Have your employee spend their first week’s five hours setting up the social media channels of your choice. If you choose just one (which is a great start), your best bet will be Facebook. It has excellent reach and local targeting abilities. Your employee will need the time to create a Facebook page and upload relevant photos to create your page’s look and profile.

2. Make A Plan: During week #2, ask your employee to make a proposed posting schedule for your review. A great start is to aim to post three times a week on your Facebook page. For consistency, you could choose to post under certain categories on the same day each week, such as Style Tips, Eye Health Information, and New Products.

3. Reach Out: Ask your social media employee to also contact your frame, lens, and contact lens buyers to get information on (and pictures of) your newest, most exciting products. Providing information on enticing new products will help drive patients in your door and assist your staff with talking points.

4. Make Friends: Having “Likes” (aka Friends) to your Facebook page will ensure its success. After your social media point employee sets up your business page, ask them to invite people to “Like” the page. Facebook makes this easy by tapping into your email address list, filtering it down to those addresses that also have a Facebook page, and enabling you to send them an invitation to like your page.

Would you like to learn more — and join the conversation on this important topic? Start a conversation below.