Just read this great article called "Low-cost options for social media branding" on my daily iMedia Connection email and had to leave a comment.It definitely clears up one of the common misconceptions about this and other forms of Web 2.0 marketing, which is that it takes a complicated and expensive first step to get involved and realize marketing benefits.
I'll include the comment I posted to the article first, and then provide the link to the original one below.
"Tom - GREAT article. I lead the digital marketing efforts at my agency, and I have tried to explain to clients and prospects that you can use baby steps to experiment with social media marketing. And once you get a small taste of the positive results that you cite, it becomes a lot easier to find money and support to expand these efforts. Your tips are so simple and low-cost, and definitely effective. Besides being able to communicate your brand positioning to this very talkative social media audience, you also get to RECEIVE information. Valuable stuff, like feedback on existing or planned products. When you think of the costs of running a survey, these relatively smaller social media marketing costs don't seem so big any more, do they?! --Ken"
Read Tom's posting entitled Low-cost options for social media branding.