Online social media tools are completely free and users have the opportunity to join virtual communities in no time and at no cost. In the case of companies, the situation is a bit ‘different: registration is still, even for businesses, absolutely free and fast, but companies that want to use social media for marketing must still bear costs to allow the use of these tools gives the desired results; the costs to be incurred may vary by type and entity.

Companies are free to choose the way they want to use social media: using low-cost social media marketing is absolutely possible and with little money, for example to buy a computer or to record an amateur video from share on YouTube, a business can afford to be online and share content with users. However, in order to be truly competitive, the company must equip itself with a solid and competent operating structure, both in the case in which it exploits social media for individual advertising campaigns, and in the case of continued management over time of social tools. To make this possible,

The first costs that the company is required to support are those related to the organization of a staff dedicated to the management of social media consisting of experts in new media, advertising graphics or PR, as well as an experienced manager able to set a winning strategy . Both in the case of external consultants and a division within the company, these costs relating to employees must not be underestimated before choosing to use social media: on average, Italian companies dedicate 1.6 employees to the management of social media.

Other important costs are those incurred for large advertising campaignsthrough channels like YouTube: it is not important how much it cost the creation of a video published on YouTube to become the protagonist of a fast and viral sharing among online users, but some companies choose to make videos in a professional manner through specialized recording studios. The costs related to the creation of such videos may vary according to the needs of the company: a strategy could be that of not buying advertising space on television to make advertising videos to be shared online, supporting costs that are however considerable but lower than those that would be incurred using traditional communication channels. Advertising campaigns that are launched through social media can also involve costs,

Some companies incur costs to allow their employees to take external specialization courses on social media or to organize one internally, in order to have the opportunity to use trained and specialized personnel. Moreover, social media are in any case tools that refer to information technology and, for their use, computers and internet connection are therefore necessary, which entail a basic cost to be sustained always and in any case.

Finally, there are IT tools that can monitor the activity of their users on social media and provide statistics that can inform the company about the results obtained from social media marketing and, these tools, generally involve costs for the company . Some software also allow you to control what users say about their company within social media, to get more effective results, fast and accurate than those that could be obtained by searching for feedback manually, channel by channel. Additional costs must be borne by companies that decide to take advantage of advertising within social media .