The importance of balancing traditional marketing with social media marketing has never been more important to the small business owner than it is today.

While sites like Facebook may not generate the fast track ROI that Google Adwords or Traditional media – you can actually interact with the users on the other side of the screen. You can poke, play, respond and invite without cost and actually engage the user. While this may be time consuming, the investment will pay off.

With traditional marketing, online or offline, you see a 1%-3% acquisition rate and you are making money – but if you have to pay to put your message in front of 100 users and pay for their “click” to close one sale, what is your cost of acquisition?

At $1 a click – it is $100. If you invest 15 minutes communicating with people on facebook and can develop a relationship with one user that turns into a customer, you net value for your time is $400 an hour. You only invested 15 mins and got the same value as spending $100 on clicks. . . so you need to do the math.

Your cost of acquisition is your 15 minutes of time. . . how much time to you waste talking to people that will never become customers? I spend that much time every week just answering and hanging up on robo calls.

Traditional media takes time, you have to create top of mind awareness – depending on how deep the category is with competitors, this can take thousands of dollars and years to achieve. Social media is instant, in expensive or free, and your competitors are likely not using it! Social media is underutilized by businesses across the world, not just in your local neighborhood. You are not the 7th commercial in a break on TV or radio, you are not surrounded by other ads in print, you can send the prospect directly to your site for purchase or close them while in social media, book the appointment with them and get your sale!

Business owners and entrepreneurs should also consider hiring someone to manage their social media profiles if they do not have the time or inclination – if you hate social media do not ignore it, your competitors will figure out that you are weak and exploit your weakness. Outsourcing your social media work to a 3rd party can free up valuable time for you to run your business. If budget is a concern when things are tight, consider a bank loan to jump start your online and social media marketing budget. For quick funding for businesses, a Kabbage business loan can help fill the gap as your business grows. Do not ignore the obvious prospects – one in every two Americans is on Facebook – that is 50% of the population. There are even over 30K deceased people on Facebook! How many people do you need to reach to make a difference in your business growth trend line? You can also target 15% of the country on Twitter simply by getting involved. You can also turn to LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube and a variety of other social platforms to get your message out to the masses at little or no cost beyond your time. If you do not have the time, outsource it! Get an intern, a temp hire, a marketing firm or that relative of yours that is always looking for a handout and make them work for it!

Getting involved on social media is a necessity today, not an option.