According to eMarketer, US companies using social media have spiked from 42% in 2008 to a whopping 80% this year.

Based on that, it looks as though just about everybody is jumping on the social media bandwagon. That’s great. But if you’re going to launch a social media campaign, you’ll need to understand the hidden costs associated with it.

With that in mind, we took a look at some of the hidden and not-so-hidden costs associated with running a social media campaign.

Here’s what we found:

Twitter: If you are looking to launch a new Twitter account, including both setup and outsourcing content creation, costs are on average $2,000-$4,000 per month. Already have a Twitter account, but looking to restructure it? Well, you are looking at a cost of $1,000-$2,500 per month. Not as cheap as you thought, huh? These costs can include tasks such as:

  • Monitoring for related keywords, then pushing links/tweets to those talking about relevant topics
  • Obtaining relevant followers
  • Consistent feed updates

Facebook: If you thought Twitter costs were high, take a look at Facebook! PR agencies charge an average $2,500-$5,000 per month with the highest amount reaching up to $9,000! Costs can involve content creation, analyzing and testing as well as other tasks such as:

  • Training
  • Running contests and notifications of new promotions
  • Status updates

Blog: Blogs can be a useful addition to your social marketing campaign and also relatively inexpensive depending on the components you are looking to include. Launching a blog from the ground-up can cost $1,000-$12,000 per month. A blog can include initial setup as well as outsourcing all content creation. Costs can also include additional tasks such as:

  • Blog postings
  • Monitoring and responding to user comments
  • SEO keyword research

Strategy: We are missing a very important component in these prices. Guess what? They don’t include strategy. Without objectives or a definitive game plan, it will be difficult for you to get anywhere with your social media marketing. Social media strategy has a wide range of costs, anywhere from $3,000-$20,000 per month with the average being $4,000-$7,000 per month.

Of course, there are various other social media platforms out there, such as Foursquare, Youtube, Linkedin, etc. However, your company doesn’t need to be on every social network. It’s best to focus on the most popular social sites in order to get the biggest bang for your buck instead of spreading yourself thin across numerous locations.

Also, prices vary based on the size of the business. Smaller businesses, such as the crème brulee man, can manage their Twitter account and other social media at little to no cost with high returns. However, larger companies, such as Best Buy and Starbucks, have more to lose with their social media platforms and must tread lightly.

Don’t let your social media campaign be a shot in the dark. Make the most out of the money that you have, but don’t underestimate the costs of effective social networking when building your budget.

For additional information about the real cost of social media, visit The Content Factory. For information on Social Media ROI, read “How to Calculate the ROI of a Social Media Campaign”  on the 60 Second Marketer blog.

Brittney Leigh Smith is a marketing analyst and a contributing writer for the 60 Second Marketer.