Learning the Network
How long did it take you to learn how to optimize your use of the social network? Many people spend money on books, ebooks or courses to learn how to more effectively use the social networks they belong to. That's a cost you'll want to take into account. Most computer books cost between $15 and $30.
Let's take the low road and assume you spent $20 on average for each social networking guidebook. We'll only discuss the main venues: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Right there, you have four social networks. If you also maintain a presence on MySpace, that brings the total to five, and if you only bought one book for each network, that's $100 already.
Most likely, you did not let the book sit on your shelf and collect dust. Instead, you read through each book, taking careful note of each tip. The average length of each book is, say, 200 pages. Because you were trying to learn the material well enough to implement it, your reading speed was only about 40 pages an hour, at the low-end of the average reading speed. For 1,000 pages (the total number of pages in all five books), it took approximately 25 hours to work through all the information. If you make $20 an hour, that's $500. If you make $50 an hour, that's $1250. If you make $100 an hour, that's $2500.
Already, you've spent a significant amount of money just on learning how to use the network. That figure is between $600 and $2600 depending upon your hourly rate.