Free (adj) not subject to any burden or charge.
The Oxford English Dictionary definition is perfect for the likes of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & Pinterest.
The accepted wisdom is that you should ‘post’ at least three times a week, some say as much as 3 times a day! Each of these should be well thought out & strategically aligned to your marketing plan.
There is an argument that suggests the social media model is designed to attract larger businesses who can afford the resource. By sharing large quantities of data with the providers, big businesses return investors money in those providers who trade their data.
Time for the smaller business is a highly valuable resource. There is no doubt social media can bring great benefits but make sure you have a well thought out social media plan, fit activity around your schedule, align your time investment to the likely return & use the available tech to make life easier.
Above all successful marketing is blend & through testing, a re-blend of many channels. It’s about your brand being where your customers are with content that’s relevant to the context. Divide your marketing time accordingly & avoid social media becoming a time burden.