Small businesses are slowly discovering that there are cheap, efficient ways to advertise. While big companies pour zillions of dollars into television, newspapers and billboards, small businesses are turning to the social media to spread the word – and to spread the word cheaply.As just about everyone who will read this article on the internet knows, the so-called ‘social media’ are attracting more and more eyeballs, as people communicate easily and quickly using Facebook, Twitter and their cousins. Both on their cellphones and on their computers — both desktop and laptop — people are finding each other and chatting everywhere and often. Some people use these outlets to communicate with family and old friends. Others find new people all over the world to meet and greet. There are even some writers who are saying that the old standard – email – is fast disappearing as a part of social lives because of the success of the social media.As users of the new social media can testify, there are also other people who have discovered their new toy. There are many advertisers on these systems. When it comes to email, the word ‘spam’ has become popular to describe advertisers who do not seem to know when to quit. Well, just as advertisers learned to spam email, advertisers are also spamming the social media.One of the major differences between email spammers and social media spammers is that small business can afford social media spamming much more readily than email spamming. For that reason, small businesses are gradually learning how to maximize their presence in this new venue.No one needs to cite statistics to explain that traditional advertising is expensive. It costs a great deal to place an ad of any size in newspapers. It costs more to have a blurb on television. Billboards are up there near the top in costs. For this reason, these traditional outlets have been used mostly by large corporations and businesses.Spam email costs less than the traditional media cited above. But it costs quite a bit. To design and disburse a message over email requires a surprising amount of money. Maybe the costs of email are not at the top of the list. But it does costs. If you actually still use email, check your inbox. You will see that just about all the spammy stuff is sponsored by big companies. Mom and pop outfits cannot afford to be in this competition.But the costs of advertising over the new social media is quite small. There are many programs available for less than $100 which will send messages over the social media to hundreds and thousands of readers. Some of these low cost programs can even spread their messages over limited geographical areas. Let us say you want to send an advertising message only to twitterers in Chicago. Piece of cake. With an investment of less than a hundred dollars, just a few hours preparation time on the net and a few clicks, a smart advertisers can have all Twitterers in Chicago know where to find the best pizza in town.Small business owners do not usually have a lot of spare time or money to devote to internet and computer things. And very few of them are handy at the computer keyboard. But if they can crack the very simple mystery of working the social media they can bring their businesses into the twenty-first century and have lots of budget left over for another day.