Small Businesses Want to Outsource Social Media—But Can’t Afford It -
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Small Businesses Want to Outsource Social Media—But Can’t Afford It
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As you spend what seems like hours a day monitoring your business’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, do you dream of outsourcing your social media marketing to someone else? You’re not alone. Small business owners want to get outside help managing their social media marketing efforts, but typically don’t because they can’t afford it, according to a recent study.

“Outsourcing Activities in the Small Business World” found that small business owners are more likely to outsource costlier marketing activities that are less related to their core business—such as TV and radio—than less costly activities such as social media or email newsletters. For example, 40 percent outsource TV and radio, compared to just 3 percent who outsource social media.

Nonetheless, for every type of marketing activity, the study found that there’s a gap between the percentage of small business owners who wish they could outsource that activity and the percentage who actually do so.

The biggest gap was in social media: 19 percent of survey respondents would like to outsource it, but just 3 percent do. By comparison, 40 percent outsource TV and radio ads (51 percent would like to do so); 35 percent outsource search engine optimization (50 percent would like to); 23 percent outsource online banner ads (34 percent would like to); 22 percent outsource their website management (31 percent would like to) and 20 percent outsource local print advertising (32 percent would like to).

So why aren’t small business owners outsourcing social media? The most common response (36 percent) was that they can’t afford it, while just 6 percent said they can’t find a good resource to outsource it to.

But when you’re considering the costs of outsourcing, don’t forget that time is money. When asked to add up how much time they and their staffs spent on marketing per week, the average small business owners estimated 33 hours. That’s almost a full-time job for someone—and if your staff is small, the value of getting some of that time back could be extensive. In fact, small business owners in the survey weighted the value of getting just one extra hour in a day at an average of.

Could you gain $273 in value by outsourcing some of your marketing activities? Instead of assuming you “can’t afford” to outsource, sit down and consider what marketing activities you truly excel at, enjoy and have the staff to handle. If there are areas where you’re struggling to succeed, putting off marketing because you just don’t like doing it, or simply don’t have anyone qualified on staff, budgeting even a small amount to bring in expert help could pay off in far more than you’re spending.

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Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+ and, and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.
Rieva Lesonsky

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