7 Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing on Small Businesses

disadvantages of social media on small businesses
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Not every business owner believes social media has a downside to the success of their businesses. But trust me, the good buzz always comes with implications. Sadly, only a few business owners take this as a big deal. So, how do you settle the disadvantages of social media marketing in business?

Social media marketing has helped individuals grow their businesses from scratch. It is an important marketing strategy that has helped business owners create and promote brand awareness on social media over the years. 

In fact, since 2019, after the terrible outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, the use of social media for e-commerce and other marketing activities skyrocketed to its apex.

According to the team, Maybe, over 88% of businesses now operate online, with more startups making the benchmark. Certainly not for chit-chatting.  Social media has created an easy and seamless platform for brand development and marketing.

However, there is a downside to this equation as many business owners tend to overly depend on social media, hence missing out on all-around business growth and development. 

First,  is the challenge of businesses with low authority spending all their revenues on ads and getting little or no leads. Then the long wait time for leads to convert. This is just one of the numerous disadvantages of social media marketing on small businesses.

To strike a good balance, in this article, we shall be discussing the disadvantages of Social media marketing for small businesses and what you can do to get it right. So without much ado, let’s dive right in.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to create awareness about your product or services. 

With this marketing strategy, businesses can connect to millions of people interested in their services or products just by setting up a digital store.

While this is a strategic selling point for small businesses, social media marketing if not rightly structured can affect the survival of your small business in different ways.

5 Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing For Small Businesses

Here are some disadvantages of social media marketing on small businesses:

  1. Negative reviews and Feedbacks
  2. Low ROI
  3. Time-Consuming
  4. The Need To  Engage And be  Active
  5. Difficult To Measure
  6. Risk of privacy issue Limited
  7. Cost breakdown – Ad intensive

1. Negative Reviews or Feedback

One of the top disadvantages of social media marketing in small businesses is the occurrence of negative reviews. As you know, social media is open to everyone and anyone. This means you can not control how people interact or react to the content you post on your channels. 

Anyone can write or comment on anything online and tag your brand. We all know how fast news spreads on social media, and with negative talks, like wildfire—this could ruin your brand’s reputation. No brand is spared from this one‌ not even small business owners are spared. 

2. Time-consuming

Speaking of disadvantages of social media marketing, Time-consumption is a major downside. Just because social media is free doesn’t translate to an easy-to-use platform. 

Imagine setting up accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to promote your business. Navigating through these platforms to engage with your audience and then creating content to keep them updated takes time and lots of effort.

The tedious process of implementing social media marketing strategy takes so much time that should be channeled into other marketing techniques like SEO and SEO.

This is one disadvantage of social media marketing that small businesses have to struggle with—Because time is money.

Although, some big businesses use low-cost social media marketing tools for easy and quick navigation. This doesn’t eliminate the fact that they are time-consuming.

3. Disadvantages of Social Media MarketingLow ROI

Low ROI is another drawback of social media for small businesses. The ROI from social media marketing is one of the least when compared to the time and effort it takes to set everything up.

Think about it, for social media geeks, you ensure maximum and consistent engagement level so your content doesn’t get swallowed in the sea. Imagine doing the same repeatedly only to get probably only to get a little traction here and maybe nothing there. 

Sometimes, you spend so much time creating content only to send it out there and the metrics are zero. Most times, you’ll get just a few of your die-hard fans liking or sharing your post, while some other times, you get none.

The time and effort spent yield very low ROI and it can be frustrating.

4. The Need To Engage And be Active

The truth is if you don’t treat your social media platforms, say Instagram or Facebook like you would treat a close pal, you’ll probably regret creating an account. 

Also, if your audience is left without constant updates from your checkup, chances are they quickly switch to follow trending brands – you can’t blame them even.

5. Hard To Measure

And there comes the stress of measuring your performance on social media. As easy as it sounds, this is somewhat a complicated aspect of social media marketing.

This social media marketing con is one every small business owner must consider before considering whether to embark on this journey. 

First, you make a post and it’s getting so many likes and reposts, then you make another, and you don’t get any of those—you are wondering what is going on. 

Everything is just so over the place—then confusion sets in. You just keep trying the waters and changing patterns. That’s the real deal of social media marketing, by the way. 

6. Disadvantages of Social Media MarketingRisk of privacy issue Limited 

This list will not be complete without mentioning the privacy issues associated with social media. This is one of the biggest disadvantages of social media marketing to small businesses.

Because you want to use social media to increase your brand awareness, the norm is to provide as many details about your brand as possible. You would have to create a business page linked to your social media accounts. Exposing sensitive details that make your account vulnerable.

Additionally, there is the case of hacking. Several business owners have lost their Facebook and Instagram accounts to hackers who ‌used these hacked accounts to defraud innocent users — causing harm to the business in double folds.

7. Cost Breakdown — Ad intensive

Social media and Ads are like inseparable twins – take one down and you lose the other. This is one con of social media marketing.

To get the best of social media for your small business, you need to meet your target audience and because you do not have the awareness yet, you need ads to take you directly to them and this translates to more cost for your business.

The worst part, most times, these ads run without yielding any sales — wasting your little resources, time and effort.

Although with the Facebook Ad Management Tools, you could manage your campaigns and cut down costs. However, these tools are often pricey and require a bit of training to master their use.

What you should Do instead?

Social media marketing is not bad for your small business, not at all. In fact, social media is important for brand marketing. Also, Your business can soar beyond your expectations if you incorporate social media marketing into your marketing strategies. 

However, you must consider the risks involved before adopting any strategy, as this could either make or mar the growth and success of your business.

If you are considering Social media marketing for your small business, Here are some tips to guide your decisions: 

  • Research your target audience and know what social media platforms they interact with 
  • Build a positive reputation and strong customer base for your brand
  • Understand the metrics of the major social media platforms, e.g. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
  • Use video content to promote your business.
  • Get a scheduling tool – you can find some free tools and low-priced tools
  • Take advantage of your organic traffic through search engines 

As a small business owner, before you consider creating a social media platform for your brand. You must focus on building a positive brand reputation. Let people know your values and benefits, then it becomes easier to connect and create a larger community with social media marketing.


In conclusion, the aforementioned points in this content are not to scare you into incorporating social media marketing into your business. But to help you see the downsides before taking your next actions. If you can create a balance around these disadvantages of social media marketing as discussed, you can build a reputable brand that will stand and survive the competition.


1. Why do small businesses struggle with social media?

Small businesses struggle with social media for different reasons

  • Small businesses are limited in terms of time and budget, hence the issue of running different campaigns to meet social awareness
  • With larger companies involved, there is the challenge of competition from these companies
  • Small businesses face the challenge of choosing the right platforms since they do not know which would work best

2. What is one of the biggest difficulties for a company using social media marketing?

One of the biggest difficulties companies face when using social media marketing is the ability to manage time and resources. Social media marketing takes time and a lot of effort to yield possible results. 

Hence, to achieve the best results, companies need to create a department that will be in charge of monitoring their social media marketing campaigns. Also, using a paid social media tool will help make the process better. 

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