Businesses are time poor
While these activities are enjoyable, they all take time. Considering how busy most of us are already this is clearly an issue for many people -- particularly those in business. I can certainly see why many of them outsource all their social media work, and why this is a great opportunity for freelancers.
Efficiency inevitably improves
That said, the more you do something the more efficient you become at it. So you can cram lots of social media interaction into a few minutes that might have taken you half an hour when you were starting out. And if you blog consistently then you can really crank out the posts.
Early phases most time consuming
Also, you tend to have to take most time in the early phases of social media use. That's because you're learning how the sites work as well as creating your profiles, etc. With a Facebook page, for example, you have to build it, then get a decent number of likes and some interaction happening. That will take a while to do, but after it's done you don't need to spend so many hours maintaining it. It's like a garden that you only have to water occasionally.
This is particularly true of Twitter. It took me a long while to get a couple of thousand followers to one of my profiles. But now, when I tweet something on that account I tend to get retweets and mentions, which helps draw in still more followers. When I use it to tweet blog posts I get at least five or six clicks on them, often more. Now that doesn't seem like much, but over a year that's thousands of extra views on my blog.
Think long term
So, it's best to look at this whole thing as a long term strategy. You certainly have to invest a lot of time in social media, particularly in the early stages. And you do have to maintain your involvement. But once you've established your presence and built solid followings, the benefits keep on coming with less effort required.
Get updates via email!