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How Many Social Media Platforms Should a Small Business Use?

how many social media platforms should a small business use

In today's digital age, having a strong social media presence is crucial for small businesses looking to connect with their target audience, build brand awareness, and drive sales. However, with so many social platforms available, it can be overwhelming to decide how many to focus on.

While being active on multiple channels can increase your reach, spreading yourself too thin can actually hurt your social media marketing efforts. So, how do you determine the right number of platforms for your small business?

The Truth: There's No One-Size-Fits-All Answer

The ideal number of social media platforms for your small business depends on several key factors unique to your business goals, target audience, industry landscape, and available resources. Trying to be everywhere at once is often an unsustainable and ineffective strategy.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Social Platforms:

  1. Target Audience Demographics and Platform Usage.

    Where does your ideal customer spend the most time online? Analyzing demographic data on the users of different social networks can help you pinpoint which ones align best with your target personas. For example, if you're marketing to millennials, you'll want to heavily focus on Instagram and TikTok.

  2. Industry and Competition.

    Certain industries tend to gravitate towards particular platforms. A B2B software company may find more success on LinkedIn, while an ecommerce fashion brand kills it on Instagram. Take note of where your competitors are thriving and actively engaging their audiences.

  3. Marketing Goals.

    Are you primarily looking to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic and sales, provide customer service and support, or something else entirely? Different platforms serve different strengths when it comes to marketing objectives, so define your priorities.

  4. Resource Availability.

    From creation of engaging content assets to promptly replying to comments and messages, maintaining an active, strategic presence requires significant time and effort. Be realistic about your marketing budget and how much bandwidth your team can allocate to social media management.

The Benefits of Using Multiple Social Platforms

While having a focused approach is advisable, there are advantages to selectively maintaining presences across complementary platforms:

  • Increase brand visibility and reach a wider audience

  • Diversify your content promotion and marketing tactics

  • Unlock unique platform features and engagement opportunities

  • Build remarketing audiences for paid advertising

The Benefits of Using Multiple Social Platforms

For example, a gym or fitness brand may focus primarily on Instagram for their visually-driven workout content, while also leveraging Facebook for community engagement and YouTube for longer instructional videos.

The Drawbacks of Being on Too Many Platforms

On the flip side, overextending your social media efforts can have several downsides:

  • Struggle to create high-quality, platform-optimized content

  • End up posting inconsistently or infrequently

  • Have trouble effectively monitoring performance and engagement

  • Get diminishing returns as your efforts become too dispersed

A focused social media strategy that prioritizes 1-2 key channels for your business tends to yield better results than a scattered approach attempting to be everywhere.

Effective Platform Strategies for Small Businesses

So what are some smart strategies small businesses can follow? Here are a few examples:

The 1-2 Punch Approach

Start by identifying 1-2 platforms that clearly align with your audience, industry, and marketing goals. Invest most of your efforts into consistently creating great content and developing a strong presence there first. From a solid foundation, you can then explore supplementing with 1-2 secondary platforms.

Cross-Promotion Strategy

Selectively re-purpose and "cross-post" some of your top-performing content across multiple platforms where appropriate. Tools like BIGR's cross-promotion capabilities can streamline this process.

Platform Experiment & Adapt

Commit to testing the waters on a new platform for a set period of time and continually evaluate its performance against your goals. Be willing to switch up your social media mix as audience preferences and platform popularity evolve.


Automation social media tools like BIGR Social can streamline overall social media management by automating tasks like:

  • Uniquely tailored content creation and optimization

  • Strategic scheduling and distribution of posts

  • Audience growth and engagement optimization

  • Time-saving cross-promotion across platforms

While social media has become a non-negotiable piece of the digital marketing equation, the ideal number of platforms depends on careful evaluation of your small business's specific situation. By understanding factors like target audience, goals, resources, and competitive landscape, you can focus your efforts to achieve maximum impact

Let BIGR be your co-pilot in mastering a smart and sustainable social media strategy.