As a business, using social media is a great way to connect to your audience. You can show the world what you’re currently working on, show off your latest products, and respond to burning questions.
One problem with social media is it can be very time consuming. You want to keep up with the competition and consistently post, so naturally you look for a shortcut. One shortcut is cross-posting. Create one post and share it to all your social media accounts simultaneously.
This sounds great! Why aren’t I taking advantage of this?
There are several pros and cons with cross-posting. Whilst it’s saving you time, you could be missing out on key features and make your posts look odd and out of place.
The Pros of Cross-Posting
#1 You can save time
You’re busy with the daily tasks of running a business and time is money. By cross-posting you can create one killer piece of content and publish it to all of your social media accounts at the same time. Job done!
#2 Greater exposure
Your social media platform of choice might not be used by your customers every day.
Your customers might only log onto Facebook once a week, but they log onto Instagram every day. By cross-posting there is a higher chance of your customers seeing your content.
#3 Keep all your socials active
Whilst you’re happy posting to Facebook every day, your other accounts can become neglected and disappear from your follower’s feed. The key to social media is to remain consistent and keep your accounts active. Cross-posting can solve this issue and keep all your accounts active.
The Cons of Cross-Posting
#1 Inappropriate format
All social media platforms have slightly different formats and cross-posting can lead you your posts looking out of place.
For example, if your original post was created on Instagram and you cross-posted it to Facebook, it would look odd if you’ve added 30 hashtags at the end of the post because people don’t expect to see it.
#2 Your audience can feel cheated
If you have a dedicated following and they are subscribed to several of your social media accounts, they could feel cheated if they see the same post over and over again. Your customers could think that you couldn’t be bothered to spend more time creating content for them.
If you do have a large dedicated following, try to use your social accounts for different messages or goals.
#3 Posting at the wrong time
Each social media platform has an ideal time to post to gain maximise exposure. If you cross-post, you could be posting at the best time for one platform but totally missing your audience on another.
For example, LinkedIn is very active during weekdays and if you’re cross-posting from Twitter on the weekend, your LinkedIn posts won’t be getting the exposure it deserves.
#4 Posting too often
Cross-posting can lead to over-posting. Twitter and Instagram users are used to seeing multiple posts per day. Compared to Facebook and LinkedIn, where users are used to seeing approx two posts per day.
#5 Images not displayed correctly
This one is specific to Facebook and Instagram user cross-posting to Twitter. When you create a post on Instagram and cross-post it to Twitter, users will have to click on a link to see the image.
What’s the best approach?
Cross-posting is a trade off between saving time and getting your content seen.
Social media marketing is very competitive and getting your content seen is an uphill battle. My personal opinion is to create separate posts for each social media account. Some posts are going to be the same but you should try where possible to change it up.
Spending an extra couple of minutes creating a new post can be the difference between no-one seeing the post or a few hundred seeing it. At the end of the day you want people to see your content… that’s the whole point of social media.
If you do want to save time it’s best to use a social media tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your posts in advance. By scheduling your posts you can spend 1 or 2 hours at the start of the week, creating unique posts for each social media channel, knowing that they will be posted at the correct time, be in the correct format and engage your audience.
However, there are certain situations and types of posts that can be cross-posted and work, but I’ll cover that in the next article, “5 Instagram Tips for Perfect Cross-Posting to Facebook“.
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