Creating content and getting that content seen are different struggles. We work hard on creating quality content and we want it seen by our potential customers. It can be tempting to take that content and just put it on all of the different platforms in the same way and hope for the best. After all, if it’s good it’s good, right? I am noticing lately that that seems to be exactly the attitude of many of the small businesses I am seeing on social media today.
You may become so focused on promoting your social media posts that you gravitate to advertisements and sponsored content. The problem is, if your main focus is on advertising, you are definitely going to distance those customers because no one wants to be constantly pitched to.
Why Cross-Posting Doesn’t Work
Cross-posting (posting the same content across multiple social networks) is something that divides a lot of marketers. There are a few reasons why cross-posting isn’t the best choice and why cross promoting is a better idea. Here are a few:
Account-specific information: things like events, locations, dates, times and similar information can’t be cross-posted if not all the accounts are relevant. For example, if you own a multinational company and you want to promote a local event that’s only relevant to one account, it’s a bad idea to cross-post the same content to all those accounts. This is all going back to your ideal customer.
Platform-specific features: back in the days one of the strongest points against cross-posting was that each platform has its own functions and interactions. Twitter in particular had two main features that were Twitter specific – the #hashtag and the @reply. So, when you saw a hashtag or the “@“ symbol on a Facebook page or a Facebook profile, you knew right away that (9 times out of 10) that was a cross-post. However, times have changed since then – Facebook lets you mention people with the “@“ symbol, and it also lets you use the infamous hashtag.
What we see today are when we invite people on our pages to favorite or retweet. Another example is asking our Twitter followers “to like, comment and share to enter the competition.” There are platform-specific instructions and features that just aren’t relevant to other social networks.
Negative perception: the general perception from people who might catch you cross-posting is “that’s just plain lazy” – and they have a point. We’re all busy, we all have so much to do, and perhaps on top of publishing on social media you’re also in charge of the social analytics and reporting, the social management, the social monitoring and so much more. Cross-posting may appear as a convenient, quick and easy way to save time posting, but if you care about your fans and followers, you should take those extra 5 minutes to tailor your message to not only the platform you’re posting to but your audience too.
Cross-promote, don’t cross-post
Now that we’ve listed the reasons why cross-posting isn’t a good idea, here’s a confession: I often post the same links across multiple networks. While that sounds like I’m not practicing what I’m preaching, it’s for a good reason – I’m not just cross-posting, I’m cross-promoting. If I have something that I feel may benefit both audiences, I’ll post it on both network BUT I’ll tailor it before posting. Doing so, it doesn’t feel like cross-posting any more – blatant copying and pasting of the same link and caption.
It’s not about the quantity of posts you publish from network to network – the “quality over quantity” mantra works on social media too.
Next week I will give some tips on how to cross promote efficiently. Do you cross promote across the different social media platforms? Tell us how you do it effectively below.