Cross-posting content on social media is a simple way to save time - you take one piece of content and post it to all your social channels at once.
It seems like it should be easy peasy, but it's a practice that can go very wrong, and can make your accounts look like a mess. In this post, I'll go over how you can utilize cross-posting on social media the right way, maximizing your opportunities and saving time in the process.
Stepping Up Your Social Media Cross Posting Game
Cross-posting on social media can be a great solution for brands and business that:
- Have small budgets and can’t invest in more robust strategies
- Entrepreneurs who are handing social media themselves and are short on time
- Businesses that don’t have the ability/resources to create tons of content
- Businesses that just need social media to maintain an image and be present online
Cross-posting means that you’re taking one piece of content, or one message, and sharing it across multiple social channels at once.
As noted, it can definitely save you time - but there are ways to cross-post effectively, bringing you the most benefit from the practice.
It’s a big pet peeve of mine to check out a brand’s social media profiles and see that their accounts are just lazily connected. Please don’t do this. Instead use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or AgoraPulse to set up your cross- posting correctly.
Once you’re in the grove of things, you can step up your cross-posting game, and use each network to your advantage.
1. Learn The Language Of Each Social Media Network
Before you start cross-posting content, you first need to learn how each individual social network operates, and it’s unique capabilities and functions.
Learn all the network specific tools you have available to use. You’ll need to figure this out in order to decide how you can optimize each post for each network, and/or how you can make your individual post work on each. We’ll get into more details about this later in this post.
2. Does The Post Belong On This Channel?
Not every post will work on every social platform – and that’s okay.
Take your overall strategy and your network strategy into consideration. You should also take the tone of the network into consideration.
For example, if you’re doing a fun, behind the scenes post of your team’s lunch spread, it might not make sense to post a picture to your company's LinkedIn page - but it could be great content for Instagram, or even your brand's Instagram Story.
This also gives you the opportunity to get a little creative if you do want to post the same content on each network, more about that in the next section.
3. Optimize Content For Each Network
Once you’re familiar with how each of the networks you’re posting to functions, you’ll want to optimize the content you're cross-posting for each specific network.
This is where the steps we just talked about come in handy - you can transform each post to work with the network you’re posting to, giving you an opportunity to flex your creative skills and use those network specific tools to make your posts more dynamic and show your audience you know what you’re doing.
Some posts will be fine to keep mostly the same with small tweaks. This includes shortening or lengthening captions to meet character limits, adding or taking away hashtags, and playing with wording. For example, you may post longer captions on LinkedIn or Facebook and shorter ones on Twitter.
Other posts will be complete revamps, taking into account which network/s they’ll be posted to, and this is where you can take advantage of network specific tools.
In the example below I'm asking my followers to join my list. With my tweet, I've used a Twitter Card, while on Facebook I went with an image and a link within the caption (I also changed the wording a little).
Take into consideration which formats work best on each network, and for your audience as well.
For example, I work with a client who’s Facebook Page audience reacts well to links (and they wanted to keep their Facebook as a resource for links to content). So when we post a blog article on Facebook, and we think it’s information we’d also like to share on Instagram, we have to adjust. We pull key stats from the post, and include them in our caption as a synopsis of the article we post on Facebook.
It’s the same piece of content, we just tweak our delivery to match the network format and language.
4. Schedule According To Each Network’s Peak Time
The last consideration of proper cross-posting on social media is to schedule posts for the individual peak times on each social media network - and again, relative to your unique audience on each.
This will ensure you're posting when the most amount of people will see it, per network, maximizing your opportunities for success.
Hopefully these steps will help you get a little more dynamic with your cross-posting on social media, and avoid the seemingly time-saving trap of simply automating your tweets to post to Facebook, or your Instagram Stories content to cross over to Facebook Stories (note: Facebook Stories don't allow links, so links you post in your Instagram Stories won't work).
A version of this post was first published on Dhariana Lozano's blog.