You might think you’re simply saving time by posting the exact same thing across all your different social media platforms…. and while it may save you a couple seconds, doing this means you’re actually missing out on opportunities to leverage each platform’s strengths, engage your audience in different ways, and expand your organic reach.
4 Reasons You Shouldn’t Cross-Post
1. You’ll Look Like an Amateur
Savvy social media followers can quickly recognize when a brand or influencer is just posting duplicate content, and it can make you seem like an amateur who doesn’t understand how to properly use each network. This might not make a huge difference if you already have a massive following, but if you’re trying to build an audience, they may lose interest if your use of social media doesn’t look and feel professional.
2. You Come Across as Alien
“Each social media platform has its own ‘subculture,’ with different tones, language and even unique ways of using hashtags,” reports AdWeek magazine. Take Tumblr and Facebook for example. Tumblr has its own distinct humor, terminology, and use of nested breadcrumbs that help tell a story and give context. What would go viral and take off on Tumblr would make little to no sense if also posted on Facebook or vice versa.
And it’s more than a simple difference in content style or language. Demographics like gender and age can also shift dramatically between platforms, so knowing what type of content to use to appeal to the major demographic on that specific platform will help build new connections with the audience.
3. You Create Spammy Quality Problems
Each platform has its own unique way of doing things. This means a post written for one platform, then cross posted everywhere else can have a spammy quality to it. A very common example of this error is when influencers or brands link their Instagram to their Twitter feed to automatically tweet out the latest Instagram content. Unfortunately, due to character limits and the way things are displayed, this usually results in a Twitter feed full of broken links and captions that are cut off or garbled.
In a quick glance, this immediately deters people and kills engagement.
4. You Lose Visibility and Promotion Opportunities
Most brands and influencers will try to have the same handle or hashtag across platforms, but sometimes this simply isn’t possible. This means cross-posting an Instagram post often results in not being able to properly tag or link the same influencer/brand on the other platforms.
For example, if you tag @InstagramStar on Instagram and cross-post to Twitter where that person’s name is @TheRealInstagramStar, they won’t get tagged in the tweet.
This inability to properly tag profiles or use hashtags correctly will kill engagement, reduce your ability to build meaningful conversations and relationships with other profiles, and minimizes your chances of growing the post’s reach.
How to Fix the Problem
1. Know the Rules
Review and familiarize yourself with how each platform structures posts and monitor content and trending topics. This means knowing what kind of content does best on that specific network, as well as how links work, where the audience prefers to see your hashtags (e.g. embedded in the body of the post, or appended to the end of the post?), and what engagement statistics matter.
2. Be Original
While the core message may stay the same, write a new post for each of your social media accounts. It takes a little bit of extra time, but your attention to detail will be noticed by your audience. Even just changing the first few sentences of a photo caption for each social media platform is better than simply cross-posting.
3. Do What Works
Before posting your content, consider the media you’re attaching to it in order to leverage the strengths of that platform. For example, video is favored by both Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms, while Twitter users tend to prefer static images.
Seen below, the brand Warby Parker knew this and posted about the same project, but shifted between photo and video for Twitter and Instagram respectively.
Doing this will align your media with a platform’s best practices, setting yourself up for maximum potential. It also means if an audience member follows you on multiple platforms, they will stay highly engaged and build a stronger connection with your brand because they’re served different experience on each network.
If you’re ready to use your new approach to posting in order to build a bigger audience and attract new sponsorship opportunities, join #ThePaidCrew community and start partnering with world-class brands.
By day, Josh Duvauchelle is the co-founder of Frey Union, a marketing firm in Vancouver, BC. By night, he’s a health and wellness coach featured in Teen Vogue, Men’s Journal, Shape, Men’s Fitness, and more. Find him on Instagram under @joshduv. Josh is a member of #ThePaidCrew editorial team.