Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - oh my! And that’s not even cracking into the surface (*cough* TikTok *cough*). It’s easy to see why so many of us are feeling overwhelmed juggling multiple social channels on top of our business websites, too - and, you know, actually running the business itself.
Creating a stream of content for each channel individually is near-impossible and would take an army - which is totally fine and doable if you’re a giant company, but for small and medium-sized companies, it’s not necessarily a walk in the park. Not to mention just how demanding content creation is on our resources, money and time - at a certain point it becomes a matter of diminishing returns, and it’s why even a lot of larger corps won’t invest in completely discrete content creation for each channel. It’s simply not efficient.
It’s why many brands choose to work smarter, not harder and crosspost. So what is crossposting? Crossposting is when you post the same social content across different platforms. Sometimes this is done simultaneously, sometimes this is spaced apart - for instance, you might post a testimonial from a customer on Twitter, then repurpose it for an Instagram post later on in the week. The idea here is that most customers will have one leading social media platform that they use and engage with on a frequent basis, and thus, one social media account of your company that they actively follow. They may be heavy Twitter users and follow your company on Twitter but rarely log into Instagram and so won’t follow your brand there. This means that the likelihood of them being exposed to the same content multiple times as a result of crossposting is lower than you may initially think.
In light of all this, you very well might be thinking - ok, crossposting, sign me up! If repeating posts is acceptable now, obviously, that’s a shortcut we’d all want to take. And while it’s true that users have over time become desensitised when they do notice crossposting, and it’s become more widely accepted that brands will do this in today’s social media landscape, there is some etiquette around the practice and some best-practice tips to keep in mind. Read on so you can crosspost in a way that’s appropriate, effective, time-saving and avoids any dreaded social media faux pas.
Our number one tip: make slight tweaks across platforms
You didn’t think it was going to be that easy, did you?! Avoid making it super obvious that you’re crossposting by changing the caption slightly depending on which platform the content is being posted to. It’s also just general best practice to ensure that the copy you write for each platform is in line with that platform’s constraints, culture, community and standards. This will ensure your posts land authentically with viewers, and audiences will see your post as belonging on their chosen platform natively. Otherwise, this is where your brand may risk looking lazy rather than efficient. These alterations could be something as simple as reducing the length of a caption to fit within Twitter’s character limit or altering the accounts tagged to ensure you are tagging the correct account on each platform. Hashtags will change between platforms as well - everything from hashtag limits to hashtag popularity. For instance, #FYP will have a different effect on Instagram as opposed to TikTok. Shorter captions on TikTok tend to suffice, letting the video tell the story, while Instagram, over the last few years, has increasingly been used to tell stories and captions have begun to be used in longer-form ways like micro-blogging. Twitter has seen something similar with the rise of “threads”. Sometimes, changing your copy even comes down to the popular vernacular recognisable on different platforms; for instance, referencing a famous TikTok quote on Facebook might not garner the same response as it would on TikTok itself. Above all, it’s essential to consider the audience you’re speaking to.
Different platforms will have different aspect ratios for images, so ensure graphics are designed to make sense within different sizing constraints, and not all mediums are accepted on all platforms either. Videos are likely your best content for crossposting as they are accepted across all major platforms, and most algorithms will prioritise them on the feed as well.
Schedule posts in advance to save time, and use scheduling tools like Buffer, Hootsuite’s Composer, Pallyy or Later, which allow you to simultaneously schedule posts across platforms and then individually customise each caption from the same screen.
One last major word of warning; ensure you’re not engaging in spammy behaviour on your socials. Repeating captions, messages, and even hashtags can lead to your account being flagged for spam and picked up by automated bots. Every platform will have bots looking to strike down any unsavoury content on the platform, and these bots will quickly catch on if you’re posting repeated content over and over again. While we think it’s wise to repurpose content, it’s critical to remember the difference between repurposing and blatantly reusing to ensure you’re still giving the best value content to your audiences as well. Aside from the spam-flagging risk, repeating content can also result in less engaged followers and lower brand trust. Don’t risk getting your account suspended - or worse, losing your customer’s trust - and prioritise authentic, original content first!
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