The Do’s and Don’ts of Cross-Posting

Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, industry forums… the list goes on. If you’re active on many social media networks, it can be quite a challenge to keep up. You want to share your latest blog posts and newest promotions everywhere! And with so much social integration these days, it is easy to set up cross-posts – to send one message to all of your networks with the click of a button. But perhaps it is time to rethink this strategy. Here are a few do’s and don’t for cross-posting:

1. Do share your news on all networks where the message is pertinent to your audience. Don’t share your news everywhere just because it’s news. (Example – Your Twitter followers may click/retweet discounts or special deals more often than your LinkedIn connections. Your LinkedIn connections may provide more in-depth commentary on high-level company news than your Facebook fans.)

2. Do promote topical blog posts on multiple networks. Do not always post it the same way on every network. (Example – On Google+, link to your blog post and provide additional information or thoughts on the topic. On Quora, post the link and ask users a specific question about something you wrote. On Twitter, post a great headline with the link and ask followers to share.)

3. Do know the differences in your audiences. Do not assume that all your fans/followers/friends are the same. (Example – I know that I have more male followers on Twitter than on Facebook. I also know that my Twitter followers tend to be slightly older than my Facebook fans. Knowing this not only helps determine what I will share, but also [subconsciously?] affects my tone/style.)

4. Do know the similarities in your audiences. Do not drive your loyal fans away. (Example – Many of your loyal Facebook fans may have followed you over to your new Google+ brand page. If these fans are active on both networks, you don’t want to post the same exact messages on both networks day after day. Share different things, share things in different ways – give your loyal fans a reason to follow you on both/all networks.)

5. Do embrace all of your network conversations. Do not be afraid to promote another network. (Example – You have a great conversation going in an industry-specific forum or blog forum. Let your followers/friends/fans on other sites get it on it. Send out a “Great debate about XYZ going on over at ABC.com. Check it out and post your thoughts!” tweet. You’ll not only be cross-promoting yourself, you may also be introducing followers to new social networks.)

6. Do know your network. Don’t confuse your fans with non-network speak. (Example – Many of my Facebook fans are new to social media marketing, and have yet to tackle Twitter. Many don’t really understand hashtags or Twitter-speak, and my statistics tell me that my fans won’t read anything I post in “Twitterese.”)

7. Do use cross-posting to save time. Do not use it every time. (Example – Have a blog post with a great headline that really caters to a wide audience? Have a question and not sure which of your audiences might be best suited to help? Crunched for time and want to get the word out fast? In these situations [and many others], cross-posting makes sense. You’ll rarely offend anyone with the occasional cross-post, and if well-written, you may get the most bang for your 2-minute buck.)

It’s easy to post the same message everywhere. And yes, I’ll admit it … I am guilty of posting the exact same message on multiple networks only minutes apart. But there is a little pang of guilt with every ‘submit’ or ‘post’ button I click, because I know the differences in my audiences, and I know which posts are going to get the most traction on which networks.

In social media marketing, we often choose quantity over quality – “Get the message out to as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time,” instead of “How will my fans on this specific network benefit from seeing/reading this right now?”

The truth is that it is the quantity of quality that matters. You want your news and your promotions and your ideas read/shared/acted upon, and that often means varying your messages based on the specific network you are using. Even if it takes more time, or doesn’t reach everyone. Targeted messages based on fan data will almost always serve you better in the long run than cross-posting your entire campaign.

About The Author:

Melissa Reyes is a mom,  Twitter addict, full-time social media manager and the owner of Social Amateur, a consulting company focused on helping small businesses navigate the world of social media marketing. You can find her on LinkedInTwitter andFacebook.

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