It is tempting to share identical content across multiple social media platforms, but is it a good idea? That’s a question marketing experts tackle frequently. What marketers refer to as cross-posting is a tried and true practice, but it comes with a few caveats.
Cross-posting makes sense as long as you do it right. Here are some tips that will help you make cross-posting work for your brand.
What is Cross-Posting?
Cross-posting means taking the same message from one social media platform to the next, usually without making any changes. It’s a little like telling several people the same story. You are sharing the same information from one person to the next. You need consistency in the details because if they get together and compare notes, you could have a problem. That doesn’t mean you tell the story the same way to each.
The same is true with social media posting. You need the message to be the same from place to place. People may see it on multiple social media sites, so the story must be consistent. But it doesn’t have to be a word-for-word copy.
Are There Benefits to Cross-Posting?
There are obvious benefits to this marketing practice. It’s a real time saver, for one thing. Imagine if you were creating separate campaigns for every social media platform. That would not only be confusing, it would be exhausting and expensive.
Cross-posting also allows you to extend the reach of your message. A few people may follow your brand on more than one platform, but many will have you on just one. Cross-posting allows you to reach everyone on all platforms and give them the good news you want to share.
In theory, cross-posting makes sense. It saves you time and money, especially if you have a limited marketing budget. So, what is the downside?
What are the Downsides to Cross-Posting?
The truth is there are no downsides to cross-posting if you do it right. The downsides come when you don’t do it right. For one thing, social media platforms are not the same. They are like different flavors of ice cream. One person may love the flavor and the next hate it. The message you post on Facebook may come off as stuffy on Instagram.
They also don’t support the same formats of information. Instagram is a graphic platform. You wouldn’t do a text-only post there, but you might on Facebook or LinkedIn. You could, however, do a graphic and text post on all those channels.
There are downsides to cross-posting, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a place in your marketing strategy. The key word there is strategy.
Should You Post the Same Content on All Platforms?
That’s the right question to ask. It’s not “Is cross-posting a good idea?” because it is beneficial. Cross-posting is how you share content with your audience across many platforms. You just have to tweak the message to fit each. Each platform is unique. The audience at each looks for different things. Your mission is to create one message and make it work for each platform. You need to customize the message to represent the platform and its audience well.
You also want to ensure the content posting makes sense on every channel. For instance, something you post on Facebook might not be relevant to viewers on another platform. Suppose you are posting information about a product that appeals to an older crowd. In that case, you might talk about it on Facebook but not on other platforms because the demographic is different.
You would undoubtedly post things on LinkedIn, a business-focused social media platform, that won’t be interesting on other channels such as Instagram. So you have to apply a little common sense to cross-posting.
Should You Post the Same Thing On Instagram and Facebook?
Facebook and Instagram have an interesting relationship. Since they are both products of Meta, there are tools that allow you to share one post on both platforms. The key is to design the post for Instagram, complete with a video or image, then cross-post it on Facebook.
This works not just for posts. You can cross-post reels and stories, too. Even though they are two similar platforms, there may be a few adjustments to make. For example, Reels can run longer than Facebook videos. You should plan to deliver your message in the first 30 seconds of the video. The details matter when cross-posting.
Should Cross-Posting Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy?
Your marketing strategy should be customized to fit your needs, but chances are the answer is yes. Cross-posting is a real-time saver, so there is no reason not to use it. Just keep in mind that even though you are using the same assets, like images or videos, you might need to tweak the message to fit the audience or platform.
When outlining your social media strategy on a platform, decide upfront what channels make the most sense for your brand or product. Also, break down the pillar content. That is the core of your message. What’s the theme?
Now, figure out how to represent that pillar content on each platform you deem critical. You are using the same message and often the same assets, just conforming the content to fit the audience.
Tips for Successful Social-Media Cross Posting
As with most things in marketing, there are best practices for cross-posting on social media.
Use Cross-Posting Wisely
Cross-posting can save you time and keep your message consistent, but use it wisely. First, make sure the message fits the platform. If it doesn’t, don’t post there. Cross-posting is a tool, not an absolute. You decide when to use it and when it doesn’t make sense.
Pay Attention to the Formatting Rules of the Platform
Each social media platform has its own formatting rules for images and videos. Character limits are a practical example of this issue. They vary per platform, for instance:
- Facebook – 2,000 characters
- Instagram – 2,200 characters
- Twitter – 280 characters
You could create one 280-character post for all three but what a waste. If you can use more words on other platforms, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?
Images sizes vary per channel, too. They are even different within the channel. For example, the landscape photo size requirements for each are:
- Instagram – 1080 x 566
- Facebook – 1200 x 630
- Twitter – 1024 x 512
- Linked In – 1200 x 627
So, even if you want to use the same visual media in all four channels, you may have to adjust it to fit in each or just go with the smallest size. For example, the minimum video size for YouTube is 1280 x 7520 pixels. On the other hand, the recommended size for a landscape video on Instagram is 1920 x 1080 pixels.
There are editors that can help you find the right size and aspect ratio for each platform. That cuts into the time you are saving by cross-posting, though.
Links Can Be a Problem
Some platforms allow them; some don’t. Instagram loves to see you provide lengthy content but does not allow for clickable links in it. The only link option available there is in the bio. That may change this year, though.
Links on Twitter tend to burn up your available characters. You can use a program like Tiny Links to fit them in easier, though. That’s not necessary on Facebook, but not prohibited, either.
Links are not the only thing you have to worry about when cross-posting. Hashtags mean nothing on some channels and everything on others, for instance.
Time is a significant component when posting to social media. If you post at the wrong time, many of your audience will miss it.
The best times to post vary from channel to channel. Hootsuite recommends you post on Facebook between 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Instagram, the best posting time is completely different. They recommend 11:00 AM on Wednesday.
So, there is more to cross-posting than just cutting and pasting the message from one channel to the next. You need to schedule them to post at the right time. Automated programs help you be consistent in posting times.
Don’t Film a Video on One Platform and Then Cross-Post It
If you decide to cross-post a video between TikTok and Instagram, don’t film it in one and then post it in another. You might get a watermark if you do. That is especially true if you film your video on TikTok.
You will have the same problem if you upload a video to TikTok and then edit it there. If you download the edited version to put on Instagram, there will be a watermark. Instagram will deprioritize videos with a TikTok Watermark.
You can use a third-party platform to prep your video if you want to use the same video on multiple channels. Then upload the original edited video separately to each channel.
Follow Basic Social Media Marketing Rules Even If You Cross-Post
Creating content for social media is an art form. People go to school for years to perfect it. However, there are some basic rules you should follow.
Make it Graphic
Visual is better. Facebook reports that 62 percent of its users become more interested in a product after seeing a video. Content can be playful and funny, but many social media users will pass it by without at least an image to draw the eye.
When cross-posting, reuse your graphic content but be smart about it. Pay attention to the dimension requirements and find a size that fits all the channels you want to target. The same thing goes for video.
Square videos often do better than landscape or vertical ones. And the size requirements for each platform might be easier to match when you go with a square video.
Make Sure the Post has Value
Give users a reason to read your posts. They won’t if you create content that doesn’t matter to them. That is especially true if cross-posting. Don’t post just for the sake of posting. If the content makes sense on Facebook but not Instagram, then only post it where it will matter. You don’t get points for posting content that the target audience will find irrelevant.
Measure the Engagement Factor of a Post
Social media is about creating conversations that lead to relationships. So you want to create engaging posts that people will respond to in some way. The response might be a comment, a like, or a share. The response might be a click, too. Whatever response you want, make sure your post is designed to get it.
Cross-Promote Between Accounts
It is not unusual for brands to have multiple accounts on one social media platform. Make sure to keep them in mind when considering cross-posting. For example, the company might have a page for the business and one for the brand. Post on both. That’s true, regardless of what social media channel you are using.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Professional Help
There is a reason that people study for years to master social media marketing – it’s complicated. But if your efforts fail to produce results, it is time to call a professional. The experts at Vinci can help you develop a strategy that will give you the expected conversions.
Book your free strategy session today. We’ll help you map out a customer marketing strategy for your brand at no cost.