One question we get asked a lot at 360 Media is “Should I cross-post when I’m given the option?” This can be an entrepreneur’s favorite shortcut, eliminating the need to create different content for separate platforms, but let’s examine this a bit closer to see if cross-posting content is the right solution for you.
What is Cross-Posting Anyway?
Cross-posting is when you create a post on a particular platform and it asks you if you’d also like to share the post to another platform. For example, you make a post in Instagram, and you’re asked upon posting if you’d like to cross post it to Facebook. Simple, right? With cross-posting, you have be “present” on multiple platforms without creating unique content. Before you get click happy, though, let’s consider why this might be great (or not) for you marketing strategy:
Pros to Cross-Posting Content:
- Let’s be honest. Thinking of things to post on Facebook every day can be challenging for a business owner. But now you also need scroll-stopping imagery for Instagram and something witty for Twitter – and you’ve now described a full-time job as your very own social media manager. That doesn’t even include the newest trends of Facebook and Instagram stories or even Snapchat. Cross-posting can save you a ton of time.
- Emergency solution- because every business owner knows what it’s like to be in a bind. You understand that consistent posting is necessary for platform algorithms, but the Black Plague just swept across your facility and everyone is calling in. Hey-we get it! If you’re in dire need of an emergency, cross-posting might be a temporary solution for you.
Cons to Cross-Posting Content:
Each platform is built with a unique audience in mind.
The type of email you write to your best friend is often different in content to the letter you send to your 80-year-old grandmother. While it’s possible both of those audiences are on Facebook, it’s also possible that BFF only checks Facebook every couple weeks. We can also promise Gen Z isn’t scrolling their Facebook newsfeed as often at Gen X or Baby Boomers – so posting the same content to dual platforms truly alienates a whole audience.
The photo dimensions are totally different on the different platforms.
You may have the *best* vertical photo of a model wearing a dress you’re selling to post on Facebook, but the moment you cross-post to Instagram…off with her head! By the time you resize, optimize for platforms, and figure out how to get your spouses whole body in the photo, you might as well have come up with new content.
The character length is different on each platform.
While someone like Instagram may allow lots of text, no one is on Instagram to read paragraphs of text like they’re willing to do on Facebook…and Twitter for that matter just downright forbids it. This is basically the reason that we aren’t amazing at Twitter. We don’t know how to be witty in less that 281 characters. Gets us every time!
Hashtags are all the rage…Depending on what platform you’re on.
Using 20 hashtags on Instagram is totally appropriate. It’s even necessary from time to time. Use 20 on Facebook and people think you’re just trying too hard. Relevant hashtags can gain you a ton of new followers when done correctly, but you have to know how to use them and where to use them.
You’re limiting your brand loyalty.
Everyone unfollows the Karen that posts the same stuff to her Facebook story as she just did to Snapchat…and you know it. Cross-posting from Instagram Stories to Facebook Stories though? Not as bad. You’re allowing people to follow you more often by posting unique content. When you cross-post there is no incentive for one of your fans to engage with you on more than one platform, so they won’t waste their time following you on several of them. Instead, they’ll follow you on their easiest one and never on anything else. By posting unique content on both, you’re giving people more of a reason to engage with you. The more they engage, the more loyalty you’re building for your brand.
What is your goal?
If you’re only posting on social media because you know you should, then by all means – cross-post. But if you’re doing it because you’re hoping to gain followers and turn those followers in to loyal, lifelong customers – then create original content and share it on every platform your audience is on.