We live in an age and place where technology allows us to increasingly automate countless daily tasks. But just because we can automate something, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to do so. Especially if those tasks require tact. For example, scheduling an update on Facebook to go live at an optimal time doesn’t require tact. But what that update says does.
Cross-posting the same content across various social media channels seems like a great idea on its surface. You have a great piece of content, why not kill four birds with one stone by posting to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest with a single mouse click?
After all, this feature is available in every single social media management tool. Isn’t cross-posting an industry “best-practice?
The reasons why cross-posting may not be ideal
- Technology – Many times third-party tools post in ways that are meaningless to both sender and receiver. For example, on Facebook and Twitter, updates say “via Tweetdeck” if you’re using Tweetdeck (PostPlanner allows branding). Also, tools like HootSuite create an album for photos posted on Facebook called “Hootsuite Photos”. Again, meaningless.
- Culture – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are very different communities with various different uses that talk about very different topics. For example, finding and nurturing valuable partnerships makes sense as a focus on Twitter, but not on Facebook. LinkedIn is where you discuss professional topics in a professional manner, not so on Twitter or Facebook.
- Caring – When I see any kind of update on Facebook that’s posted from HootSuite or Tweetdeck, I think, “This person is either not present or doesn’t care.” Admittedly, this is my own subjective experience, but I imagine many other Facebook users feel the same.
- It hampers sharing – Research shows that cross-posting hampers engagement on Facebook, but not on Twitter. The reason is that, while the use of third-party tools and posting short URLs is encouraged, Facebook users post content natively and are less likely to click on short URLs.
The solution in a nutshell
Ask yourself if the time saved outweighs the negative impact of cross-posting (yes is a valid answer). If not, find ways to repurpose or optimize content for each channel based on their culture and technology.
You might find that with a little creativity and preparation, optimizing each channel really doesn’t take as much time as you’re expect.
Why kind of content do you cross-post? Does it work for you?John Haydon delivers social web strategy solutions for “the quick, the smart, and the slightly manic.” Curious? Then visit the John Haydon blog, follow him on Twitter or leave a comment.
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