Cross-Posting Messages Across Social Networks
Cross-posting content is the act of sharing the exact same post across different social media platforms. Cross-posting sounds like a no-brainer since it keeps your accounts active, saves time, and makes it easy to share your content widely. However, the long-term drawbacks actually outweigh the short-term advantages.
Why You Should Avoid Cross-Posting
There are many reasons why cross-posting is ineffective on social media. Here, we will focus on three key reasons it’s important to mix up your content between social platforms.
Each platform has its own “language”.
Your content should be fluent in the language of each platform. Things like caption length, image formatting, and vocabulary differ by platform. When you cross-post identical content you may lose part of your caption, or tag a handle from one platform that doesn’t exist on another, or lose your visual content.
For instance, Instagram lets you link your profile to your other social media accounts, and automatically share each post (along with its caption and hashtags) to all of them. However, these posts don’t always publish appropriately on the other sites. One example is that Instagram posts shared to Twitter include a link to the photo, but not the photo itself. This requires the Twitter user to take the additional action of clicking the link to see your content. Most people won’t take that extra action, and will instead scroll right past your content. Those who do take that extra step to click the link will be frustrated when they realize they just clicked away from their Twitter feed to see the same post they just saw on Facebook or elsewhere. This redundancy could cause them to unfollow one or more of your accounts.
If you’re short-changing your followers on one platform by sharing content that was optimized for another, they’re going to notice. Seeing a post with a cut-off caption or a weirdly cropped image looks lazy at best, and spammy at worst.
Each audience is different.
Have you noticed that your followers on Facebook are different than your followers on Instagram? Sure, there is bound to be some overlap of followers between the two platforms, but likely there are a great deal of followers on Facebook who don’t follow you on Instagram, and vice versa. These different audiences likely have different tastes in content. If you want to engage and build your audience, it is necessary to study and learn your audiences on each platform so that you can cater your content to them.
People need a reason to follow you on each platform.
Think about your favorite social media accounts that you regularly follow. Would you be interested in following these personalities/companies on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. if they shared the EXACT same content on EVERY site at the SAME time? You’d likely find that to be rather boring. Giving your followers varied content across all platforms will give them a reason to follow each of your social profiles and keep them engaged in your content; especially those that follow you on multiple social media sites.
The time you save by cross-posting isn’t worth losing your audience’s respect and attention. After all, if it looks like you don’t care about what you post on your account, why should they?