4 dangers of taking the cross-posting social media shortcut

4dangers

At SocialB one of the frequent questions we are asked on training is “How do I save time with my social media?”

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others all offer the opportunity to automatically share your posts and tweets to other social media platforms, so ticking the box to enable this could seem a good idea to save time.

Here are four reasons why it’s a bad idea:

Social isn’t broadcast, it’s social

If I’m sending the same message to multiple social media channels, then the likelihood is I’m broadcasting rather than being social. Thanks to advertsing, we’ve developed the abilitiy to tune-out of broadcast messages. This ability extends into social media platforms also.

Instead, craft each post for each social media platform and ask yourself “Would I engage with this post?”

Posts on each platform work differently

We all seem to know that Twitter is limited to 140 characters, but why would I limit myself to that number of characters by automatically posting from twitter to LinkedIn or Facebook?

Also, each platform has a different method of mentioning and engaging with other users, which is lost by cross-posting. Here are some other points to consider:

  • Posts from Twitter to other platforms, which include a Twitter @username have no engagement through that username on the other platform.
  • Hashtags don’t work on LinkedIn and still look strange on Facebook.
  • Posts from Facebook to LinkedIn are usually truncated and loose the full message.

Instead use each platform’s facilities to effectively create content which engages with you audience, through mentions and other features.

Be in the room

There’s nothing worse for social media engagement than seeing a post on Facebook for example, which is labelled “via Twitter”. It’s a bit like I’ve overheard a conversation happening in an adjacent room, I’m therefore very unlikely to engage by liking, commenting or sharing.

Instead be on each social media platform, work out from the analytics when your audiences are mainly logged in and engaged. Use management and scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, to help.

Different audiences require different content

And who’s saying that my page fans on Facebook are exactly the same people as my followers on Twitter? My social media strategy could mean I use each platform for different purposes and for engaging with different audiences e.g. Twitter – outreach to new/prospective customers; Facebook page – supporting existing and repeat customers; LinkedIn – developing business partnerships.

Instead create a content strategy which addresses the fact different audiences require different content across each platform. Use it as a check and challenge to make sure you’re posting the right content to the right audiences.

So how do I save time?

There are no shortcuts to social media success, but getting yourstrategy right will certainly save you time in the long run and build your business, rather than dis-engaging your audiences by cross-posting.

What strategies do you use to save time with your social media and have they worked?

[Original published on http://socialb.co.uk/blog/ April 1st 2014]

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