4 dangers of taking the cross-posting social media shortcut


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]


New Hootsuite feature could save social media marketing blushes

Sadly many of us involved in social media marketing have committed the social media management faux pas of posting messages to the wrong account from a social media tool like Hootsuite. While management tools help with managing multiple social media accounts, posting, scheduling, and analytics, the method of simply clicking on an icon to choose which account to post to has left many social media marketing experts rushing to hit the delete button to avoid looking like a fool.

When I cover Hootsuite, or any other management tools, in social media marketing training sessions for SocialB, I always stress how easy it is to post the wrong account by clicking the wrong icon. This was something that an Amercian Red Cross worker found out the hard way when he posted his joy at finding more beer to the charity’s corporate Twitter account rather than his personal account.

Thankfully rogue tweets such as the ‘Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch Beer‘ tweet by the American Red Cross, should now be a thing of the past, or at least that is the intention. Hootsuite has just revamped its interface which now makes posting content to the wrong account much more difficult. Users now have to click on a drop-down menu to choose the account they wish to post to, displaying both the account image and name.

Having used it for a few days I feel reassured. Despite the clunky nature of the drop-down menu, which at first seems like a drawn out and tedious way of doing things, I’m having to think about and select the appropriate account to post to. Hopefully this new Hootsuite feature will spare many social media manager’s blushes in the future.

Have you been using Hootsuite’s new dropdown feature as a tool to help your social media marketing? Let me know what you think about it.

[Original published on http://socialb.co.uk/blog/ June 21, 2013]

Social Media Policy

Yesterday (May 31st) I had the privilege of speaking at Business Forums International’s conference on Social Media Policy and HR.

Although I’ve created policies and been involved in the creation of many more, it was interesting getting a legal perspective and some of pitfalls that both employers and employees have come across.

As a summary to the conference, I tweeted key points during event and thought it would be useful to share here:

  • Monitoring employees’ #socialmedia use carries legal risks in UK around data protection #hr #bficonf
  • There’s a challenge of knowing where #socialmedia fits into information security management #hr #socialmediapolicy #bficonf
  • Any #socialmediapolicy needs communication, education and training to employees #hr #bficonf
  • Employees need to be aware of issues of trust and confidence with their #socialmedia postings #socialmediapolicy #hr #bficonf
  • *Extended friends* on #socialmedia could report your comments to your employers #socialmediapolicy #hr #bficonf
  • An effective #socialmediapolicy can protect your employees and provide an effective framework for #socialmedia use #hr #bficonf
  • Ignorance of your company’s #socialmediapolicy is no excuse in UK law #hr #bficonf
  • All the rules of UK Employment Law still apply to #socialmedia #socialmediapolicy #hr #bficonf
  • In UK data protection and employment law need consideration #socialmediapolicy #hr #bficonf
  • Blurring of corporate / private thru social media #bficonf #socialmediapolicy #hr
  • SM codes of prac need platform-specific examples/training, but a policy referring to *user-generated content* would apply 2 all

I’d certainly recommend signing up for the next Social Media and HR conference on offer from BFI: http://bfi.co.uk/

Pinterest and ebay a perfect match?

I’d love to say that I thought of it first, but someone’s beaten me to it. Yes my thought was original but others have got there first and are actually linking Pinterest photos to their ebay sales. The issue of how you get most exposure for you ebay sales is being tackled creatively through the rapidly growing social media platform.

Ebay Chair on Pinterest

There’s a strong likelihood that if people are following your boards because they like your style and taste, then they might like your unwanted stuff too and want to buy it.

Whether it’s clothes, cars or gadgets Pinterest seems to bring out the “I want one” in us, as we pin or repin items of desire onto our boards. Brands are already getting wise to this and are following and engaging pinners who pin their products.

Many pinners are adding items they find on ebay to their boards, but there’s also an emerging group using “word of pin marketing” for their ebay sales. Chicago artist Tom Fedro has been the best example of this I’ve found so far, for his amazing artwork:

Tom Fedro's Pinterest Gallery

While Tom’s ebay store sells his new, unique art maybe next time you’re clearing your attic or having a yard sale both ebay and Pinterest should figure in your thinking. If you find any pinners using Pinterest and ebay creatively let me know.