The Dangers of Cross Posting
So many people do it.
And it's so easy, so why not? Haha let me tell you...
Cross posting is when you post the exact same post across multiple social media platforms. At first glance, this is an easy way to get your message out, increase your activity on all of your platforms, and reach a 2x or 3x bigger audience through a single click of a button. And whilst some may say there is nothing wrong with it, I would absolutely beg to differ.
One of my pet hates is scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and seeing a company's or individual's post containing the subtle "Instagram" or "Twitter" beneath the caption. What may seem easy to some simply comes across as lazy to others. Often the culprits of these also have the @taggedperson in their caption, or a stream of #hashtags following the caption, both are completely suitable for Twitter and Instagram respectively, but completely irrelevant and unsuitable for Facebook. These types of posts are the most likely to get the least amount of engagement, and even an unfollow, from me. You see, cross posting implies that you are only focusing on one platform, and the others are simply because you felt you had to. This may not only stagnate your audience growth, but decrease your overall engagement over time.
Different Platforms = Different Audiences
The first thing to note about cross posting is that different platforms gather different audiences, and therefore requires different content. My following on Instagram is hugely different to my following on Facebook, which is different to my following on Twitter. The reason for this is, I use each one to reach a different audience, to distribute different relevant content, and to develop different relationships. One of my clients manages their Facebook and Instagram differently - Instagram is aesthetically focussed, and is used to grow and audience, drive them to her website, and sign up. Her Facebook is targeted at an audience that is already signed up, and wants 'insider tips'. The most cross posting she does is the same photos with slightly differing captions - that's how it should be. Write your content to suit your audience.
To do this, you need to know your audience, and use the social media platform to reach them based on their specific interests, rather than trying to speak to the masses. For example, my mum uses Facebook, and on it she solely looks at craft videos and photos of her nieces and nephews. Whereas I am more likely to find and like a brand on Instagram, and keep Facebook as a personal account.
Know who your targeting, know what they use each platform for, and adjust your content accordingly.
Different Platforms = Different Content
Not all content fits on all platforms. Whilst you have different audiences with different interests to appeal to on each platform, it must also be taken into account that each platform was made for different content purposes. You only have 130 characters to get your message across on Twitter, and whilst you can post a photo on there too if you'd like, photos are much better suited to Instagram. However, on Instagram, you have a total of 0.3 seconds to make an impression on someone, so lengthy captions are much better suited on Facebook. Facebook is a good general platform for content, however you must take the time to tag people individually, as people have different handles that don't automatically tag on Facebook. Also, Facebook thrives on 'shareable' posts, so videos, humorous photos, and witty statements tend to gain a lot more engagement on Facebook - that's not to say people aren't reading your stuff! People just aren't engaging with Facebook posts as much any more.
Based on this, ensure your content is suitable for your platform, and your audience, based on where you are and what you're doing.
When you take the time to know your audience, learn about what they want, and create content accordingly, that's when you will get the engagement you've lost since you started cross posting. Don't believe me?