Updated February 2022
Social media trends are always changing, but this hard-fast rule is here to stay: be platform-specific.
Cross-posting, aka creating a single post and sharing it across all of your social media accounts, is where many businesses run into trouble. Auto-sharing posts or copying and pasting the same captions is very tempting (easy, less-time consuming) but let’s be clear – it’s not the best practice.
Reason #1: One Size Does Not Fit All
The content you post should match each platform. It doesn’t seem like this would be an issue, but it is. Why is it such a big deal? Things like caption length, image size, formatting, and hashtags all differ on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. When you cross-post (like sharing a post to Facebook and Twitter via Instagram, for example), it can cut off captions and poorly crop your photos which looks lazy.
Cross-posting can also get pretty confusing. If you tag a handle on Instagram (aka using @XXXX), it doesn’t translate to tagging that person on Facebook, instead it shows up as just plain text. And if you share an Instagram post directly to Twitter, the photo shows up as a link instead of an actual photo. Aka useless.
Reason #2: Followers Vary
Everyone has their own social media preferences. Think about the accounts you follow. Do you follow them all on Instagram, Twitter, AND Facebook? The answer is probably no. Most people, for example, will follow an account on Instagram but not on Twitter or “like” a page on Facebook to but not follow them on Insta, etc etc.
It’s important to remember that each platform has different things that attract people to it. Instagram has pretty photos, Facebook has events, Twitter has jokes. Your followers are simply not the same on every platform, and this means your target audience changes from platform to platform. Think about the ages, genders, and locations you are targeting. When these demographics change, your content should too.
Reason #3: Every Platform Has Strengths
No two platforms are the same. Take the time to think about the type of content your followers will engage with on the specific platform you’re writing for. Instagram is image-driven, so images and boomerangs are preferred over text-heavy flyers. Tweets are short and timely, so break big news into small condensed versions. Facebook encourages conversation, so share your business’s personal stories and upcoming events here.
Remember: every post doesn’t need to go on every platform. And every business does not need to be on every platform. If you’re just starting out prioritize platforms based on the type of audience you’re looking to reach as well as current trends. If you only have time to dedicate to one or two platforms, focus your energy there and expand later.
The Moral of The Story
Different platforms need different content, and even small adjustments can make a huge difference in how your audiences react to your posts. Taking a few extra minutes to create content that’s platform-specific shows 1) you know what you’re doing and 2) you care.
People don’t visit your Instagram to “like” your Facebook page. People don’t visit your Twitter to click on an Instagram URL. Stay in your lane, and be mindful what content you are posting where and you’ll earn the respect of your followers across all platforms.
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