Social media marketing takes up a huge amount of time and a social media managers tasks are never done. To stay in touch with your community, you will need to share consistently or you will go down in the endless stream of social media noise. To keep up with the accelerating pace of social media, you will sometimes feel like a hamster in a wheel. If you’re running out of time for your daily social media management, automation might seem to be a good idea.
There are several auto-posting and cross-posting tools available on the market. But there are several reasons why cross-posting isn’t the best choice, and why cross-promoting is a much better alternative. In this article, I will show you how you can bring both concepts together. Read on to find out, how to get the best out of your posts and still save a whole lot of time and work for sharing your content.
The difference between cross-posting and cross-promoting
I personally never thought of the difference between these two postings concepts of cross-posting and cross-promoting. Maybe it was because English is not my native tongue that I never really thought about the difference. There even is no equivalent term for cross-posting or cross-promotion in my language. Or, the very concept of cross-promotion is such a natural idea in my mind, that I never thought about stressing the difference. Then I stumbled upon an article written by Ben Donker of Link Human on the subject, that encouraged me to change my wording. However, after reading Bens article, it is time to catch up on this topic.
So, what is the difference between cross-posting and cross-promotion and what is the impact of both on your social media strategy?
Cross-posting vs. cross-promoting
When people speak of cross-posting, they usually mean posting the very same content across multiple social networks. Cross-promotion also means, getting the same content to all of your networks, but there is a slight difference in approach. And that very difference may, however, have a great impact on your results and success. Cross-promotion basically means to promote your content in a way that fits each networks’ and communities’ characteristics and preferences.
What are the cons of social media automation and cross-posting?
Those who are against cross-posting often stress that your followers do not want to read the same content on every network. Well, I would not stress too much about this. If you think about it, this is very unlikely ever to be the case. You will have followers that follow you on multiple social networks. But what are the chances, that all of your followers are present at exactly the same time in all of your social channels and actually see your post? No, this won’t happen. If it does, you can call yourself a lucky guy. Fact is, that whenever you publish a post, only a fraction of your followers will actually see your post.
If you promote your blog posts, I think it is extremely important that you do this across all of your channels. The biggest challenge of social media management is to get the right content on the right platforms at the right time. So, what is much more important is, that you do it exactly in the best way you may present your post on each network. And that differs from network to network.
So what are the real cons of cross-posting?
The human factor
- Don’t send the same message over and over again.
- Don’t just blast out the same message. Tell your audience why you’re sending them this, ask questions, aks for their opinion, ask for likes and shares and engage them.
- Though you might automate posting content to your networks, respond and interact personally with your audience.
Network specific features
- So don’t just blast out the same message in the same form to all of your networks.
- Tailor your posts according to the network specific features and the preferences of your audience.
- Don’t use auto-posting tools, that don’t allow you to customize your posts appropriately.
- Don’t post the same content with the same frequency to each of your networks.
- Post and re-post your content according to the frequency that is suitable for each network.
It’s all about timingYour posts gain more outreach when your followers are online Click To Tweet
- Don’t share your posts at the same time on every network.
- Schedule your posts for the best time to be noticed on each network.
Not every content is suitable for every network
Cross-promote, don’t crosspost
Now we understand the cons and risks of cross-posting, here is what I do: I often post the same content and links across multiple networks. But I not just cross-post the same message in the same way to all of my networks, I cross-promote my content tailored to each networks specifications.
I have to manage 5 corporate blogs and a lot of social networks out there, my personal profiles as well as our business pages, focus pages and groups, such as:
Twitter, Facebook (profiles, pages), Google+ (profiles, pages, groups), LinkedIn (profiles, pages), XING (profiles, pages, groups), Diigo, Delicious, to Tumblr, Medium, Torial for re-publishing, as well as for sharing images on Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest.
I couldn’t manage this without a nitty-gritty strategy for cross-promoting and automation of my social media management.
I tailor my posts based on the respective network and networks’ audience before sharing them. And I use tools that help me do so with a minimum of work, but optimum output, so it doesn’t feel like cross-posting anymore.
My tools for crossposting and cross-promoting to social media
For cross-promoting my blog posts I use Blog2Social. The Wordpress plugin allows me to schedule and cross-publish my post directly from the WordPress dashboard. The plugin turns my blog post into the suitable format for every network I select for sharing. It displays an excerpt of my posting text with the available number of characters on each network with an image and link. However, I can still edit and customize each of the posts with personal comments, hashtags or handles I wish to add. This takes me less than 5 minutes for all of my networks and I would always recommend spending this extra time. Blog2Social provides me with a simple one-step workflow for all of my networks. This still saves me the time consuming and tedious work of copy & paste my texts manually on each network. This is what I do for customizing my social media posts to cross-promote my blog posts:
My cross-promotion strategy
- Twitter: I add #hashtags to keywords (Blog2Social automatically adds hashtags from my blog post tags, so I only have to check on them). I also add @handles if I want to refer to a specific Twitter user for this post. If I post to more that one Twitter accounts, I use different tweets and schedule them at different times. I can also add more tweets to each Twitter channel if I want to schedule multiple or recurring Tweets.
- Facebook profile: I add a personal comment to introduce my post. I ask questions or ask to comment on my post to encourage engagement.
- Facebook page: I edit my text for my business page slightly to give it a more formal touch. And I schedule it for a different time (the Blog2Social Best Time Scheduler does that automatically).
- Google profile: I use a slightly longer introduction to my post, as longer comments work better on Google+. And, I use #hashtags for keywords. (Blog2Social automatically adds hashtags from my blog post tags at the end of my comment. So I only have to check on them). Blog2Social already provides a slightly longer excerpt for Google+ and adds the tags from the blog post as #hashtags for keywords at the end of the comment. I sometimes add the same as for Facebook.
- Google page: I take the same comment as for my profile, but I schedule it for a different time.
- Google group: I do the same as for my page and I schedule the post for multiple groups on different days and times each.
- LinkedIn profile: I do the same as for Facebook, but sometimes tune the text a bit more businesslike.
- LinkedIn page or focus page: I do the same as for my Google page and I schedule my post for a different time or date from my profile
- Instagram: I sometimes add personal comments or call-for-shares, if appropriate and check the #hashtags. (Blog2Social automatically turns the tags of your post automatically into #hashtags and places them at the end of the comment)
- Pinterest, Flickr: I just check the comment and the #hashtags
- Medium, Tumbr, Torial; Bloglovin: I re-publish my post as it is or as an abbreviated version with a link to my original post for further reading. I schedule my post with a 3-7 day delay to my original blog post and I schedule one network at a time. Sometimes I make a few changes to the headline and the introduction. (Blog2Social provides a rich text editor to edit anything you want or even shorten the post)
- Reddit: I choose the Subreddits that are suitable for my post. I check my title and comment, if it goes along with the specific rules and regulations of each Subreddit.
The Blog2Social Best Time scheduler provides a ready-to-use time frame to automatically post at the best times for each network. You can also edit and save your own personal time settings and load them automatically for your future posts. You can always edit any time for any of your post or schedule your posts multiple times or recurrently.
For sharing content from other sources I use my RSS-Reader to curate content, Pocket to save and tag and I use the Blog2Social Web App to tailor my post and cross-share and schedule them to my curated content across various social channels. I will describe this process in a future article.
Set up your cross-promotion strategy
Cross-posting may appear as a convenient, quick and easy way to save time posting. But if you care about your fans and followers, you should take some extra minutes to tailor your message. Customize your posts according to the respective platform you’re posting to and to their specific audience.
- Cross-promoting your content across multiple sites will give you more outreach and brings your content up front to a much wider audience than posting to single social networks.
- When done automatically, cross-sharing and cross-publishing will bring your content much faster and easier to multiple accounts. Your content will reach more people in less time and with less effort than doing this manually by copy and pasting your content manually.