Just because you can autopost, doesn’t mean you should. To automate cross-posting from platform to platform is a sure way to be ignored by your audience (intentionally or unintentionally).

Your audience deserves more respect. The platforms deserve respect. Things can go wrong — really wrong — with sentences being truncated or links missing. It will reflect on you as a brand poorly.

Just don’t do it.

Distribute Content Effectively

Here’s my analogy about why I believe auto crossposting is a huge content distribution mistake. Be intentional instead.

Efficient isn’t always effective.

When I worked for a trucking company in 1991, I had to type freight bills on a typewriter on NCR paper (younger folks may have to Google these terms). The freight bills were four to seven sheets thick because so many people had to get copies. Now, in that case making copies is efficient and effective.

A trend I noticed in 2011 that doesn’t seem to be fading is auto crossposting.  I see duplicate, triplicate, and even quadruplicate versions all over the platforms of the day. It may be efficient but is it effective?

Cross Posting and Social Media Influencers

This is the elephant in the social media strategy room.

In my world, often the friends we want to support the most, although enthusiastic, are some of the greatest offenders.

We hint, tweet out great articles, with no avail. Passive aggressive tweeting, although cathartic, results in no behavioral change.

If you insist upon posting the same content, simultaneously, on every platform, your audience will have to make a choice. I will have to make a choice.

It is impossible to effectively manage an audience on all platforms. If you don’t log in, you won’t notice their replies. An audience is a responsibility.

Why shouldn’t you auto cross post?

  1. Noise:  According to KissMetrics, the ideal posting on a Facebook Page is one post every two days whereas on Twitter it is one to four posts per hour. The expectations of users on Twitter and Facebook are different. What seems normal on Twitter is spam-like on Facebook. If your Page posts too frequently, you may be unliked.
  2. Venue: Every venue has a niche. You don’t try to fit The Dave Matthews Band in the House of Blues and you don’t have an up-and-coming singer-songwriter play in Central Park. Each venue dictates the behavior. If you’re not sure what behavior is acceptable, then watch what others do and read articles that discuss best practices.
  3. Conversation: Try to drive the conversation using questions. People have opinions and they love to be consulted about them. Tweets have a lifespan of about a minute. LinkedIn, and Facebook Pages all have the luxury of nested comments. That is a fabulous tool to get some input and generate talk about your company/brand.
  4. Content: If I am connected to you on LinkedIn, then I expect a certain type of content. Guy Kawasaki, in a seminar in Orange County, said that Facebook is a “photo economy” and Twitter is a “link economy.” That is to say, photos get a greater response in Facebook and links get the most response on Twitter.
  5. Variety: Mix up your social media postings. Maybe post a photo on Facebook and say “Does this make you smile? Why?” Only post it there. Maybe post a different photo on Instagram. Save LinkedIn for great articles about your industry that are geared toward professionals. Post nearly any of that on Twitter — just not at the same time.
  6. Appropriateness: Though they function, hashtags have no business on Facebook. When is the last time you clicked on a hashtag on Facebook? The culture doesn’t use it. LinkedIn and Instagram, however, allow users to follow hashtags as well as click on them.
  7. Authority: Double and triple posting shows you have no regard for your audience. Is that the image you want to convey? Social Media is comprised of communities. Communities have unspoken rules. If you’re not picking up on them, then you’re going to get blocked, ignored, or unfollowed either literally or figuratively. You’ll loose your authority in your marketplace.

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

I could eat pancakes with jalapeños but I don’t think my stomach would appreciate it. Jalapeños are great on nachos, not on pancakes.

I’d like to challenge you to reevaluate your social media practices.

Log into the individual social media sites and unlink all of your accounts. Post natively. See if your interaction goes up. I double-dog dare you.

Further Reading

This post was updated September 3, 2019.

10 Comments

  1. Pam Aungst Teubner (@PamAnnMarketing) on November 9, 2011 at 7:39 am

    Great post as usual, Bridget. Is the Kissmetrics recommendation about Facebook post frequency pre-EdgeRank?

    I ask because Hubspot is now recommending 3 to 5 Facebook posts per day (page 13 in eBook below). I assume that is at least partially due to the “time decay” element of the EdgeRank algorithm (page 29 in eBook).

    Hubspot eBook on Facebook Marketing: http://www.hubspot.com/Portals/53/docs/how-to-master-facebook-marketing-in-10%20days.pdf

    • Bridget Willard on November 9, 2011 at 8:42 am

      Oh wow. I do not know about that. However, I’d think the volume of your postings (as a page) should depend on the population (shear mass) of your audience.

      I’ll check out the e-book.

    • Robert Nissenbaum on September 21, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      I personally have found working on more than 25 Facebook pages that post frequency doesn’t matter. It comes down to fan base and what you do to drive traffic to your page rather than rely on Facebook to show it (or pay to have it shown).

      Given how the Facebook algorithm works (written several articles on it) post frequency has little to do with what fans see and, in fact, if they see too much, they can choose negative feedback further hurting you.

  2. Robert Nissenbaum on September 21, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Bridget,

    Excellent article. I’m ‘guilty’ but with a reason. For me, some of the content is duplicated and some is modified.

    When – this is big. I spread out duplicate content so it is seen over time – maybe a week or 2. If my audience does see it on Facebook they may not comment. If they see it days later on G+ they may have time to read, follow a link and/or respond. It’s similar to having the same ad run in several publications.

    Who – the main reason though – the vast majority of my audience is not cross pollinated between platforms. My following is very unique to the platform with only some following me on multiple sites (Twitter not included). Since I do also post some content that isn’t cross posted, there still is value for those fans.

  3. Carol Stephen on September 21, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Hi Bridget,
    This post is from 2011, but the points still apply. People’s expectations are different on the various platforms. They’re like different countries, with different languages. Or maybe the same language with a different accent. 😀
    Carol

    • Bridget Willard on September 21, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      I agree. I’ve learned everyone has their own way.

  4. Keith Besherse on November 15, 2019 at 7:08 am

    Regarding your absolute statement to not use hashtags on Facebook, My initial response is to disagree; However, It very well could be that my example is a case of the exception which proves the rule:

    My men’s group has a running selfie promotional in Facebook #2ndSatDickeys which acknowledges a local sponsor of the program.

    Also my tribe is different than yours. Your community primarily communicates on Twitter. My primary audience is on Facebook. When I follow them on Twitter, what I see is a running violation of the point you are making with this blog post.

    • Bridget Willard on November 15, 2019 at 8:11 am

      Great points, Keith. With Facebook hashtags, I rarely see anyone actually click on one. And then those photos need to be public for the campaign to work.

      I appreciate you.

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