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.
Thinking to myself about a blog post on cross-posting. Mmm. Where to start. 1. Don't do it. 2. See Rule #1. But it must be longer than that.
— Bridget Willard (@YouTooCanBeGuru) November 9, 2011
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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- FabAmy: Why You Shouldn’t Cross-Post Between Twitter and Facebook
- Inside Facebook: Study: Auto-Posting to Facebook Decreases Likes and Comments by 70%
- UNMarketing: Mannequin Networking: Why Twitter Automation is Bad
This post was updated September 3, 2019.