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Presenting a consistent brand across all social platforms should be the aim of any modern day organisation. With consistency comes familiarity, allowing your audience to grow to love your brand, or at the very least feel familiar and comfortable with it.
This uniformity is generally achieved one of two ways – by cross-posting or cross-promotion. While these two practices may sound super similar, they offer two very different solutions to the social media consistency problem.
Which should your organisation choose? Let’s take a look to see what each method will offer your brand.
Cross-posting takes the consistency of message to the extreme. It is the practice of posting the exact same message and content across all social platforms. Let’s say you’ve just published a blog on your website and you’re looking to tell your social followers about it. Cross-posting the content will see the exact same link with the exact same headline being posted across all of your social media accounts.
Social media management tools such as Hootsuite make cross-posting an instantaneous and one-click operation through the use of a bulk scheduler. Social platforms also allow for this cross-posting within their own apps – Instagram, for instance, offers you the option to simultaneously post to Facebook, Twitter and even Tumblr when you publish a new photo.
Cross-promotion lightens the load of those in charge of your social media accounts greatly but does come with its own set of drawbacks, which we’ll delve into shortly.
Cross-promotion, on the other hand, relies on your social media marketing team producing unique posts for each social platform that your organisation uses. While there are tools that can help to streamline this effort, the process is pretty much impossible to automate.
But while there is extra work involved, this added labour will generally more than pay for itself.
Why You Should Be Cross-Promoting Rather Than Cross-Posting
The competition between social media platforms is intense. And because the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn are all owned by different entities, they’re not particularly keen to make themselves compatible with one another.
This makes cross-posting a dangerous game. What works best for one platform won’t work best for another. Instagram, for example, relies heavily on clever hashtag usage and doesn’t allow for hyperlinks to be part of posts. The same cannot be said for LinkedIn, nor a host of other platforms. While cross-posting may offer up efficiency, it doesn’t offer up effectiveness. Your engagement numbers will be far below what they could be if you created content specifically for each platform.
There is also a negative perception from your followers that can come from posting the exact same thing across all platforms. It can come across lazy, or even worse, robotic. Many of your followers probably follow you on multiple platforms and have presumably subscribed to your stuff because they see value in what you post. If they see the exact same content with the exact same message on two or more platforms, they may get the impression that you’re just phoning your social media work in.
It’s clear that cross-promotion is the way forward for social media marketing. It allows you to:
- Speak the language of the platform on which you’re posting
- Get the greatest amount of engagement for your posts
- Hold the interest of your followers on each platform
- Maintain a brand that is human and relatable, rather than something automated and robotic
The take-home message is this: don’t be in a rush to get content out there. Don’t post for the sake of posting. Be sure to provide value to your followers, to curate your content to make it the most effective it can be on each platform, and to maintain your unique brand persona.