Now, social media marketers are faced with this issue: Should you curate content for each platform and its audience or should you save some time and cross-post on multiple platforms?
In this article, we’ll discuss the do’s and dont’s of cross posting, the benefits of this strategy, and some tools to help you leverage it.
What is cross posting?
Cross-posting is the act of sharing the same content across multiple social media platforms. For example, if you post a video on TikTok, you could post that same video on Instagram and Twitter. It allows social media marketers to save time and focus on strategy and analytics.
Who can get the most out of this strategy?
- Small brands with a limited marketing budget
- New brands that haven’t produced much content
- Social media marketers that want to focus on strategy instead of posting
Benefits and Drawbacks of Cross Posting
Cross posting is a time-saving measure that allows you to share your content with a wider audience without having to put in the extra effort.
The main benefit of cross-posting is that it saves you time. Instead of creating separate pieces of content for each social media platform, you can just share the same content on all of them.
This is especially helpful if you’re short on time or if you’re managing multiple social media accounts.
Another benefit of cross-posting is that it allows you to reach a wider audience. By sharing your content on multiple platforms, you’re increasing the chances that people will see it and engage with it.
While cross posting has many benefits, there are also a few drawbacks to consider.
The first is that not all platforms are created equal. What works on one platform might not work on another.
That’s why many marketers prefer to tailor their content to each platform and its specific audience.
Another drawback of cross posting is that if some users follow you on multiple platforms and see the same content, they may get bored and stop paying attention to what you post.
As with every strategy, you have to be flexible in your approach.
Cross Posting Mistakes
Now that you know what cross posting is and how to do it, let’s take a look at some mistakes you should avoid.
One mistake to avoid is reposting the exact same content on every social media platform. Just because you can cross-post everywhere doesn’t mean you should.
Your followers on each platform are likely to be different, so it’s important to customize your content for each audience. More on that in the next section.
Another mistake I often see on social media is brands posting content featuring watermarks from other platforms.
For instance, when you upload a video to TikTok and save it, the brand’s logo will automatically appear on the video. Instagram recently announced that it would deprioritize videos with the TikTok watermark to avoid recycled content from its competitor.
This practice also compromises your video quality while signaling to audiences that you’re focusing on other social platforms.
Here’s an easy solution: Edit and prep your content on a third-party platform like Canva or iMovie then upload to the respective platform to add additional elements like filters, sounds, and captions.
That will not only keep you from getting shadowbanned but also preserve the quality of your content, as it’s only being uploaded once.
Best Cross Posting Practices
When it comes to cross posting, the most important factor is the quality of your content. This might seem obvious, but it’s important. If your content isn’t good, people won’t want to read it or share it, no matter what platform it’s on.
Once you have great content, the next step is to tailor it to each specific platform. Now you might be thinking, “Is the whole point of cross-posting that I don’t have to tailor content to the platform?” The truth is that while cross posting takes the bulk of the work out, you’ll still have to do some customizing.
This means seeing which platforms deserve which approach. For instance, TikTok and Instagram Reels are both short-form video platforms. This offers an easy cross-posting opportunity.
On Facebook, you might want to include a photo or video along with your update whereas you could use the copy only for Twitter.
The key is to make your content engaging and interesting based on audience behavior on each platform.
And finally, to make cross posting easy, consider using software. There are a number of options available, let’s cover that next.
Cross Posting Software
Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of cross posting, you may want to look for tools that will facilitate this process.
First, here are key features you’ll want to look out for:
- Scheduling – The best cross posting software will allow you to schedule your content in advance so you can set it and forget it.
- Customization – As we mentioned before, it’s important to tailor your content for each social media platform. The best cross posting software will allow you to do this with ease.
- Analytics – It’s also key to track the performance of your cross-posted content. You’ll need software with advanced analytics so you can see what’s working and what isn’t.
Let’s take a look at some tools that will help you do it.
Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media management platforms. It allows you to schedule and publish content, track who’s talking about your brand, and measure your performance.
It also has a feature that lets you cross-post content to multiple social media accounts with just a few clicks.
Another tool you can use is Buffer.
Like Hootsuite, Buffer lets you schedule and publish content, track your brand mentions, and measure your performance.
It also has a cross-posting feature that makes it easy to share your content.
Sprout Social is a third option for those looking for a social media management platform. It has all of the features you’d expect, like the ability to schedule and publish content, track your performance, and engage with your audience.
It also has a cross-posting feature that lets you share content on multiple social media platforms.
When done correctly, cross posting can be an effective way to grow your online presence. Just make sure to avoid the mistakes we discussed and use one of the tools we mentioned to make the process easier.
Before Deciding Where Your Content Team Reports, Pay Attention to This
When a brand creates a new content marketing or content strategy team, they often ask, “What function or department should the content team report to?”
My answer? “Yes!”
Now, I’m not trying to be a smart aleck. (Well, I am a little bit, do you even know me?) But seriously, my yes comes from years of helping implement content teams in dozens of businesses. My affirmative response indicates the most important thing isn’t to whom content reports; it’s that content teams report to the business.
When it reports into a function, such as brand, marketing, sales enablement, demand gen, PR/comms, or even (yes, really in one case) finance, the business acknowledges content marketing is a real thing with real responsibilities, power, and capabilities to affect business outcomes.
“What outcomes?” you might ask.
Well, that depends on where content marketing reports.
Now you have the real conundrum.
You can’t figure out where content marketing and content strategy should report without knowing the expected business outcomes, and you can’t know the business outcomes until you know where they’re reporting.
Content’s pervasiveness creates the challenge
Content as a strategic function in business affects almost everything. That pervasiveness means nearly any function in the business could “own” content as a strategy.
For example, we recently worked with a company about a year into its enterprise-wide digital transformation strategy. They have a content team, and we were to help them assemble a governance and operational approach for their website content.
When we determined the right operational processes, we got into trouble. A content team leader asked, “What if someone proposed a new AI chatbot as part of this digital transformation for the website? Is it a content project with a technology component or a technology project with a content component?”
The question isn’t semantics. Instead, the answer determines the process for development, the team owning implementation, and the measurement by which it’s deemed successful.
It’s not just a technology challenge, either. The company also wanted to create new brand content guidelines for the website. Is that a content team project informed by the brand team or a brand project in consultation with the content team?
Given content’s pervasiveness, you can argue it is part of any meaningful communications initiative the business takes on. But sales’ needs are different from marketing’s, and HR’s requirements are different from the demand-gen team’s. However, to achieve consistency in content and communication, it doesn’t make sense to let each function determine its content strategy.
To achieve the balance between an enterprise-wide content strategy and the unique needs of every function in the business, the leaders and practitioners must decide to whom content reports. Again, the agreement is important, not the where or what of the agreement.
3 key attributes to identify in the decision-making process
As you and the leadership ponder how to balance the enterprise content strategy and where it should sit, consider these three key attributes that play an essential role in success.
1. Develop a content operations backbone
I don’t care if you have two people and one blog and a website or a team of 50 who operate on 35 content platforms across multiple channels. A content operations infrastructure creates consistent success across your digital content experiences. Content operations is an enterprise-recognized set of integrated and shared systems (meaning technologies), standards, guidelines, playbooks, and processes to ensure reliable, consistent, scalable, and measurable content across the business.
Content operations acts as the backbone – the foundation – to ensure the content is created, managed, activated, and measured the same way across whatever audience and whichever channel the brand presents to.
2. Connect with the audience across platforms
You can no longer expect to create one optimal experience that makes up for a bunch of sub-optimal ones.No matter your size, it’s not good enough to have your blog subscribers separate from your marketing automation database and all that separated from your CRM system. This goes for all of your audiences – from new employees to external parties such as analysts, journalists, partners, vendors, etc.
In this approach, the goal is to engage, build, and develop relationships with audiences. Thus, connecting audience behavior with insights on how to communicate better is not a siloed functional need; it is an enterprise need.
3. Build an accountability framework
This attribute in one word? Standards (and a team to keep them.) In a truly fascinating way, one of the earliest activities in building a content strategy makes the biggest impact on larger businesses: Come to terms with what words around content strategy and marketing mean. What is a campaign? What is the difference between a campaign and an initiative? What is an e-book? What is an article vs. a blog post? How long should a white paper take to write? Most businesses assume these things or create meanings based on contextual needs.
At a recent client, one group expected the content team to produce white papers within a week of the request. Another group expected them to be delivered in six weeks at double the length that the other group thought.
An accountability framework – and its ongoing evolution – presents clear ownership and coordination of content standards (roles, responsibilities, processes, types) across the enterprise. This model should not detail the definitions and standards but identify how they will enforce them.
Start your content decisions by deciding together
Where should you begin?
Well, just like in the beginning, my answer is yes. Independent of where you start, the critical point happens in the deciding of the elements. To be clear, these are institutional decisions, not simply “what you think.” In other words, it doesn’t matter what you believe the definitions, roles, or processes should be if the other parts of the organization don’t know, believe, or care.
A great first step is to create that accountability framework and make people care about its existence. At first, it might create a language of content that everybody in your business understands. When someone says, “I’d like to do a campaign,” or, “I think we should write a white paper,” everyone understands what that means and what it takes to do it. Then, the benefits of an accountability framework will start to become clear.
It makes the case for a team assigned to lead this consistency easier. And that enables the team to connect those experiences and audiences in a way that makes sense for everyone.
In the end, you have found determining the where, how, and what of a content strategy implementation isn’t the most important. The act of deciding is.
It’s a strange combination. In isolation, the reason for deciding seems straightforward. So why wouldn’t anybody want a clear definition of what a campaign is or a single source of the truth when it comes to the tone of your content?
But stacked together, those decisions feel like they are bigger than the content team and really should involve the entire enterprise. (Spoiler alert: They do.)
If you want any desired consequence, you had better decide on all the things that would help create it.
It’s your story. Tell it well.
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