Social Media 101: Why not to cross-post the same message

Don't cross the streams

At least once in your career as a social media manager you may be tempted to cross-post your marketing message over multiple social networks.  While new tools make it easy to post updates across Facebook, Twitter, and more sites you should resist this inclination to broadcast your message through social media; cross-posting ignores the unique purpose of using social media to reach your audience.

The practice of cross-posting has become increasingly common as brands build their online marketing strategy around Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and link baiting across social networks. Posting updates on each site requires sustainable commitments of time and resources, so there’s temptation to publish the same message across multiple sites with only a single update. However the acceptable rate of updates varies widely between social networks, so while it’s effective to post messages multiple times a day on Twitter, this same frequency might be viewed as spammy on Facebook and other networks. The result is often that brands lose fans/followers as well as the trust of their audience, not to mention deteriorating their brand’s value in the eyes of consumers.

In addition to making your brand become perceived as a source of spam, cross-posting also appears tone deaf to the consumers who are interested in interacting with your organization. Social Media opens up new opportunities that can help promote brands, but all too often is viewed as the platform to broadcast their own advertisements. But even a soapbox speaker will read the reactions of the audience they’re addressing, and likewise your brand should listen and interact with your audience.

Even the Ghostbusters use their TV ad to demonstate willingness to listen to consumers problems, and demonstrate how they can help provide solutions

Best practices:

  • Post updates individually to each social media site, varying the frequency for each platform; perhaps 1-2 updates a day on Facebook and 6-10 for Twitter.
  • For every 5 updates on Twitter, only 1 or 2 should promote your company, and the rest should engage your audience by sharing their ideas and answering their questions for subjects which you have expertise about.
  • Use measurement tools to note which posts resonate with each audience, and make adjustments accordingly to what they find most valuable.
  • Take advantage of the unique features of each social media site, such as @replies on Twitter and the Events or Photo apps on Facebook, to spark discussions with your target audience.

Use these unique social media tools to listen carefully to your audience and then offer them solutions to their problems, not just to sell them your products.

Being strategic in your communications means using research to focus your goals on any media outlet, including social media. Of course many organizations may not be able to commit resources to support so many social sites, and instead they should focus on one or two which best meet their goals. In many cases a poorly executed communication plan may be worse than no having no social media presence at all, so be don’t be afraid to be selective.  After all an abandoned social media profile is like a ghost for your brand, and when you’ve got the tools and the talent “I ain’t afraid of no ghost”.

  • To be honest, I’ve tried cross-posting on my personal profiles and received some backlash from my own network.  So I can speak from both personal and professional experience that cross-posting has negative consequences on many levels.

  • To be honest, I’ve tried cross-posting on my personal profiles and received some backlash from my own network.  So I can speak from both personal and professional experience that cross-posting has negative consequences on many levels.