Beware the Crosspost!

When I was younger, when social media was simply an outlet for my teenage angst and not a source of income, everyone wanted to share everything, everywhere. So began crossposting or post forwarding, posting the exact same thing to every account possible. Now it’s become clear that crossposting is not an effective way to reach your audience or your friends. People want to stay on the platform they’re on!

The most popular forms of crossposting that I see today are:

1.       Forwarding tweets to a Facebook profile

2.       Using fb.me links on Twitter to connect to a Facebook post

3.       Forwarding Instagram posts to Facebook and Twitter

Here’s where these forwarding strategies fall apart!

Cut Offs

Each platform has a different allowed character count, and on two extremes! Instagram allows 3000 characters, including up to 30 hashtags. Facebook allows 2000, but Twitter only allows 280! So when you spend all that time crafting a message for Instagram or Facebook, and then you set that message to auto-forward to Twitter, you end up with a few words that don’t tell your audience what the post is even about. Inversely, creating a Twitter post to forward to Facebook will look short and poorly structured. It’s better to craft a particular message for each platform, taking into account the character count you’re dealing with, even if the photo or message you want to share is going to every platform.

Image Size

Each platform has a different ideal image size, so if, for example, you’re forwarding an image shared on Instagram to Twitter, it probably won’t look the way you want it to. On Twitter the image will appear zoomed in and cut off at the top and bottom, meaning that important features or text on your image might get cut off! Re-sizing for every platform can take a bit of time, but it’s worth it to make sure your images are clear!

Hashtags

Each of these platforms use hashtags differently. For example, you might want to benefit from using all 30 hashtags on Instagram, but if you crosspost to Twitter directly, none of those hashtags will carry over, and you’ll lose all their value! Hashtags are a very valuable tool on both Instagram and Twitter, but less so on Facebook. A post crowded with hashtags that pops up on Facebook doesn’t look professional and won’t increase your reach or engagement.

Asking Too Much of Your Audience

This is the problem that comes up from using crossposting links- when I see a tweet with a fb.me or a link to an Instagram post, I think “Why aren’t you talking to me right here?”

If a visitor is already on your Twitter page, for example, you should speak to them there. That doesn’t mean you can never invite them to investigate links to your blog or website, but you have to give them something valuable where you’ve already got their attention- otherwise, they’ll leave! Asking them to click on a link when they can’t see what the post is about is asking your audience to work harder than you have. It’s up to you to put in that effort and prove to your audience that you appreciate their time and will make it worthwhile for them to support you!

Ultimately, cross posting costs you engagement and reach, but it also makes you look less than polished. It looks like you don’t know what you’re doing, and that’s something that we all want to avoid!

BONUS-

Not crossposting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t connect your accounts or avoid linking to them! Make sure everyone can find your profiles and websites, but make sure that the content on each is unique and tailored to that particular space!