Best Practices

Don’t cross-post on social media platforms

If you are maintaining multiple social media profiles, it can be enticing to cross-post the exact same message on all at once. And certain social media management tools even explicitly allow/encourage this. But cross-posting can hurt the effectiveness of your social campaigns for a number of reasons.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t post the same message or content, it just needs to be tweaked to perform optimally on each network and avoid errors or follower confusion.

Things to make unique for each platform

  1. Post times. The optimal time to post on each network varies based on the network and your audience. You can use some statistical averages, or use your own analytics and insights to determine the optimal time of day to reach your audience, but chances are it will vary by platform.
  2. @ Mentions. Depending on which other profiles you are tagging or mentioning, the syntax may vary per network. That organization’s usernames may also vary. Or they may not participate in all the same social networks you do. Make sure to customize your @ mentions of other profiles for the network you’re on.
  3. #Hashtags. Hashtag best practices vary by network as well. Whereas Twitter and Instagram rely on them heavily, Facebook was late to the game and they were not intrinsic to the platform. Overuse of hashtags can actually hurt your organic reach on Facebook.
  4. Message length. Twitter is definitely the limiting factor on this one. You don’t necessarily want to cut your captions or messages to Twitter-length on all platforms, so customizing for the allowable length makes sense.
  5. Photo/video aspect ratio. The best sizes and aspect ratios to get the optimal cropping on preview varies by platform. Understand the best size for images and you’ll get better engagement as users scroll past your content. In general, Instagram is the only 1×1 square content.

With minimal extra effort you can take a single message or post and tweak it slightly. That way you can take advantage of the features of each social media platform. And your content can perform optimally on each.