The Ups and Downs of Social Media Cross-PostingCredit: David Andrew Wiebe

I know there are a lot of experts that talk about really giving your social followers the attention that they deserve. I am certainly not here to argue with them, but I do think that everybody's situation is a little different.

With online marketing, it really depends on what you're trying to do, how you're going to go about accomplishing it, and most importantly, why.

Do you actually track how your social engagement tactics are working? Are you actually trying a bunch of different stuff to see what's connecting with your audience?

If you aren't, then that would be a good place to start. If you don't have any frame of reference there, then what I'm about to say probably won't help you.

In this article, I'm going to take a look at the merits and demerits of cross-posting (i.e. publishing your Tweets to Facebook, or posting your Instagram photos to your Twitter stream, etc.). Let's dive in!

Cross-Post Away!

First off, if you've never done it, why not? Because someone told you not to? That's not a good reason not to try something.

Look, I know what the "experts" are probably getting at. They're telling you that Tweets are shorter, and Facebook posts are longer. They're telling you that Facebook posts are formatted differently than Tweets. And so on.

But what if you don't have the time or the resources to manage multiple accounts? Or, what if you would rather manage your social presence from one location rather than several disparate destinations (side note: you can actually post to both Facebook and Twitter from Myspace; weird)?

I'm not saying that there aren't tools that can't help you solve these problems, but the entrepreneurial spirit is one of experimentation, trial and error, right?

So do you actually know that cross-posting is hurting you? Can you show me quantifiable results? Can you back it up with data?

With social media - within reason - it's better to post more often than less often, right? At the very least, it will get you more attention. And if you have to go back-and-forth between multiple sites, you'll end up spending more time than if you cross-posted, yes? Moreover, your Facebook posts are seen less than they were before, so it's better to have more posts than fewer posts, would you agree?

If these assumptions are true, then not cross-posting is actually hurting you. You can get your stuff seen more often if you get it out to several places all at once.

This doesn't negate the need to craft interesting and engaging messages, but heck, we all know that even great headlines get ignored sometimes. I'm not saying that you should do an all-out shotgun approach, but you might as well try and fail. It's a better alternative to sitting around, thinking and hypothesizing about the results you want.

Cross-Posting be Gone!

Okay, so if you have a loyal and engaged following, I'm sure there will be people that will notice what you're doing. They will tell you that Facebook is not the right place for Twitter messages, or maybe LinkedIn is not the right place for your email newsletters.

They may be right, they may be wrong. The point is that if enough of your loyal audience members complain about it, then and only then is cross-posting a legitimate problem that you need to address. And even then, it may not be a broad and sweeping stroke.

I think it's debatable, but I'm sure other experts would also say that social media is for socializing, and that's why it has the word 'social' in it. Let's assume that this is true for a moment.

Why would people click on links at all if that were true? Because the headlines are engaging? Isn't that just manipulation then?

And wouldn't you be draining your relational account with your followers by sending them to your blog posts? And wouldn't it be frustrating for them if the post you wrote didn't add any value to their life or their day in any way?

Look, let's face it; everyone posts links. It's a good practice to get into. You should try it sometime. Most of my favorites and retweets come from posts that have links in them.

I think some people might be caught in the perfectionist trap. They want all of their social accounts to look unified and professional. That won't do you much good if nobody is following you or 'liking' you or interacting with your content.


Just so you know, I'm definitely not saying that cross-posting doesn't have its downsides, but that's not the most important thing. Don't merely be noise. I think that's the main thing with social.

No matter how you go about it, if you're going to use social media to promote your stuff, you're going to have to post. A lot. You can think endlessly about the what or the how, but it's the why that really counts.

There are no rules stating that you can't try a bunch of stuff, and you might as well, especially if you don't have many followers yet.

I, for one, do not go around stalking people on social media; even my favorite bloggers, authors, or experts. I like going to websites, but I don't care about social that much.

I know that I'm probably the exception and not the rule, but that's really the whole point of this discussion; reaching the people that do like, use, and live on social media sites.

So how are you going to do that?