We’re busy, I get it. We’re all looking for ways to squeeze a bit more out of each hour, crowbar a few more things into each day. So when clever software options let us spray our social media posts across every platform with the click of a button, it’s tempting. But for many reasons I believe repurposing content is a better approach, rather than sharing exactly the same stuff all over the internet.
For the non-marketing-geeks among us (i.e. all you normal folk), “repurposing” is a fancy word for taking an idea and adapting it to suit the environments in which you’re sharing it.
Why Not Just Share The Same Post?
There are a few reasons why I don’t recommend just sharing the same content across all of your social media platforms.
(1) The first reason is simple. The image dimensions or character limits are different for each platform, so while a post might look great on Facebook, it will probably cut off mid-sentence and be annoyingly out of place on Twitter. And while a square image might stand out beautifully on Instagram, it will probably be cut off on Facebook – or worse still, appear as just a link on Twitter.
(2) Each social media platform has its own “native content” – the content that works best on that platform for that audience. The differences may be subtle, but to be truly effective you need to respect these differences and adapt your content accordingly.
(3) If you post exactly the same thing across every social media platform, why would I follow you everywhere? If I know I’m going to see the same thing, I might (and in my case, probably will) unfollow you on at least one of the platforms to clear out my feed. In the interests of maintaining strong communities across your social media platforms, it’s best to offer different content.
(4) I do occasionally share my Instagram images to Facebook (where they show up in the right format), however I don’t do it with every post – only those that I feel are appropriate. And when I do share them to Facebook, I don’t include hashtags in the description as they don’t really belong in Facebook in the same way as they do on Instagram.
Why Repurpose Social Media Content?
Taking a central idea and making appropriate tweaks still allows you to leverage your time and creative efforts.
It lets you talk to your target audience on the platforms they’re using – but in a way and tone they prefer.
It allows you to maintain a consistent presence across more than one social media platform.
How Do I Repurpose?
When you have an idea for one platform, consider how you can adapt or rework that idea for another platform. For example at the moment I am sharing a series of Instagram tips on, funnily enough, Instagram. At least once each day I am sharing a tip with a relevant image and a description explaining how the tip can be actioned by the viewer.
The idea was originally for Instagram only, but with a few tweaks I can repurpose it as follows:
(1) Create a Slideshare presentation containing all of the tips, or even break that Slideshare up into a series – Setting Up Your Instagram Profile; Creating Great Post for Instagram; Engaging with your Instagram Audience.
(2) Create blog posts along similar lines.
(3) Hold a Periscope or a webinar talking about my 10 favourite tips.
(4) Pull some of the tips into a LinkedIn Post.
(5) Share the images at a later date on Facebook. (I’m deliberately choosing not to share them to Facebook at the same time – I can revive them at a later date for my Facebook audience)
(6) Create a series of infographics of the tips to share on Pinterest.
Now whether I do repurpose it in this many ways remains to be seen – I also need to be conscious that I’m not overdoing it so that my audiences become bored.
A blog post can also be shared across social media platforms in unique but similar ways.
(1) The blog’s main image can be shared with a link back to the blog.
(2) Quotes or tips from the blog post can be turned into images and shared on Instagram.
(3) Quotes can also be used on Twitter with a link back to the blog post. (Don’t forget Twitter also loves images as well – it just doesn’t love them being shared automatically from Instagram).
(4) If the blog post has a number of tips (e.g. 10 Ways To Repurpose Your Blog Content), turn it into a Slideshare presentation or infographic
(5) You might also share an excerpt of the blog in your newsletter with a link through to the blog post.
If you’re preparing a presentation or speech, consider how you can rework that into blog or social media content.
(1) Can the slides become a Slideshare presentation?
(2) Can the slides be reworked slightly to become Instagram or Twitter images?
(3) Can you repurpose the presentation into a webinar?
(4) Can you turn the presentation into a blog topic?
So as you can see, while it’s not the “quick fix” of automatically sharing the same piece of content across several social media platforms, repurposing your content can extend its shelf life and expand its reach by meeting the needs of your community on each social media platform.
Have A Content Calendar
To maintain control over your repurposed content and not miss opportunities to reshare material, it is useful to have a Content Calendar where you can have an overview of which content is being shared on which platforms.
If All You’re Doing is Auto-Sharing, Do You Need To Be On That Platform?
If you’re automatically sharing all content from one social media platform to another, and not using the second platform in any other way, consider placing that second platform on hold until you are ready to give it the appropriate attention. You may be doing more harm than good by simply sharing inappropriate content across.