As you may have read in our article, Choosing The Right Social Media Platform For Your Brand, picking the right place to speak to your audience is key when dealing with social strategy, but it’s only a small part of the task at hand. The real challenge is when it comes time to share your content across multiple social platforms. Coming up with text, pictures, emojis, and hashtags, optimized for the platform you’re publishing on, is a tall order.
In this article, we'll explore one example of a social post for our brand Virginia Foodie, and how we optimized the post for each of our social streams. Take a look at how we started with the blog post and diversified parts of the actual blog copy to adapt to what each individual social platform audience would engage with the most. Follow along for tips and tricks that have helped us maintain relevance on every platform when speaking to our 50K+ following.
Cross-Posting to Facebook: Appealing to the Masses
Content: Facebook posts are typically seen in two versions. A lengthy tell-all and a short, to-the-point attention-grabbing statement. If the purpose of what you’re posting is to get your audience to a specific place (like our blog post–shown here), use a short, engaging caption. This gets your audience to stop and wonder what is beyond the link.
If what you’re trying to represent stops right at the surface, go ahead with your lengthy tell-all. Facebook is the place to do it, and you’re more likely to get readers, shares, and responses on this platform.
Pro tip: People love numbers. (5 Best Cities, 10 Ways To Use Your Vinegar, 7 Avocado Toast Recipes, etc.), add one in if it works with your caption and post purpose.
Emojis: In general, Facebook is a less formal platform. Depending on your brand, it makes sense to use emojis to spice up your content.
Hashtags: According to some studies, businesses still use hashtags for Facebook. However, the number of people actually using them for searching is minimal and they clutter up the caption which takes away from its straightforwardness. If we had a specific hashtag for this campaign or a trending hashtag topic, then we would consider it using them.
Links: So important! For us, Facebook is our number one traffic referral for our website. If we didn’t have links on our posts, our website obviously wouldn’t get nearly as much traffic as it does now. We have good content on our website and we want people to see it. The best way to do that is to get the message out in as many ways as possible with a strategic promotion strategy.
Tagging: Facebook is all about building connections, so we do recommend tagging if you can. Tagging in the actual caption allows that post to appear on your tag-ee’s page (if they have the right permissions set up). Since we had so many different places to tag for this post, we chose to have them tagged in the comment on the post instead of in the caption. This calls attention to those restaurants without cluttering up our caption with over 30 tags. Letting them know they’re in that article in return prompted them to share on their page. Boom–reach expanded!
Side Note: Do you see that white push pin (blue background) in the top right-hand corner? Yep, that means the story is pinned to the top of our page. If someone visits our page, that will be the first post they see. This is a great feature for highlighting something timely, new, or just important to your company. Pinning posts helps to maximize views and engagement.
Cross-Posting to Twitter: Standing Out in the Crowd
Content: When it comes to posting on Twitter, think of why your audience follows you. Is it for recipes, or for updates on your products? Do they just want a good image of a hotdog with a link to where to get said hotdog? Give the people what they want! Twitter feeds are ROUGH. One minute your tweet is there and the next it’s been swallowed up by thousands of other tweets. Making your tweet stand out, has been and always will be, rule number one.
Emojis: Again, depending on your brand, emojis are a good idea. Emojis will typically help your tweet stand out against the feed of text.
Hashtags: If you didn’t already know, hashtags are very important for Twitter. The addition of hashtags ensures that the post shows up when people search for those keywords–giving you a first or second opportunity to get in front of not only your main audience but also new viewers.
Links: Similar to Facebook, in the sense of: do you want to just make a statement and have the action stop there, or do you want your audience to go beyond Twitter and onto your website or another destination on the web? If it’s the latter, adding a direct link in the tweet eliminates the possibility of any followers getting lost between the tweet and your desired endpoint (blog post, recipes, etc.)
Tagging: Again, the same rule we mentioned above with Facebook applies here as well. If you can tag, you should. This creates a better chance of your tweet getting noticed. Typically this will result in the tagee liking, commenting or even retweeting that tweet, which expands the reach of your original tweet. In situations like our above post where there are too many companies to tag, we opted to not tag any at all. While this isn’t ideal, there would not be enough characters to tag everyone.
Side Note: Same as Facebook, Yellow pin=pinning to top of the page. Use it for important tweets that you want to be first seen when people visit your page.
Cross-Posting for Instagram: Telling Your Story
Content: You have a couple of seconds to grab someone’s attention on Instagram. Choose an image that’s going to make your audience pause and want to learn more about what you’re talking about and why you posted the image that you did.
For the actual text in the caption, followers don’t want to feel like you’re trying to sell them on something. Give them a description of your product, a recipe for what to use it with, a story about how it changed someone’s daily routine, as long as it’s something of use to them, you want it to feel valuable in some way. After you’ve given them something, that’s when you can then let them know where they can find it.
Emojis: Instagram is a safe place for emojis. They’re a common way to communicate not only in captions but also comments. Depending on what message you’re trying to get across, there is usually an emoji that could tie in and liven up your message. Instagram is built for storytelling with images, after all. Even if those images are little cartoon emojis.
Hashtags: Just like Twitter, hashtags are super important when it comes to Instagram. You can use up to 30 hashtags per post. While some marketers believe that using 11 is the golden number, we choose to get right around the 30-mark each time. A higher number of hashtags maximizes your opportunity for a higher reach. There are websites like Display Purposes, that help you generate the best hashtags for the image you’re posting, just by typing in a few keywords.
Links: Instagram does not allow you to have links in your image captions. If you’re a business like us, you’re most likely going to need a way to have your audience get to your website, whether it be to read a blog or buy a product. We use LNK.BIO for our links. It generates one master link that we can put in our bio that lists all of our different call-outs. For this Instagram post, we did call attention to that link in bio so that we can get readers to our blog.
Additionally, if you have over 10K followers on Instagram, you can add a “Swipe Up” link to your Instagram stories. Instagram Stories are currently more likely to be seen than your actual feed post.
Tagging: So where can you tag? You should always tag them in the image itself, when possible. What we’ve learned is that people don’t always read. If they’re going to look at your picture and that’s it, give them the chance to see who’s in the picture by tagging. This also links the picture to show up under your tag-ee’s tagged photos (hello, expanded reach). Tag them in the comment (we’ve tagged them twice in this situation). Tag the location, while this doesn’t directly link to their account, it will show up if someone is looking for suggestions for that specific area (Alexandria for this example).
Side Note: When deciding on a time to post to Instagram or any of your social accounts, consider what you’re talking about and the time of day. Posting can typically be based off when you know your audience is typically on that platform. But if it’s a timely thing, like a big breakfast sandwich, you would probably want to post to reflect what is most likely on your audience’s minds.
Cross-Posting: Spreading the Love
Cross-posting on social media can be a challenge, but is the best way to maximize content and can be very rewarding if done correctly. Find your audience where they live, whether it’s one of the platforms mentioned above, or a popular platform like Youtube, LinkedIn or Houzz. Every brand is different and finding the right place for your message is the first step. If you’re using Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, use these tips (altered to fit your brand), along with social media best practices for the best results. As always, if you need help, you know where to find us.