With new social platforms popping up every couple of months it’s easy to be tempted to jump on the bandwagon of every one of them. But a new platform means a new arm of your social strategy and planning engaging content for specific channels takes time, so you need to make sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin.
Brands who have made this mistake often resort to automating posts across their multiple channels. This is a quick-fix to fill your social calendar, but also one of the easiest ways to kill your engagement. Here’s why you need to tailor your social content to each platform, and some tips to implement.
1. Your social content needs a purpose
If you’re automating one message to go out across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you probably haven’t worked out the purpose of your social content or the audience on each of these channels. Odds are that the audiences on each of the channels differ, and you should be tailoring the content types to each of them depending on what stage of the customer journey they’re at in relation to your product/service.
For example you may have acquired your Twitter followers from live tweeting at a local event. So they know who you are, but they’re not your customer yet. They need more information about your business before they convert. And remember, some may never convert. They may just like you for your content, which is just as valuable in other ways.
In contrast, your Facebook fans have probably liked you because they’ve seen your blogs shared or they’re already doing business with you, so your messaging to this audience should be loyalty focused, as you’re trying to create advocates of your brand.
How to implement: As part of your content strategy, map out your customer journey and create your persona profiles. This will help you to understand the multiple touch points your brand has with your audience and how you can add value at each stage.
2. Automated posts look unprofessional
Social channels have different publishing standards. On Instagram, links don’t work. On Facebook, hashtags are unnecessary. On Twitter, you have a character limit.
Users get used to the post types they expect across these channels so when they see a heap of unnecessary hashtags at the end of your Facebook post, they’re know instantly that you’ve automated the post.
How to implement: It’s really simple to tailor your post to suit the platform but again, make sure you’re posting the relevant content for each audience rather than each channel.
3. Your fans don’t want to have to work to see your content
If you’re automating your Instagram post to Twitter, you’re going to end up with half your copy cut off, no image and a long link that screams THIS IS AUTOMATED.
If I see a tweet like this by a friend and I REALLY want to know what that photo is I might click through to see the image on Instagram, but more likely I’m just going to scroll past. This post has now wasted my time rather than adding value, quite the opposite of the effect you want to have on your fans.
How to implement: Ask yourself why you’re on all of these channels. If you can’t put in the time to tailor your posts to each channel you’re probably spread too thin across multiple profiles. Cull the ones not adding value or where you struggle to engage an audience so you can spend more time on the channels that count. Even better, only start profiles where you know your audience is.
4. Social channels favour native content
In order to keep users on their platforms for longer, social channels encourage and even favour native content. That’s why Facebook hosts video natively, and LinkedIn and Medium are publishing platforms – they want you to be able to consume the content while you’re still in the app or on the website. So when you automate a post across multiple channels, you’re losing the opportunity to host your content natively and therefore losing potential audience reach.
How to implement: If you’re posting a blog, produce it on your website first, then share the link on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re also on LinkedIn or Medium, produce the same blog on your accounts on there as well. You can encourage website visitation by adding a simple line at the end of your blog: This article first appeared on www.thecontentdivision.com.au.
5. It’s less human
If there’s one thing brands should focus their efforts on it’s creating authentic content that engages on a human level. Like scheduling, automated posts suggest it’s not a person talking, but a faceless brand – and no one’s replying to that.
How to implement: The most effective (and viewed) social content is that which is produced and posted in real time. E.g. live tweeting, Instagram stories, Facebook Live etc – content that you just can’t fake.