January 24, 2014
As a small business owner invested in using social media platforms to share news about my company, I'm always trying to figure out the best way to share my content across the various channels.
It seems that many businesses lump all "social media" together and think that as long as you cross-post your blog post to your Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram feed, you've covered your bases. While this is one strategy, it ignores the fact that to be a more effective marketer and better engage followers, you need to tailor your content to each specific channel and its set of users. The way your followers use and interact with Twitter is probably different from how they use Instagram. And these days, users are savvy enough to tell when you've just hit the "Share to Facebook" button rather than taking a few moments to reconfigure the content for that particular audience.
Here's an example of how I might share a new Valentine's Day product:
On Pinterest: The image is king on Pinterest, so I make sure to pin the most compelling and vibrant image I have of the product on my site. I then craft a strong description using keywords so it's more likely to be discovered and re-pinned.
On Instagram: Again, the image is king. For product photos, I've found that having a vibrant background (a bright color or a texture) often helps a product stand out in the stream of photos. Hashtags are also helpful for guiding people to your content. You cannot hyperlink to URLs within an Instagram description, so I recommend adding "see link in profile" to direct followers to a particular site.
On Facebook: I make sure to upload an image that is the optimal size for Facebook. I can tweak the description I used on Pinterest and adapt it for my Facebook crowds by asking a question, asking followers to "like" or share the image, or including a link to my site where they can shop the product.
On Twitter: I try to provide the appropriate context, use a link shortener to maximize the number of characters I have available, and occasionally use hashtags to make my tweet more discoverable.
One final tip: Review your settings on each of your social media channels to see if you are auto-Tweeting when you Pin or automatically updating Facebook when you post a photo on Instagram. Nothing will drive your followers crazier than when you go on a Pinning spree and their Twitter stream is overloaded with tweets about your pins, so be careful about your settings.
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