Although we often refer to ‘social media’ as a whole, the reality is that each platform is different and requires a different approach. What works on Facebook may not work on Instagram. Videos that get great responses on YouTube may be completely unsuited for Snapchat.
Successful social media for your business depends on making the best of every platform. But delivering original, platform specific content to all your social media accounts is a challenge of time and resource.
Here are some ways to get all your social media platforms working together in harmony.
Each social media platform is an individual part of a greater whole. Getting them working well together (and with your overall business) is built on a sound strategy.
Social media is essentially about content. The type of content you post will vary based on your goals. It could be educational, entertaining or promotional but whatever it is, it should have a purpose.
The first step to getting your social platforms working well together is to develop a content strategy which encompasses all your channels. This should tie into your business goals, factor in major activity and appeal to your audience.
Taking the time to put together a content strategy and timeline will save time and resources and ensure you are staying on point with your messaging across platforms.
Most importantly, it allows you to efficiently distribute unique content between the different platforms.
A key time saver in social media content creation is to make each piece of content work as hard as possible. Rather than reinvent the wheel with each new post, your content strategy should outline key pillars that you can magnify through your different social platforms.
This means you should create more in depth content first (e.g. a blog post or video). This then becomes parent content from which you can extract key points and tailor them for different social media platforms.
For example, if you have a helpful blog post, verbalise the key points of it and turn that into a YouTube video with a few slides. Those slides can be saved and turned into a downloadable PDF to help build your email list. They can also be made available for download on slideshare.
You could further leverage that same parent content by creating shorter videos as daily tips for Snapchat or Instagram for the week. And to drive traffic to the original article, transform key takeouts from the article into Tweets with relevant hashtags.
By taking this ‘inside out’ approach, you spin one piece of content in many ways and get more for less. This becomes all the more easier when you have a strategy in place.
The scope for posting content across platforms is limited only by your imagination and your resources. But by starting with the deeper content first, you can accomplish more with less resources and ensure your messaging stays on point.
Some third party software allows you to link your social platforms together, so that you can share the same post across multiple platforms with one click. This should be avoided. Though it’s great for efficiency, this cross posting should be avoided.
Remember that each platform is different. The context, post frequency and features vary significantly. Automatic linking can lead to incongruous posts. For example, asking people on Facebook to favourite and retweet will make you look lazy and unprofessional. Not to mention that anyone who follows you on multiple platforms will get frustrated by seeing exactly the same post on multiple occasions.
Instead of cross posting, you should be cross promoting.
That means finding ways to spin existing content in different ways that match each channel. Linking between your different platform is also a good way to grow followers in your parallel platforms.
When it comes down to it, though you can efficiently get your platforms working together, don’t let that choke creativity. Something like Snapchat especially is built on a more fun, ephemeral experience that provides a behind the scenes peek for an audience.
Though a strategy is important, it’s also important to leave some flexibility to create content that fits perfectly with the audience on that platform. The reality is that, depending on your business, some platforms will perform more effectively for you than others. It makes sense to invest more time in those areas and make the most of them.
There are a number of helpful tools which can help you manage multiple social media platforms. Using tools like Buffer you can schedule your social posts and monitor analytics from one place. This makes the management of multiple platforms far simpler.
Most importantly, remember that social media should magnify existing content and be serving a purpose. The better you can get the platforms working together and with your overall business goals the more successful you will be.
About the author
Nicci Barnes has been working in strategic project management both online and offline for almost a 10 years. Specialising in her passion of internet marketing and making her mark on the digital world with her company Upside.Digital she manages the operational side of the business and one of the biggest network of publishers across Australia. She is passionate about ensuring if the business has the ability to succeed, then they should also have the opportunity to succeed. One word of advice from Nicci would be ‘Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods’ and ‘Just Do It’