Since acquiring Instagram in 2012, Facebook has worked towards creating cohesion between the platforms. For example, you can now link your Facebook account to your Instagram account and manage ads on both platforms in one place – Facebook Ads Manager. You can also cross-post organic content on both platforms. When you create a post on Facebook or Instagram, there is an option to post on the other platform as well. The catch is you can’t schedule on both at the same time unless you use Creator Studio.

Cross-posting can make managing your social media much simpler. However, it is also fraught with potential mistakes. Let’s to a look at why you should and shouldn’t cross-post, and how you can cross-post correctly. 

Why you should use cross-posting:

It Saves Time and Effort:

The biggest benefit of cross-posting on both platforms is saving yourself time. By cross-posting, you will be able to release content on both platforms without needing to come up with separate content ideas. For example, a great photo or video post will be appealing on either platform. So, why not share it on both. As a busy business owner, cross-posting can save you a lot of time. 

It Reaches More Audiences:

Since Instagram has a different demographic, as we discussed in an earlier blog, cross-posting will broaden the reach of your posts. Instagram has a younger user base than Facebook, and not everyone uses both social media. Therefore, cross-posting will ensure you reach audiences on both platforms. 

It Maintains an Active Presence on Both Platforms:

When you don’t have the time to create a post for each social media, cross-posting allows you to maintain an active account on both platforms. By staying active, your audiences have more chances to see your content and keep interacting with your brand. Your business also looks better to have regular posts than it does to have weeks where nothing comes out. So, cross-posting helps you keep both social platforms active during these times when you are less active.

Why You Shouldn’t Cross-Post:

Facebook and Instagram Have Different Demographics:

Although reaching more audiences can provide benefits, different audiences speak differently. The terms and phrases people used on Facebook differ from the ones on Instagram. The users speak a different language and react differently to content. So, content written for a Facebook audience may not appeal to an Instagram audience.

The Performance of Content Types Differs:

Facebook and Instagram have different purposes and formatting, so not all content will work well on both platforms. Facebook has a greater focus on text than Instagram. Meanwhile, Instagram focuses on the visuals. The copy is important on Instagram, but it is used to add value to the visuals. Moreover, Instagram and Facebook have different tagging and sharing options. So, cross-posting directly between media may not translate well and leaves more room for mistakes. For example, you could end up with an “@” on a Facebook post. Also, Facebook and Instagram use different multimedia formatting. When it comes to photo and video, Facebook and Instagram are optimised for different resolutions. For example, cross-posted photos may be cut off or have black bars around the image. Overall, cross-posted content doesn’t always work on both platforms.

It Can Bore Your Audience:

Posting the same content will make people less interested in following you on both platforms. If users follow you on both platforms or are considering following both, they will be less motivated to do so if the content is the same. Instead, they will opt to follow you on one platform, which limits your ability to reach them. Thus, boring your audience with cross-posts can limit your reach.

5 Tips for Cross-Posting Effectively:

1 – Don’t Cross-Post Everything and Use Exclusive Content:

As explained above, posting all the same content on both platforms will bore your audience, so not everything should be cross-posted. Both platforms should receive some exclusive content. Exclusive content will motivate people to follow you on both platforms because they won’t want to miss out. Make sure you’re posting exclusive content on both platforms. 

2 – Rewrite the Captions:

Not all captions will work for both social media. Facebook and Instagram have different text cut-off limits, different audiences and different tagging systems. Rewrite your captions, so they suit the platform’s language and audience. Luckily, you don’t always need to do a full rewrite. Sometimes, you will only need to make small adjustments to a post. Also, you need to adjust the tags on each platform. Such as adding hashtags and mentions to Facebook posts cross-posted to Instagram posts. The best way to cross-post and rewrite is to use Facebook Creator Studio. When you cross-post, from Facebook to Instagram, in Creator Studio, you have the opportunity to rewrite the post for Instagram. So, the visual stays the same, but the copy is adjusted for the platform. Alternatively, if you’re cross-posting directly through Facebook, you can add hashtags in the Instagram comments. However you do it, make sure you adjust your captions to the platform.

3 – Optimise Visual Content:

Technically this isn’t cross-posting, but resizing visual content will ensure you’re maximising engagements. Facebook and Instagram have different optimal resolution sizes and orientations. Instagram focuses on vertical content, and the ideal resolution is 1080×1350 (aspect ratio 4:5). Using this resolution ensures maximum screen coverage, so your post will get noticed by more people. Thus, cross-posting a landscape Facebook post to Instagram won’t use the whole smartphone screen. Instead, resize the image and create a new post in Creator Studio. Alternatively, if you intend to cross-post, use a square image. Square images fit well on both platforms and have decent screen coverage. Overall, your best bet is to optimise your visual content and create a new post.

4 – Use Creator Studio to Schedule:

When cross-posting on regular Facebook or Instagram, you can’t schedule the time for both platforms. However, when you cross-post, from Facebook to Instagram, in Creator Studio, you can. Scheduling will allow you to get ahead on your posting, so you have more time for other things. Unfortunately, you can’t schedule when cross-posting from Instagram to Facebook. You also can’t schedule on both social media outside of Creator Studio. So, it’s best to create the post for Facebook first and cross-post to Instagram, in Creator Studio. 

5 – Proofread:

Cross-posting, or copying text to recreate the post, leave room for more errors, so you need to double-check your work before posting. You don’t want to leave hashtags in a Facebook post or have a link in your Instagram post. Facebook doesn’t focus on hashtags, and links aren’t clickable on Instagram. Make sure you re-read your post to prevent using the wrong language or style. 

Not Sure What To Say:

Trying to write for two different social media can be confusing. You may not know what the different languages are or what to change. To write for different audiences, you need to read. Look at how other brands use their Facebook and Instagram accounts differently. However, if you’re still confused, SBIM can help. SBIM are experts in managing Facebook and Instagram, and we love it. Contact SBIM, on 07 3325 0505 or at webmaster@sbim.com.au, to help you reach the business of your dreams with social media marketing.