The Problem with Cross-Posting: Mastering Your Brand’s Identity in Social Media

This is a guest post by Kelly Meyers, CODE AND THEORY


Posting the same piece of content across every social channel, all at the same time, without modifying a word, is something the average person would never do on their own social profiles. Yet, while the “brands should behave like people,” social media movement is far from new — agencies, marketers, and brands are all guilty of cross-posting content every single day.

Why don’t we cross-post in real life? And why shouldn’t your brand?

It’s simple. As my colleague Saeid and I discussed on Tuesday (and again on Thursday!), the Internet is made up of subcultures. Each environment has different relationship dynamics, communication styles, and cadence.

For example, I use Facebook to reach the closest people in my life, past, and present. It’s my “home” voice. Twitter is almost the complete opposite. It’s my “Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm” voice. Posting the same things on both channels could be perceived by each community as unproductive, awkward, and possibly rude.

We all use our different social profiles to participate in and build relationships with different communities. Not unlike relationships in real life, we behave differently from relationship to relationship. And your brand should too.

So, what is the solution for brands?

Ideally, when you are developing a social media strategy, you should always consider a unique approach for each platform. However, creating quality content for each channel can be time-intensive. To help decrease repeat-post offenses, here are three simple strategies you can implement today:

  1. Understand the different personality types of social media users and where they play.
    This will help you make better decisions of when it might be okay to share content across channels.
  2. Establish conversation guidelines for your community manager that will open more opportunities for real-time content on more fast-paced channels like Twitter.
  3. Don’t put Facebook first.
    Split your content creation priorities in half. For example: 50% of the content should be created with Pinterest or Tumblr in mind, 50% with Facebook, and Google+ in mind. At least you won’t seem like a one-trick pony.

Bottom line: Every Internet subculture has different needs, behaviors, and rules. The more you understand and adapt to these communities, the more impactful your brand can be.

Engaging The Most Important Audience…Customers

Customers want to talk to a real person. A Customer Can Use the Ration Books of the Whole Family. But the First Thing She Will Want to Know When She Buys Pork Chops, Pound of Butter or a Half Pound of Cheese Is - "How Many Points Will It Take?" 1941 - 1945

What happens when you call a company and you reach an automated response?

You immediately tell yourself to buckle in for a ride and a wait. You navigate a maze of torture before you finally reach someone. From time to time the automated attendant will jumble what you say, and you’ll get lost in the labyrinth with no way back. The times when you call a company and actually get a person the first reaction is “Wow! A real live person!”

Customers are the lifeblood of a company. Frustrate them and they might refuse to do business again. Wow them and they’ll be singing praises. Customers are no longer faceless people who drive a company’s bottom line. They are partners with a voice. And an avatar.

Some of the most successful companies are now providing great service by utilizing social media to engage customer concerns and praises. It’s a way to engage customers directly to share information quickly and publicly. Companies that are executing customer service well are using a combination, if not all of the social media platforms available. We’re seeing companies utilize Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, blogs, and Tumblr to varying degrees of success. The best companies are using them to provide engaging content and actively monitor conversations. How? Read on:

Lend a human voice. If leveraged correctly, social media can create a distinct company voice. Customers would rather interact with a business that engages people with fun and interesting content over a company that use social media to report earning figures. To ensure a consistent voice, make sure to understand what your company represents. Select three adjectives that describe your company (e.g. whimsical, informational, old-fashioned), and use these adjectives to guide your copy and presence while addressing issues with a personal touch.

Build loyalty through transparency. Companies make mistakes. Through social media, these mistakes can be turned into successes. Social media allows for a quick apologies. More often than not this will garner admiration from even the most frustrated customers. One of the best ways to lose customers is to not admit mistakes. Social media provides a direct and quick avenue for companies to reassure customers.

Morph customers into evangelists. Engage with contests, bantering, quizzes. Convert customers who were just looking to purchase into people who want to talk about you. Awesome service combined with interactive activities will prompt customers to interact and spread the word. Quirky provided a Black Friday campaign on their Facebook page and nearly quadrupled their fan count overnight (If a person “liked” the page and signed up for the sweepstakes they would get a free $5 gift card). This push came from a pool of loyal customers who passed along the deal and spread the word to their friends.

The X-Factor. You never know what will spark conversation and go viral. A funny post can go a long way. Information that you didn’t initially think was meaningful can become meaningful. Even a little mistake can do wonders. As seen in 2010, an American Red Cross employee accidentally posted a tweet about imbibing on beer. With a little push from Dogfish Head, this little accident brought in a surge of blood donations and monetary donations after the mistake was embraced.

Not every social media platform is ideal for every company. Find out what works for you and listen to how your customers communicate. Once you find out, target your audience and make them your best representatives.


Christopher Tran is a New York transplant by way of San Jose, California. His experience engaging community and clients through the use of social media spans the nonprofit and government sectors in addition to current position at a NYC based start-up.   On a personal level he’s aspiring to find the perfect balance between working, brewing beer, eating, and searching for the perfect burrito in New York City. You can find him at his blog and on twitter @tealsharkie.