We get it. There are more social networks than menu items at your favorite restaurant. Managing, posting and analyzing across all of these platforms is extremely time-consuming.

But you have great content, and you want to share it with your audience. That article mentioning your company deserves to be on every platform. That infographic you created would look amazing on Instagram, Facebook and Google+.

And while it may be tempting to check all 12 social platforms on your Hootsuite account and instantly share your content everywhere, doing this is one of the best ways to alienate your audience.

That’s because each social network has a distinct personality. LinkedIn has a more professional atmosphere, so this is not where you post a photo drinking wine at lunch. By contrast, Instagram is all about fun. If you’re at a happy hour with work colleagues, it’s acceptable (with their permission) to snap a selfie and post. #BizBuddies

Different social networks also have their own terms and languages. Posting a photo on both Facebook and Twitter and asking people to ‘Like’ it only works for one platform. Your fans and followers will immediately know what’s going on and could start to develop a negative association with your brand.

Posting the same content on each platform is like taking a radio commercial and playing it on TV. Or holding a magazine ad in front of a camera for a TV commercial. It’s out of place, it’s the wrong medium and most importantly, it doesn’t help your audience.

So how do you share the same content across social networks without an immediate unfollow? Here it is, the golden rule of cross posting on social media:

 

Don’t cross post. Cross promote.

 

Cross promotion encourages sharing the same content across platforms, but with unique messages for each. Ask a question on Facebook. Pull out a title or short quote on Twitter. Wait a few hours before posting on Instagram. Chances are, you’re already tailoring your message to different audiences with direct mail, email marketing and advertising; social media should have the same strategy.

So next time you win an award, or write a killer blog post, take the extra five minutes to tailor a post for each social network. If you only have three minutes, consider using a platform like EveryPost, which lets you start with one post, and easily alter that post for different platforms. And, if you only have one minute to spare, use it to contact CBD Marketing. We can help—and have helped companies like Firestone Building Products and James Hardie make a splash across their social channels.