Cross Promoting Between Social Networks

Picture of Aliza ShermanAliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

Cross Promoting Between Social Networks

Social media marketing takes time and attention, to plan, set up and design, generate creative assets, and execute on campaigns and day-to-day engagement. Having a system and place with the right software and a process in place for efficiency is important. One way to save time is to cross post your messages between your active social networks. However, no two social networks are exactly alike so understanding how they work best means needing to customize your creative assets and content to fit each one.

Here are some tips for proper formatting if you’re planning to cross promote across multiple social networks.

1. Know the sizes.

Every social network specifies unique dimensions for graphics that appear in individual news feeds. To make things more challenging, some of them change those specs when they redesign so you’re back to the drawing board. Here are recommended graphics dimensions for some of the top social networks.

Facebook: 1200 x 630 pixels

Twitter: 1024 x 512 pixels

Instagram: 1080 x 1080

Pinterest: 600 x variable height

LinkedIn: 1104 x 736

Because of the variability, having a standard sized image that can be used across all of your social networks is challenging. A shortcut is to size an image at 800 x 800 for Instagram and make sure the featured part of the image and any words on the image are contained within the center portion of the image. Then you can crop the image to 800 x 533 and it should show up relatively well on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For Pinterest, the most eye-catching images are longer vertically so if Pinterest is important for your social media outreach, you may still need to create a more custom image.

2. Know the character count.

Like image sizes, maximum character counts can vary and change over time on social networks. Character counts include all letters, numbers, symbols and spaces. Gone are the days of the 140-character tweet.

Facebook: 63,206 (Yes, you read that right – about 40 pages of text)

Twitter: 280

Instagram: 2200

Pinterest: 500

LinkedIn: 1300

Remember that when you include longer posts on Facebook and LinkedIn, additional text will be hidden and only visible by clicking “See More” or “More” on Instagram. On Twitter, the social network limits your ability to post a tweet beyond their maximum character count.

3. Know the communications style.

 While you might use the same or similar image from social network to social network in a pinch, using the same text from one to the other isn’t optimal. Each social network has a communications style that is unique to the community active on it. Here are a few quick tips on style for each social network.

Facebook: Shorter is better but longer is allowed. Hashtags work but are not favored. Emoji use acceptable but not to be overdone.

Twitter: Short and sweet. One to four hashtags are acceptable and the right ones can increase visibility. Emoji use is common but not over the top.

Instagram: Both short and longer posts are acceptable but the images and video are the stars on this social network. Hashtags are common and often used to convey some of the message as well as to increase the likelihood of your content being seen. Emoji use is extremely common and also helps to convey the overall tone and message.

Pinterest: Short and descriptive text is encouraged, but you really want the visuals to do the talking. Hashtags work but keep them down to a handful. Emoji use isn’t part of this social network.

LinkedIn: Most people still use LinkedIn primarily for business so clear and concise text, minimal hashtags and no emoji use is the norm.

Keep in mind that part of the communications style of your posts should be a reflection of your brand’s image, personality and voice.

Understanding what makes each social network unique and knowing the audiences you’re trying to reach can help dictate both your visual and content styles as you post from social network to social network. Social media success comes from the ability to connect with others in an engaging manner, and that starts with communicating well.