Why It’s Time to Ditch Cross-Posting on Social Media for Cross-Promoting

Why It’s Time to Ditch Cross-Posting on Social Media for Cross-Promoting

Author: Jylian Russell / Source: Hootsuite Social Media Management To cross-post or to cross-promote on social media? For a time, cross-p

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To cross-post or to cross-promote on social media?

For a time, cross-posting seemed the solution—offering a quick and easy way to share across multiple channels at once. But cross-promoting has been catching attention lately for its strategic prowess.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the differences between these two tactics and explain why cross-promoting is ultimately better. Yes, we said it—we’re putting our chips in the cross-promoting basket. Here’s why.

Cross-posting vs. cross-promotion: what’s the difference?


Cross-posting is the act of posting the same message across multiple social media channels for a single piece of content.

So, say you have an article to promote. With the cross-posting approach you would publish the link with the exact same headline (and media file if there is one) across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

For busy social media marketers cross-posting certainly has its allure—it’s easy and can save you loads of time when using a bulk scheduler. But cross-posting on social media also has its limitations—especially where channel compatibility is concerned.

Take, for example, Instagram’s feature that allows for auto-posting on Twitter. On the surface, auto-posting seems like a great timesaver—enabling you to update both channels simultaneously.

Dig a bit deeper though, and you’ll see this approach has its drawbacks due to compatibility glitches between the two platforms.

Sharing images on Twitter via Instagram used to be a simple affair—allowing seamless photo sharing from Instaland to the Twittersphere. Times were simple, life was good. That is until Instagram went and dumped Twitter (and broke all our hearts in the process).

Technically, auto-posting is still possible, but it ain’t pretty. Where once there were lovely images featured, auto-posted tweets now convert those images into links (that often appear cut off).

That’s right, a timeline filled with imageless tweets and unsightly links.

There are workarounds through third-party apps like IFTTT, but remember, the more tools you use, the longer it’ll take you to post—and wasn’t time saving the whole draw to cross-posting in the first place?


Cross-promoting, on the other hand, is content promotion through the creation of unique messages for each social media channel. While cross-promoting takes a bit longer to execute than cross-posting, you’ll likely have more success connecting with each platform’s unique user base.

Here’s a great example of cross-promoting in action from customer-service gurus Zendesk. Here we see how their team creates unique captions to individually suit their Twitter and LinkedIn audiences while pointing towards the same piece of content.

Rate how well your organization is aligned on key #custserv strategies with @Forrester‘s self-assessment tools. https://t.co/Y8edNgnsIc pic.twitter.com/PztVQlq9Mu

How to cross promote on social media

And here’s another example from app stars Zapier showing how they tailor their captions to specifically target audiences on Twitter and Facebook.

Did you know there are 4 different types of content calendars? Learn how to choose the best one for your team. https://t.co/kB7pTZi7w0 pic.twitter.com/1cDbgqj1uJ

Benefits of cross-promotion on social media

Allows you to speak the language of each platform

Imagine showing up to a party where everyone appears to be speaking Spanish. Now imagine trying to tell a story in Japanese. Chances are you’d lose your fellow party-goers’ interest pretty fast.

The same goes when posting captions that don’t suit the…