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Please!

Most of us are busy people. Time management is an issue. And here you are with this great photo and accompanying news to go with it. A big event! Something on sale! Good news! Let’s get it out wide across social media. Good idea! Hey! Why not simply type it once and send forth to all your social media platforms? Why not?

Because it’s lazy and unprofessional, that’s why! Not all audiences on social media are the same. They’re quite different in fact. You have just advertised that you aren’t aware of social media best practices.

no-auto-postI know a guy, I’ll call him Joe, and Joe has a really cool produce stand. I follow Joe on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I also read his blog.

Sweet corn has just come in and Joe posts a picture of gorgeous ears of sweetcorn on Instagram. His accompanying text reads: “Sweet corn is here. Friday only one dozen for $2. #corn #Delagram.” Good job, Joe!

But then I see the same exact post on Facebook. I see the exact post on Twitter also. His beautiful picture does not show up on Twitter’s preview.  Only the link, clouded with #Delagram which isn’t  a hashtag used anywhere else but Instagram.  In Delaware the Twitter practice is to use #NetDE.

So, is there any reason at all to follow Joe on all three platforms? No. I don’t need to see the exact thing three times, I got the message the first time, thank you very much. So I unfollow him on two platforms. Bye Bye Joe!

Twitter is unique unto itself. This is the platform to connect with similar fruit & veggie stands, let local reporters know summer has arrived, moms planning their dinner menu etc.  Use Twitter to inform your local audience by using the right hashtags and targeting specific people or accounts by tagging their handle.  If you want your photo to show up on Twitter, and you do, because people are thumbing and whizzing through their news feed, a link to your photo won’t stop them in their tracks, but a gorgeous picture of your corn might. Post a different image (than Instagram’s), a landscape-oriented photo of your yummy corn, and Joe, while your at it, give us a link to directions to your business.

Facebook is everyone. Grandparents, parents, boomers and millennials. Facebook doesn’t rely on hashtags. Seeing your sweet corn photo and super price relies on other people liking, commenting and sharing your post. If they’ve already seen it on Instagram and Twitter, they’re going to pass it right by on Facebook. Facebook requires a personal touch. On Facebook, along with his photo, Joe should be asking,”Are you serving corn on the cob this weekend? Have you tried ours? Share your favorite way to prepare corn on the cob!” etc.

Instagram is primarily a younger and more diverse demographic. Post the corn photo and after your message, follow it with hashtags, because hashtags are how people find you, if they don’t follow you already. People search for nouns, like colors, and follow them. It’s how it’s done. So that original beautiful ear of corn, a dozen for $2, add in: #Delagram #igdelaware #vegetables #corn #cornonthecob #yellow #summer #food #local #farm #sweet #townnameDE #kernals #maise, etc. If your produce is organic, throw that hashtag in also. #organic #fresh.

Once in a while, like once a month, you can auto-post from Instagram to Twitter or Facebook, strategically, in order to let your followers on those platforms know you have an Instagram account – an account where VOILA! there is unique content and your audience is surprised! But use auto-sharing or auto connecting strategically and sparingly!

If your potential customers and followers see you have identical content on Twitter as you do Instagram and Facebook, they have no reason at all to follow you on the other platforms. A cookie-cutter marketing strategy simply won’t cut it.

Even WordPress has a feature that will let users auto publish to LinkedIn, Redit, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, and Tumbler. It would be so easy to line those all up. Create once, publish everywhere. I don’t do it. WordPress’s feature, using Twitter as an example, doesn’t insert hashtags, which is the principal way new audience members find you. It’s not a time saver. It is a complete waste of time.

To social media pros, auto-posting is the biggest shout out that let’s everyone know you don’t know what you are doing. “Look at me, I’m a social media marketing amateur!”

They’re looking alright. Once. And they’re bored to death. Stop it! Stop it now!

 

 

 

 

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