Cracking the cross-posting code

Cracking the cross-posting code. Social media companies are constantly copying each other's features, causing a strain on user experience and social media marketers. Marketers will stop chasing new features and start getting more strategic instead. They will focus on creating content suited to the platforms that best align with their business goals and the mindset of users on each respective platform, instead of trying to keep up with network changes and trying to leverage each new feature.

This trend originates from the report:

Hootsuite - Social Media Trends 2023

Cracking the cross-posting code. Marketers stop chasing new features and start getting more strategic instead. The Frankensteining of the social networks continues From Stories to Reels to Twitter’s ill-fated Fleets, social media companies have spent much of the past decade tripping over themselves to copy their competitors’ most successful features.

Some of the most popular social media apps have blatantly ripped off features from some of the other most popular social media apps in what Gizmodo has called a tech version of Capture the Flag “where the only losers are the users who are forced to persist through this cat-and-mouse game.” But this game has not only come at the expense of user experience but also at the expense of the sanity of social media marketers, whose work lives now revolve around constantly adapting their plans to new formats, repurpos- ing content, and wondering when the next network change will upend their carefully organized campaign. People go to different networks for different reasons.

What the networks have failed to consider is that user attention is not a zero sum game. People on one social platform are often on several others as well. And most social media users spend time on multiple platforms.

More than 84% of TikTok users are also on Facebook and almost 88% of Twitter users are also on Instagram. People don’t only get different types of value from different networks, they explicitly use different social networks for different purposes. On Facebook, they might catch up with a friend overseas.

On Twitter, they might skim over the day’s breaking news. And on TikTok, they might look for a laugh while searching for the latest viral trends. Adding competitor capabilities to one network doesn’t change the perception people have spent years forming of what a specific network is meant for.

That’s why Instagram Reels, for example, is struggling to compete with TikTok—even though it’s basically the same thing. In fact, stealing a competitor’s features may actually have a negative impact on the perception of a social network—take this petition with over 300,000 signatures asking that Instagram stop trying to copy TikTok.

Successful marketers know that strategy is more important than tactics With so many demands on their time and resources—and with networks looking more and more similar by the day—it’s no surprise that 52% of respondents to our survey said they cross-post content to multiple social platforms with as few changes as possible. Just 18% of marketers create different posts from scratch for each platform. But while cross-posting saves time, it comes with a heavy cost: results.

Our survey found that marketers who create different posts from scratch for each network are significantly more confident in the value of that content. As the Frankensteining of social networks continues, the most confident marketers will spend less time worrying about which copycat feature to start using next and more time exploring platforms that best reflect their business goals. They’ll focus on creating content that’s well suited to those platforms, rather than trying to keep up with every feature-level change the networks throw their way.