Should You Post Your Instagram Photos to Twitter? (Cross-posting)

Updated: 4/28/2020 to include new Twitter character limit changes from 140 to 280. LinkedIn now accepts hashtags in their posts.

As small business owners and entrepreneurs – we’re always looking for ways to streamline our processes and increase efficiency in everything we do. Many times when I’m asked to do an audit of a company’s social media sites for recommendations – I usually always find companies cross posting their content to multiple social sites.

Cross posting is where you create content on one social site – but then push that exact same content out as a post to other sites.

Example: You post a Facebook status with a photo and have Facebook automatically push that same content to your Twitter feed. OR … you post a great photo on Instagram and instantly publish it on Twitter. These are examples of cross posting social content.

There isn’t a hard fast “rule” to why this activity shouldn’t be done and for some who understand the limits of certain social sites (twitter only allows 140 characters to show) it may work. For the majority of businesses and people – keeping these limitations in mind is typically not for the person in a hurry. (which is why you usually are cross posting….)

The truth of the matter is, most people don’t think ahead as to how the content you posted in one social site, will actually look to the user on another social site.

Example of a social media cross post gone wrong:

Governor Nikki Haley allowed her Instagram post to also be published on Twitter. As I mentioned earlier – Instagram allows for more characters in a post than Twitter does – Twitter is limited to 140 characters including links (as of the date of this blog). Here’s what happened when you don’t consider how an Instagram post automatically published to Twitter might look.

This was her original post on Instagram below which took on a completely different comment when automatically published to her Twitter feed!

While rather embarrassing … you can see the importance of being mindful of your cross posting habits!

Another way that cross posting your social posts may be harmful is the different social site cultures such as hashtag use. LinkedIn for example does not work too well with hashtags. (update: LinkedIn allows and encourages hashtag use) So any post that is automatically syndicated to LinkedIn with a hashtag – it’s not going to be looked upon as someone who takes the time in what they are posting to their peers on LinkedIn. (Note: We have noticed some LinkedIn posts receiving greater reach with 1 hashtag used on company business pages – this is still up for monitoring – but something to consider)

Utilize 3rd party platforms to syndicate your content to all sites – but keeping in mind the cultures and limitations of each social sites. Twitter only allows 140 characters with links (Update: 2020 Twitter allows for 280 characters) – make your text/content succinct, Facebook posts usually get better results with only 1 hashtag used. Instagram posts get better results with multiple hashtag uses … the list goes on.

Keep your posts classy my business owner and entrepreneur friends!

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