Crossposting

Crossposting (multiple publication) is the act of posting the same message on different platforms in social networks. This is often done automatically using social media tools that distribute the message as soon as it is edited. Crossposting is also known as multichannel posting or multi-posting.

General information on the topic

The term crossposting originates from web forums and newsgroups. If a user has a question about a certain topic, he/she can publish this in different threads in order to increase the probability of getting an answer. Crossposting in these environments is always used if the connection of the question to a thread is not clear to the user. In most cases, it is the webmaster or forum admin who deletes the duplicated question once the thematic focus and connection to a particular thread is clear.

The current use of the term is, however, relatively distant from its origin. In the social media context, crossposting is a common method that is particularly practiced by large companies. It can be used to ensure a post reaches a much larger audience and, at the same time, reduce the workload. A post is edited and either fed into the channels manually or distributed using an appropriate application.

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Crossposting tools

Special tools used for multiple publication of posts work according to a very simple principle: A post can be edited once the login information for the different networks has been entered. Afterwards, the networks on which the post should appear can then be selected. Hashtags, images, etc. can also be added. Many of the tools also support a delay in the sending of posts as well as social media monitoring.

A selection of crossposting tools:

  • Hootsuite: A popular tool that, in the free version, supports up to five networks. It is particularly ideal for Twitter.
  • Buffer: Up to three networks are possible in the basic version. Also available as an app.
  • Friends+Me: Particularly recommended for Google+ users.
  • ifitt: Free, powerful tool with up to 80 channels.
  • Klout: Klout had originally been designed to assess the fame of people in social networks. So far, crossposting has only been possible with Twitter and Facebook.

Importance for social media

Crossposting saves times and reduces the workload. Especially in companies that have many social profiles, it is almost impossible to manage all of the profiles manually. However, one disadvantage of crossposting is the fact that such content can be regarded as duplicate content by search engines and may possibly be rated poorly. Nonetheless, it depends on the type of the post and the extent to which publishing it on different channels is sensible. For instance, in the case of a photo that might be interesting for many users, there is no question that crossposting makes sense. Users can then profit from it if they are not active on certain networks and would not be able to access the photo otherwise.

On the other hand, for a post that is specifically written for a certain channel, crossposting may no longer be sensible. In this case, it seems more appropriate to create a matching post for every channel. Not just from the perspective of search engine operators but also for reasons of netiquette. Social media currently intrigues its users through the direct communication from person to person or company to person. This type of communication ends once the publishing of posts is automated and the proximity to the customer seizes to exist. Anyone who still wishes to use crossposting on social networks must be ready to deal with eventual frustration of customers who are active on several networks and, thus, see the same post several times.

The reasons for this frustration are the special properties of the respective network. The user groups are sometimes very different and so are the requirements for formatting and post distinctions. A hashtag on Twitter would be meaningless on Facebook, a Facebook link in a Tweet is considered rather misplaced by most users.[1] Whether a company wants to take the risk of an image loss is not just about the number of users and the workload. It is rather a question of principle that can only be answered through a consistent social media strategy.[2]

References

  1. It’s 2014. Stop Cross-Posting Between Social Networks. smallbusinesssem.com. Accessed on 09/24/2014
  2. To cross-post or not to cross-post thenextweb.com. Accessed on 09/24/2014

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