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Why Social Promotion Is Not a One-And-Done Activity – Here’s Why #112

Many social media managers limit how much they repost their own content out of fear of becoming spammers. But most probably err too far to the side of caution, and so leave a lot of valuable traffic on the table.
In this episode of our Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Perficient Digital’s social media expert Mark Traphagen shares with you a successful strategy for effective reposting on social media.

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Eric: Mark, over the years you’ve tested a lot of different social media promotion tactics. Share something with us today that stands out to you from that experience.
Mark: Well, I’d be happy to, Eric. Today, I’d like to focus on one particular tactic that I’ve seen result in a lot of traffic over time, and yet most social media managers don’t bother to do it.
Eric: Really? What’s that?
Mark: It’s a simple process of repeatedly sharing your best evergreen content on a systematic basis.
Eric: Sounds simple to do. Before we get into why we should do that, tell us why you think most social media marketers don’t systematically re-share their content?
Mark: Well, I think there are at least two reasons, leaving aside just laziness, of course. For one thing, we tend to concentrate our promotional thinking around the launch of a new piece of content. That’s only natural. If we put a lot of time and effort into something, we want it to go big. We love it. We want people to share it right out of the box and love it.
Eric: High initial hope clouding out long-range planning?
Mark: Yes, and that leads to the second reason why more people don’t re-share their best content regularly. The all or nothing syndrome. We have this quite natural but unrealistic expectation that all our best content should go instantly viral, and if it didn’t, then it’s a fail.
Eric: But on the other hand, can’t you overshare and risk alienating your audience?
Mark: Certainly, and that’s probably an additional reason why people don’t repeatedly share their own content on social. It’s not a false concern at all, but I think as I share my strategy, that fear will be alleviated.
Eric: Okay, then. But before we get into the best practices for strategic repeated sharing, explain why we would do it.

What’s the benefit of sharing the same content over and over?

Mark: Well, first, because of one simple truth about social media, especially these days. Anytime you post something on almost any social media platform, only a small segment of your audience sees it.
Eric: If you share it only once, or even just a few times, you probably missed most of your audience?
Mark: Right, so when you re-share later, chances are good that a lot, or even most, of the people seeing the new post are seeing the content for the first time. Now if you never re-shared, they would never have seen it. I’ve proven it time and again with properly timed re-shares, we consistently drive new traffic to our Evergreen content.
Here’s a chart showing social traffic from one of our most popular posts last year. Each of the traffic spikes marked with an arrow occurred when we re-shared that post on our social accounts. In late December, we even got one almost as big as we did when the post was first shared.
Traffic spikes from resharing content on social media
The important point here is that all of that traffic would have been missed if we had just done a one-and-done promotion of that post. With a few exceptions, none of those individual spikes is huge, but taken together, they add up to a lot of traffic I’m happy we didn’t leave on the table.

What is strategic repeated sharing on social media?

Eric: Let’s get into the nuts and bolts. What do you mean by strategic repeated sharing?
Mark: What I’ve found is that it’s best not to do repeated sharing randomly or willy nilly. It will be most effective when there is some strategic thinking behind it.
First, understand that every social platform is different and you need to tailor your frequency of reposting accordingly. For example, Twitter is probably the fastest-paced of the major platforms. Even with the update last year where a selection of older tweets can be brought to the top when someone reopens their Twitter, the vast majority of the tweets have a half-life of under an hour. You can repost more frequently on Twitter, but even there I make the posts on different days and different times to catch a different audience.
Eric: What about Facebook?
Mark: Facebook is different, because user’s newsfeeds are much more algorithmically driven. That means posts can surface at any time, even many hours after being posted. Sometimes a post even from days ago can suddenly have a burst of exposure if a number of people start engaging with it. You have to give more space between reposting of the same content on Facebook, so as not to appear to be spamming your followers.
Eric: How would you sum up your strategic repeated sharing approach?
Mark: Let me close with a few best practices I’ve developed out of years of observing how this works.

Best practices for social media reposting

  • First, do repost. Don’t be intimidated by the fear that you’ll just be spamming. With the amount of competition for social traffic these days, you’d have to push this pretty far before you’d reach the spammer level. That being said, some of the cautions I’ll share next are still important.
  • Next, spend time carefully observing the life cycle of your posts on all the social networks you use. Look at the analytics. How much activity do they actually get and for how long? Use that as a basis for formulating how often you can reasonably re-share on each network.
  • Third, set up a list of your evergreen content for reposting. Regularly review this list to add new items and delete posts that have become stale or out of date. Set up a schedule for reposting each content piece on each of your networks.
  • Finally, if you’ve got a lot of posts you want to keep in rotation, you’ll probably need to make use of a tool of some sort. It’s beyond the scope of this video to get into specific tools for automated reposting, but whichever you choose, my main advice is keep a human eye on them.  Don’t just set them and forget them, but continually review how your repost strategy is working, and then adjust. (Here’s my method, using Hootsuite and Buffer in tandem.)

Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published.

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Thoughts on “Why Social Promotion Is Not a One-And-Done Activity – Here’s Why #112”

  1. One tool I recommend for WordPress websites or blogs is the Revive Old Post plugin. It gives me a lot of spikes from evergreen content that I would never have got otherwise.

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Mark Traphagen

Mark Traphagen was our Content Strategy Director for Perficient Digital until February of 2019. He has been named one of the most influential content and social media authors in numerous industry listings.

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