One of the easiest mistakes that you can make when posting the same piece of content across different social media platforms is to just copy the post, word for word. You may be trying to express an identical message and to provide the same information, but what works on one social media platform is unlikely to suit all the others.
Just look at the differences between Twitter and Instagram, or YouTube and LinkedIn.
So what should you consider when you want to post content across different social media platforms?
1. Character Limit
There is a humungous variety in the lengths of posts allowed on social media platforms:
- Facebook – 63,206 characters
- LinkedIn – 1,300 characters for a standard post
- Twitter – 280 characters
- Instagram – 2,200 characters
- YouTube – 5,000 characters for a video description
- Pinterest – 500 characters for a Pin description
For text-focused posts, the number of characters you have to play with on a social media platform will decide exactly how much information you can provide in one post. One useful way to adapt a social media post is to first write it for the platform that allows the greatest number of characters, and then reduce that post down for platforms that offer a more limited character count.
Different platforms handle links (URLs) in a variety of ways.
Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter will display a preview of the linked destination, for example, a blog post or a sales page, with an image from that destination, unless you tell them not to. In contrast, none of the visual social media platforms – YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram – will display a preview to your link.
LinkedIn will hide the original link in a format of its own.
Instagram will not hyperlink a URL that you add to your post, although it will hyperlink the URL in your bio.
Pinterest will attach your link to the pinned image.
How do you want your link to display? Or do you even want it to display? Do you need it to be hyperlinked? All of these will decide how you include your link in your social media post.
3. Images and Videos
Any social media post will benefit from the addition of a graphic element. It’s easy to scroll past a post that is text only. By comparison, our eyes are drawn to images, so we are much more likely to stop scrolling and engage.
Each social media platform has an ideal set of dimensions for post images. I say ‘ideal’ because many will re-size your image or only show a sliver of it to make it fit.
Facebook is reasonably flexible, providing the opportunity to post landscape, portrait, or square images. Twitter prefers landscape images. LinkedIn also prefers landscape images but is more generous on displaying the entirety of a post image that is square or portrait. Instagram offers a high level of flexibility, displaying square, portrait, or landscape images. The ideal dimensions for a Pinterest pin are on a 2:3 ratio.
Adapting images to fit different social media platforms may therefore involve altering their dimensions to retain the same visual focus. My personal saviour for altering images to suit different platforms is Canva. It’s free and gives you access to a wide range of stock photos and templates.
Videos aren’t simply a consideration on YouTube. Each of the main six platforms provide the opportunity to post videos:
- On Facebook, you can upload both pre-recorded and live videos.
- On Twitter, you can upload a pre-recorded video, create a live video through the Twitter app, or share a pre-recorded video through a fleet.
- If you want to upload a video to LinkedIn, you can do so through the LinkedIn mobile app or your computer.
- On Instagram, you can:
- upload a video to your feed
- post an Instagram Story
- stream a live video
- YouTube. Need I say more?
- If you have a Pinterest business account, you can create video pins as well as the standard, static image pins.
These are just three of the factors to bear in mind when adapting a social media post to suit different platforms, but they’re a good, steady place to start.