Why Coaches Should Cross-Promote on Social Media (Instead of Cross-Post)
As for any business owner, part of being a coach involves building your online platform to connect with current and potential clients through appropriate online channels. A multi-platform approach increases your online exposure and audience engagement, which can also lead to new coaching clients. But it is important to remember this is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.
It is especially important on social media platforms to keep your audience of followers in mind. Some followers may enjoy connecting with you on multiple social networks—which means that if you are posting the exact same content on all platforms, your biggest fans are noticing! But others might not follow you on each platform. Perhaps they aren’t even on all of the networks you are on. For these followers, if you’re sharing the same post on Instagram and Twitter, and sharing a link back to the Instagram image, there’s a whole segment of your audience who may never see it. For example, if you’re using Instagram’s auto-post feature to share to Twitter, too, your Twitter followers will only get a link to your image and won’t see the image itself.
It can be tempting—especially in a “content is king” world—to post the same content to all channels. The smart move, however, is to leverage similar, but adapted, content that plays to each platform’s strength.
Same Message. Different Format.
Have you ever scrolled past the same photo or message in your Facebook or Instagram feed that you previously saw in a newsletter? Or perhaps you find that to view certain information you must first click on a Twitter link in a Facebook post, or vice versa. You might stop and read the caption or click the link the first time for more information, but by the third exposure you’ll just scroll on past. That is the result of the bad habit of cross-posting which can come across to your followers as robotic. This also can lead to decreased engagement and visibility. Worse yet, you could be driving away potential coaching clients who realize they don’t need to subscribe to all of your channels to see the same posts.
Hootsuite and other social media automation tools make this easy and tempting. A few clicks and your coaching case study or testimonial can go out to all followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and beyond. The more valuable approach is to cross-promote, which ensures that your audience on each social media platform engages with the most relevant parts of the same overall message, even if in a different format.
Cross-Promoting In Action
Let’s start with the content. Suppose you want to highlight a coaching breakthrough that your Generation Z client achieved while working to build leadership capacity in their first job out of college. Learning how to tailor your message to different channels will increase the likelihood that each of your audiences will engage with the same thing. Remember how the users of different social media networks differ. On Instagram you will reach more of your client’s Gen Z peers, while Facebook is more likely to reach their Boomer and Generation X parents.
Further, each network has its own nuances when it comes to what post styles get the best responses. Your LinkedIn post, for example, might include an in-depth synopsis of the achievement, along with an accompanying trend or big-picture perspective from ICF research. The same coaching “aha” moment will play well on Twitter with a start-to-finish tweet thread, or a concise caption as a teaser for the full case study on your website. Instagram is the most visual medium, so a short summary along with relevant hashtags can enhance your captivating photo.
Remember—every social media community engages differently.
Content is King
The competition remains fierce for likes, retweets and shares. Cross-promoting is a better practice than cross-posting, but it’s equally important to use digital tools that allow you to differentiate the aesthetics and message of your posts between social media networks. Just as personalizing your media outreach can lead to reporters turning to you for coaching insights, the same goes for coming across as human—and not a robot—when you share your knowledge and experience with all of your online audiences. The extra time and attention it takes to make messages unique for each channel can pay big dividends with increased engagement, followers and perhaps new coaching clients.