Reduce, Recycle & Reuse Your Social Media Posts
Stop churning out new content and start repurposing what you already have
As a social media consultant, the number one struggle I hear from clients are, “I don’t have time to make new content for social media every day.”
If you’re a small business owner, social media is often the last thing on your plate at the end of the week, and yet you know it’s important for building awareness, growing a community, and ultimately generating more sales. Almost 50% of people between the ages of 18 to 29 have reported making a purchase for something they saw a social ad for and, 77% of millennials have made online or in-store purchases after seeing a product or brand on Facebook.
Here’s the good news – if you’re creating any content at all for your brand, there are a number of strategies you can use to maximize the reach and life of any one post.
Think about the total number of posts you’re making each week between all your social platforms including your website. While the amount of content you’ll be sharing each week is brand specific, here’s an entry level guideline to make sure you’re not setting the bar too high with your posting schedule:
- Facebook: Up to 1 post per day, 5 posts per week total
- Instagram: Up to 1 post per day, 5 posts per week total
- Twitter: 2-4 tweets per day
- Pinterest: 1-3 pins a week
- Linked in: 1-2 posts per week
- Blog: 1 -2 posts per month
If you want to create content that can be widely distributed on your social and owned channels, think of a story that can be shared year-round and is not tied to one specific event or season (this is called evergreen content). Brainstorm a list of ideas and start with one blog post or video option. Here’s an example of what this could look like.
You create a blog post on: The Top 10 Hikes in Vancouver
- Post 1: Link to your blog post
- Post 2: Share a photo from the #1 hike with a ly link in the caption to the blog post
- Post 3: A photo album of all 10 hikes with a bit.ly link in the caption to the blog post
- Post 4: A few weeks later a throwback, “in case you missed it” link post again
- Post 5: Make a short 30 second video using a tool like Wave Video with the images and text from your blog post
First make sure you update the link in your bio to the post, or use a service like Linktree to help you manage your link options on Instagram.
- Post 1: Photo of the #1 hike with a call to action to click the link in your bio
- Post 2: (one week later) a photo of the #2 post in the hike with a call to action to click the link in your bio
- Post 3: (another week later) a photo of the #3 post in the hike with a call to action to click the link in your bio
- Additional post option: share the 30 second video you created in Wave on Instagram as well.
I think you get where I’m going with this. You now have 10 posts over 10 weeks. You can also ask people to share their photos from the top 10 hikes with your branded hashtag. You can then reshare these photos on your Instagram feed (with permission), share them on Facebook, as a carousel and as an Instagram story. You could even use them as embedded photos in your blog post.
Instagram Stories expire after 24 hours so this is a great way to have some fun with your audience and test a few new things. If you have 10,000 or more fans you can include a link to “Swipe Up” otherwise you can direct people to the link in your bio.
- Story 1: Feature image of the blog post with a call to action to click the link in your bio
- Story 2: Live video of yourself hiking one of the trails
- Story 3: Use the poll feature to have people guess which trail a photo is from
- Story 4: Share some of the photos that were taken by your audience as a round up
- Story 5: The video you created chopped up into a three 10 second segments
The sky is really the limit on Twitter, so much so that one time Hootsuite posted the same identical tweet 44 times. Write up a unique tweet with a line about one of the 10 hikes, and the several ones that can be rotated around to promote the hike in general. Vary your usage of hashtags to attract new audiences. Schedule them all for the first few months and then look at the stats to see what performed the best and continue to reuse for the next several months afterwards.
Send out a newsletter with your blog post and include some of the photos that were shared with your hashtag to continue to inspire your community.
Now that you have spent a bit of time creating content and finding out which social posts worked the best for your audience you can repeat this process with your best posts 6 months to a year down the road.
The current stats are putting the average organic reach of Facebook and Twitter around 1% and Instagram is declining as well. This means that you could put out the exact same piece of content dozens of times and still not reach your entire audience. Yes, your top fans and followers might notice, but beyond that, not many people will. I can attest that I have executed this strategy with several brands, and never had anyone tweet or message back that we had already shared that piece of content. In fact, the results of the second, third or fourth share of the content were often equal to or greater than the first time the piece of content was shared.
For future years you can update the header image, make a few relevant tweaks to the post (in this case trail information), and the re-execute this strategy again and again.
A little bit of time upfront setting up some cornerstone content from your brand can have legs for months and years down the road if you plan it out correctly. Before you start on your next brand post, think about the potential to recycle and reuse first before you hit publish.