I am setting up a social media plan, and I am a little confused about how to use external sites (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) in addition to my blog. . . . I feel like any update that I could post on Facebook, I’d also like to post on my blog. In other words, how can I avoid duplicate content everywhere? – Sarah
Good question for evaluating your social media strategy.
Let’s establish from the get-go that there’s nothing wrong with duplicate content. Odds are quite slim that the same people would see the same content in all places.
The problem is that you will probably bore yourself by doing this. You’re using the platforms in the same way. This is more confusing for you than it is for your followers.
You need a mission for each of your online channels, which is easier than it sounds.
A mission would consist of When and How you use the site, but it might also include Why you use the site and Who your audience is on that site. Here’s how this could play out.
Sarah told me that her blog is going to be “creative process-focused rather than formal lengthy posts.”
Hooray! That’s a pretty clear mission, but let’s add the When. Weekly posts? Twice weekly?
Sarah’s blog is where she will write about how, when, where, and why she makes art. It will be image-driven while providing supporting text.
Yes, you can share your blog posts on Facebook, but I’m willing to put money down that you have more to share than blog posts.
Perhaps a mission for Facebook could be: Facebook is where I share inspiration, quotes, event invitations, finished work, earlier work, and the work of other artists. My goal is to post to my Facebook page at least 5 times a week.
If you want to share the same finished piece on both your blog and Facebook, be creative. Mix up what you write about that piece in order to make it more interesting for you. [Click to tweet.]
Twitter, as you know, challenges you to be pithy in 140 characters or less. For this reason alone updates to Twitter are inherently different from those on your blog or Facebook.
I find Twitter to be the best place for promoting others. An example of a mission for Twitter:
Twitter is where I announce new blog posts, share quick tips and article links, and make friends by promoting them. I try to send 4 content-driven tweets every day.
Other Social Media Platforms
Then there are Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube. Each one has its merits. You don’t have to be active on all of them, and you’ll save some brain cells if you are clear about how you will use your favorite sites.
Bottom line: Don’t worry about the duplicate content, especially if you challenge yourself to be creative with how you share the same item across channels.
16 thoughts on “A Mission for Each of Your Social Media Channels”
THANK YOU for this post. I’ve been dealing with this very issue the last two weeks since my web host dropped the blog capacity and I’m learning WordPress which throws everything onto Facebook after I published a newsletter with the same info. Very helpful, Alyson – i appreciate it.
Randine: Glad it’s helpful.
I use twitter to promote myself and others by tweeting about art events. Since my audience is world wide I post about shows in various cities, not just Atlanta (where I live). I also promote my own shows and work but this gives people an extra reason to read my tweets.
Thanks for the post Alyson… appropriate timing for me. I have just met with a friend that does a wonderful job of using all forms of social media and has them integrated so she does not have to re-write a post… but shares between sites. She was advising me on how to be more consistent and teaching me her method, if it would work for me!
Each site has their own capability and capacity, but she has figured out for her to post an image to Etsy, write a blog post about that painting, share it and the “discreet” link (which she learned from taking a course with you) to purchase from Etsy. Then her blog post is brought into her Daily Paintworks overnight automatically… so she doesn’t have to do it manually. She only has to go into DPW to manually fix the price or link to purchase from Etsy (I don’t quite have that clear yet). She can share the blog to Facebook, but takes out the small thumbnail, leaving only the link, but adds her photo manually so it is larger. She also uses Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. I will be learning more about those in the days / weeks to come. I do use Pinterest along with the other sites I mentioned above.
Your post is a good one to help me integrate the thoughts and processes of using these! Thanks again. I am always following your blog, have your book, get your newsletter, and have taken a course or two from you! You are one of the few that I follow and research what you talk about… I know you care!
I worry about things being to rote and automated, Marsha. Let me know how it works for you.
Thanks for the helpful post Alyson! And, good to hear that it’s okay to be somewhat redundant on posts through the various media. What about posting the same content on your FB business /fan page and your personal page? This concerns me sometimes because so many of my friends also “like” my art page so they see the same thing twice on their feed. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Thanks for all you do!
Traci: I do this only RARELY. And I try to write something with the share that would appeal to my friends.
What you said about being creative about it is correct–you should not cross-post blog posts if being found in search engines is important to you. If spammy, duplicate content can trigger a Google penalty. If not spammy, it still may be ignored by Google. Here is what Google says about it:
“Most search engines strive for a certain level of variety; they want to show you ten different results on a search results page, not ten different URLs that all have the same content. To this end, Google tries to filter out duplicate documents so that users experience less redundancy.”
For example,a POD site I’m on has a “uniqueness meter” to make sure your item descriptions are all different, as that helps you get found.
You generally want to bring people to your site, not leak your traffic out to social media sites–so on the social media sites, putting a link to your blog post, and a unique description of the post, will be the most efficient to get traffic, according to SEO people.
Vicky: Keep in mind that post was written in 2008. I believe they have evolved their policy since then.
Thanks for this article. I like the idea of using different social media channels to highlight different aspects of the same content. My next big tasks are to debloat my Twitter feed and Pinterest boards, shudder.
I’m attracted to Instagram, despite its relationship to the FB entity. Can you put short text captions with the pictures? I’m thinking it would be a good place for little studio/WIP vignette shots with captions like, “eating, drinking, listening,” or other “glimpse of the artist’s life” type captions.
Wren: You absolutely can post captions. And definitely use hashtags on Instagram.
It is always about getting people interested enough to go and have a look at your website and your art…
perhaps to read your words there…
perhaps to read your blogs there…
perhaps to have a long look at your art there…
perhaps even to buy your art from there…
While you have them there just don’t give them links out to other people!
Great post Alyson. Just what I needed.
Hmmm, I see duplicate content often, and as a rule I really dislike it. It feels impersonal and inauthentic and only rarely necessary or worthwhile or creatively handled. Same for excessive use of hashtags. And whenever I glean that someone is doing scheduled posts, I stop caring about their posts altogether. If you don’t want to be bothered with social media or don’t understand it, then don’t use it or learn the difference between various sites and how people read and interact. More posting is not necessarily better when someone is just obviously trying to get clicks and likes and not posting thoughtfully.
Thank you, Alyson.
Now thinking about social media channels this way does make things clearer.
I’ll adopt your mission for Facebook and Twitter, and as for my blog, I will try to write more about the how, when, where and why of my paintings. I also do a bit of personal blogging though, it’s a bit mixed. I don’t think too much about if it is good or if it looks professional, I just like it as a bit of journaling when I feel it and I don’t want to write a separate blog. And personal experience has much to do with my art anyway, especially when my children are often my inspiration.
Are you on Instagram? I use it mainly to share daily photos of my life. And I have a much cleaner and neater feed because I’m very selective about who I follow there.