Sharing is caring, except on social media. This is because most people (me included) repost carelessly, which is a real shame.
Reposts are the currency of social media after all (in that they are what people are trying to earn). Likes, loves, reactions, upvotes, etc might be nice, but someone sharing your post is the ultimate compliment.
Bearing this in mind, why do we not do more to encourage sharing? Why do we not take more care with what we share?
Contrary to what it sounds like, reposting does not mean saying the same thing over and over. It actually means sharing something someone else has posted.
Why would you do this you may ask? You’re trying to advertise your site, not someone elses after all. Well for two reasons really:
To make friends – if you repost someone else’s stuff, they might repost yours!
To demonstrate your authority on your subject. Posting original interesting stuff is great, but finding great stuff from other people and sharing it is nice too.
And to address the original point – you can post the same thing repeatedly if you like. People forget about posts pretty quickly (on Twitter a post lasts two hours before it’s forgotten forever). Therefore you can post things again and again – just not back to back (and not exactly the same thing, rewrite posts each time).
17 Pieces of Actionable Advice on Reposting
So, to make the most of your reposts here is some advice for professional social media accounts:
- Posting a link without comment is called link litter. If you think it’s good enough to share, then it’s worthwhile explaining why you did or adding your own take. Don’t litter, even on the internet!
- While reposting is an easy way to increase the amount of content you are putting out there (and generally a nice thing to do), if you repost more than you post, you might be doing more harm than good to your own account. Original content should always outnumber your reposts.
- Reposting your direct competitors probably isn’t the wisest move – you don’t want to drive leads to another website, do you? However, you probably have enough non-direct competitors (such as those in other countries) that you can repost from them without too much worry.
- Retweeting someone with an insult attached as a comment is a bad move from any professional social media account. While some companies do well with snark, it’s a risky proposition most of the time. Your followers might be entertained by watching you argue with someone, but they probably won’t respect you for it.
- Most reposts often aren’t actually read by the reposter. Sounds weird but it’s true – a lot of times it’s just the headline and original post that earn shares. This means that you should make your headlines as enticing as possible to encourage these types of shares.
- As people often don’t go to links in posts before reposting them, this explains why posts without links (such as infographics) are shared more often. You should generate more of this type of content to earn those sweet sweet reposts.
- Reposting helps you get the attention of the accounts you repost (as you’ll show up in their notifications). As many people are constantly looking for interesting accounts to follow, getting attention might mean getting followers too!
- Reposting has little value on Facebook from a company page. If you are trying to discuss a certain idea and don’t have time to write an article on something then by all means share other pages’ posts, but don’t expect to get much in return from it. Many sites create short summary articles which then link to articles they like – I’m not a huge fan of this tactic as it feels like traffic theft, but it will get you better results than just sharing a post on Facebook.
- On Pinterest it is highly recommended that your boards are mixes of your own content and repins. Again this helps you get the attention of the accounts you repin from, but on Pinterest, this also increases the value of your boards and so is very likely to get you more followers too.
- On Twitter you should repost other people once a day ideally. Retweeting is less of a big deal on Twitter as people do it constantly, and adding good stuff to your feed helps you show the value of following you. Again it attracts attention from the account you repost from, and also might get them to repost you!
- You should only repost things of interest to your audience. Don’t repost political messages or things about your daughter’s bake sale unless you’ve already set a tone that makes this make sense. In general, I don’t think any companies should post or repost political messages ever.
- You should always check the account of people you are going to repost. While you might be intending to only explicitly share that one message, other people might see you sharing one message as an endorsement of their whole ideology. This is especially true when a very large account shares something from a very small account.
- Adding “RTs don’t equal endorsements” to your Twitter profile won’t undo the above point. Some people will still see it as an endorsement.
- You should retweet your own best tweets! Twitter doesn’t like people posting the same message repeatedly, but retweeting yourself is fine apparently.
- You should never put “Please share” at the end of marketing messages. It’s only acceptable for missing person posts. Lots of people say you should do it as it’s a reasonably effective CTA for social, but it comes across as needy and in my experience only accounts posting poor content actually do it. Don’t lump yourself in with them.
- Never share anything that tries to guilt you into sharing it. If a post contains any variation of “only X type of people will share this” then it’s essentially a chain letter, and probably links to garbage or out of date info.
- Don’t share pics of your lunch or your kids. Neither of these has any value to your audience.