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Picture it: you’ve created a new product, you’re ready to share it with the world, so you’ve created a Facebook post – and that’s it. What are you supposed to publish on Instagram? Can you reuse the same content on Pinterest? How can it become a video for YouTube?! You don’t want to just publish on Facebook and let that great content languish in the social media graveyard.

Making a single social media post is great, but you can get a lot more out of your hard work without having to start from scratch. Reusing and repurposing content across different platforms is not only a time-saver, it will also help you reach a broader audience interested in your business!

It’s not a post – it’s a Story.

The first step in repurposing your social content is to stop thinking about it as individual platform posts. What you’re really trying to achieve is telling a story that supports your brand and your goals. If you start with the post first, it can be hard to take the social media platform out of the plan. Instead, start thinking about the story you want to tell then build the social content from there.

For example, instead of taking a photo of your new quilt and creating an Instagram post that says, “I just made this quilt. You can buy it for $300 #quilt #crafters”, think about the story that the quilt can tell. Why did you choose those colors? Is there significance in the design? Does it remind you of a cherished childhood memory? How do you envision customers using the quilt in their own life?

Creating a story – rather than a post – gives you a foundation to build from when planning to repurpose content for different networks. Instead of crafting a single post around a single topic, you have something that will connect you to your audience and will draw them in, no matter where they might find you.

And speaking of your audience…

Know your audience

You don’t have to have a full demographic profile built out for each customer archetype, but you do need to understand why they love you and what they’re looking for from your business and your presence on social media.

In a post from the Tailwind blog, we offer a few tips on how to think about actionable social media personas:

  1. “What group or groups does that persona include, and how do they engage most often on a specific social media platform?
  2. What specific problems does that particular group have if they are unique when compared to other social media personas?”

Answering those two questions will give you a much better idea of what your audience is coming to you to experience and what type of content they would like to see from you.

It’s also a good idea to look into what your audience has connected with in the past. Take a look at your platform-specific analytics to see what posts have performed well for you in the past. That will help you glean what they enjoy seeing from you, where you should tweak your content, and whether those posts are helping you achieve your business goals.

Test on one platform then grow

Each platform has different goals and different use cases. For example:

  • Pinterest is a visual search platform that helps build brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.
  • Instagram builds brand awareness and helps you engage directly with your audience.
  • TikTok entertains and educates through short-form content. There’s still a ton of organic reach to be had, so it’s a great place to reach a new audience.
  • Facebook is perfect for connecting with your audience via Groups and has a robust advertising platform.
  • YouTube provides an SEO boost through long-form educational or entertaining video content.

As you can see, each platform helps you achieve different goals. With a few exceptions (like cross-sharing Stories from Instagram and Facebook), it’s nearly impossible to share the exact same post across every single platform. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t repurpose!

Start with the platform that fits the story and your goals the best. For example, if it’s a quick tutorial, put it up on Instagram Reels. After it’s been published, check back in a few hours later to see how your audience has reacted to the post. Are you getting a lot of views but not a lot of likes? Tons of unrelated comments? Something may need to be tweaked before you share the same story on other platforms.

Optimize your goals for each platform

When thinking about crafting that story for the different social platforms, really focus on what your goals are and how they relate to each network. Work those into your story by asking yourself:

  1. Why are we on this platform? What do we want our followers to do?
  2. Does this content align with those goals and desired actions?
  3. If not, can this content be tweaked to fit those goals?

Lean into the unique abilities of each platform to specialize the post, call to action, and purpose of every piece of content. For example, if you’re really wanting to encourage new purchases from a past customer, think about using Pinterest to create static image Pins or Video Pins that will end up in your followers’ feed. Specialize the call to action in the description to encourage clicking through to make a purchase. Since your followers will likely already know who you are and what your business is about, they will be more likely to click through and purchase from Pinterest versus if you tried the same tactic with a cold audience on TikTok.

reusing content on multiple platforms

Understand how to optimize for each platform

We’ve covered the different purposes and goals of each platform, but there are real tactical differences between various networks.

Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and almost all other platforms have recommended image sizes. YouTube content is shot in horizontal format whereas TikTok and Instagram Reels are shot vertically. Hashtags work great on Twitter and Instagram but aren’t as effective on Pinterest or Facebook. Knowing these tweaks and optimizations ahead of time can help you plan your storytelling for each platform and make sure you’re getting the most out of every post.

Across all platforms, it’s important to be consistent. You can let the algorithms know you’re there to provide quality content in a consistent manner. In fact, in a recent interview with a fellow Tailwind team member, Chloe, the Instagram team let it slip that the Instagram algorithm is looking for you to post the same type of content on the same days at the same time. This means planning your feed is more important than ever. Using a tool like Tailwind can help you make sure that you are giving the algorithm exactly what it wants when it wants it.

How to create content for multiple platforms

Once you have your story, goals, and platform ideas down, it’s time to start creating the content.

Video content can easily be recorded on your phone. If you want to get really fancy, you can have two going at a time – one shooting vertical format and one in horizontal format – so you can use the same recording session for multiple platforms. After the video is recorded, you can easily edit it in a desktop tool like iMovie or in-app with TikTok or Instagram.

For creating and repurposing static images across multiple platforms, it doesn’t get much easier than using Tailwind Create.

It takes less than 2 minutes to go from idea to social post with Tailwind Create. It automatically generates hundreds of posts optimized for Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. No design skills needed! And the best part? You can schedule the posts directly in the Tailwind dashboard!

Analyze, repurpose, repeat

Once you have a stream of content going out consistently across different networks, take a look at what’s working and what’s resonating with your audience. Different networks may take to different post types, but as long as you’re keeping the story consistent you will be able to reuse and repurpose your hard work!

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Melissa Megginson

Melissa Megginson

Melissa Megginson is the Community Manager at Tailwind, the leading visual marketing tool for brands. Melissa specializes in content creation, social media, blogging, PR outreach and pretty much all things marketing. Find her on TwitterPinterest and Instagram at @MelMegg.

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