When I first coined the term cross-platform promotion (CPP) in my book Zero to 100,000: Social Media Tips and Tricks for Small Businesses, I had no idea that it would prove to be such a contentious issue within the small business arena. With CPP defined as being "the synergetic partnership between social media platforms to bring about the greatest content exposure," some people immediately saw it as their social media saviora means to spread their brand message rapidly across their various platforms, saving precious time and man-hours in the process. Others viewed it as a destructive and even malevolent social media cop-out; a one-way loudspeaker with which to blast promotional posts across the breadth of their virtual world, without sustaining the vital engagement that was necessary for their brand to succeed. A double-edged sword indeed! So which viewpoint is the right one? Well, both and neither, actually.
Let me explain.
You see, cross platform promotion isn't a "one size fits all" solution; while it can be a true social media ally, it can also be a brand enemy if not implemented correctly. So let's cut through all the confusion and simplify both the definition of CPP and its correct use within your social media marketing strategy.
Really Bad Mistakes to Avoid (the 'Don'ts')
You may have noticed other brands using the following techniques to reach a broad audience via social media. Don't follow in their footsteps unless you want to risk missingor, worse, offendingyour potential audience.
- Don't blanket-post every message you choose to send. Bear in mind that each social media platform has its own personality. It's important to adapt your posts to ensure that they reach your followers, fans, and connections in the most effective way possible. The style of a platform should dictate the language of your posts and promotions. Think of each platform as a different genre of studio audience, with you as the broadcast controller. You probably wouldn't choose to post your fun and sugary Facebook campaign posts to your older, more austere LinkedIn audience (even though ultimately their streams flow back to the same brand ocean), so be sure to apply the same level of thought to your CPP planning.
- Don't forget to link to other platform content. You might be about to launch a new offer on a particular product range you want to promote as a "holiday special," which is why you'll need to utilize all of your platform content to ensure that the promotion gets as much coverage and reach as possible. For example, your YouTube video (giving an overview of the products on offer) can easily be added onto your related tweets as a link. Your Facebook page promotion should also include a link to the video, along with positive customer comments from a previous blog-post, and any LinkedIn recommendations for your brand to strengthen the message. Oh, and don't forget to include news of that new Foursquare badge you're offering to those who leave in-store tips for the products on offer.
- Don't assume that you've reached your audience with the first CPP hit! Again, you need to view your social media content in the same way that a broadcast controller would. Those all-important items of news we tune into daily over breakfast will need to be aired at different times and on different channels throughout the day in order to reach the maximum number of viewers around the world.