If you’ve been on social media for awhile, you’ve probably heard of the concept of cross promotion. This involves using your other social networks to promote another of your social networks. For instance, you might tweet a link to your Instagram to encourage your Twitter followers to follow you on Instagram as well.
You want to put your product or service in front of as many people as possible and gain more followers in the process. Cross promoting can help you do both. Let’s take a look at how you should approach cross promotion.
How to Cross Promote
Cross promoting your Instagram seems easy enough, right? Just post a link to your other account and watch the follower count rise. It’s not exactly that easy. There are a few problems with this approach. First, you can’t trust your followers to click a link on their own. Second, followers are less likely to click if they don’t feel they have a reason to.
Here are some things you should keep in mind when cross promoting to maximize your reach and convert followers from other social networks into Instagram followers.
- Focus on visual content. Posting links with generic captions is a surefire way to turn your followers off. Your followers can find you on Instagram easily enough, especially if you’ve got links to your social channels on your website. Instead of just offering a link, give them a taste of the kind of content you post.
- Emphasize the “why.” We’ve all seen them: those aggressive Facebook posts practically screaming at us to “buy this product today” or “follow us on Instagram now.” But there’s one fatal flaw in these kinds of posts – they don’t offer the follower with a reason why they should buy or follow. Show your followers what sets your Instagram feed apart from your other social networks.
- Strategize. Ask yourself some questions about why you use social media. What does your Instagram say about your brand? How do you use Instagram? Similarly, how do you use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, and what do those accounts say about you? Once you’ve got that all figured out, tailor your cross promotion tactics to each channel for maximum engagement.
- Set goals. Cross promoting your accounts isn’t just a one-time thing. You can cross promote as much as you want – within reason. Just don’t go overboard, or your followers might feel like you’re pressuring them. Make space on your social media calendar to cross promote regularly.
- Know the posting format for each social network. You’re probably familiar with Facebook meta tags and Twitter cards. Make sure you use those to your advantage when cross promoting. It’ll provide some extra visual content to your followers while also promoting your accounts.
Tips for Cross Promoting
Now that you know the general ins-and-outs of cross promotion, use some of these specific tips to reach a wider audience.
- Take a screenshot of your Instagram feed and share it on your networks. You can also share a link to your Instagram, but studies show that people respond better to visual content. If you just post a link with a bland caption like, “Follow me on Instagram!”, chances are your followers won’t bother to click it. Posting a screenshot of your feed directly showcases your Instagram content.
- Use third party apps. Are you on Facebook? If so, you need to take advantage of third party apps that let you add buttons and links to your other social media accounts on your Facebook page. This makes your other social networks easy to find.
- Add your social links to your about section. You don’t have to cross promote exclusively using posts. You can also add links to your other social profiles in the “About” section of your Facebook page or website. Similarly, you could tweet links to your other accounts and pin it so your Twitter followers can easily find you on other platforms.
- Partner with a similar brand. This does not mean you should partner with a competitor, of course. Find a brand that complements what you’re doing. For example, let’s say you own a clothing company. You might consider partnering with an artist or a garment printing company. You and your partners can promote each other’s posts and partner together on a project. That increases your follower pool. You’ll likely gain some followers from their pages and vice versa.
- Use your mailing list to promote your networks. Do you send out a weekly or monthly newsletter? You should use it to promote not just your Instagram, but all your social media channels.
- Give your followers an incentive. Consider hosting a contest on Instagram, or offer a special discount for new Instagram followers. Followers and fans on other social media accounts are more likely to follow your Instagram if they feel there’s a reward in it for them.
- Go live. Live video on Instagram – or live content on any social media channel – is considered exclusive content. Let’s say you’re livestreaming an event on your Instagram. A good way to cross promote the event and your Instagram account is to post on your Facebook or Twitter that you’re live on Instagram. Post a link to the video, and your followers will take care of the rest.
- Cross post creatively. Cross posting is when you share the same post to several social networks. This is fine – after all, it’s difficult to come up with unique content for all your social channels all the time. Just be careful when cross posting. Don’t copy a post verbatim. Otherwise, why should anyone follow your other accounts if you post the same content on them?
Cross promoting your accounts will take a little more work than you might have thought, but the rewards are worth it. Partnering with businesses that are similar to yours can also help you build new professional relationships, which are invaluable for any brand.
Not only cross promotion help you increase your Instagram follower count, but it’ll also put your product or service in front of more people. After all, isn’t that why you’re on social media in the first place?