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How to Repurpose Content for Your Social Media Marketing

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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As we all know, social media is an integral part of any inbound marketing strategy, so being able to execute a social media strategy as efficiently as possible is important. This article will put you at ease on whether or not you should repost the same content in different ways.

It’s important to note that when we say “repost the same content in different ways”, it doesn’t mean posting the exact same thing a thousand times over on every platform, it means re-posting content with careful curation and a few tweaks on different days and within a reasonable timeframe to avoid outdated content.

Current Popular Opinion on Recycling Content

The truth is, many brands and individuals are wary of re-posting the same content due to the fear that their followers will see the same post more than once and stop following them. There’s also the idea that duplicate content will negatively affect search rankings (see the side note at the end of this article for more on this).

On the other hand, by refusing to recycle content, you’re actually creating much more work because every item on the content calendar is created from scratch. For many brands and small businesses, this adds quantifiable costs to write, edit, add visuals, approve, and post the content. For individuals, it can create a demand on resources that’s simply not sustainable.

Why Recycle Content for Social Media Marketing?

Although much has been written about ways to curate, reuse and recycle content across platforms (including this great post by Peg Fitzpatrick) is it really necessary?

Recently Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki) spoke at a conference and stated what the case study further below will confirm:

“Repeat your tweets and you will triple your engagement.”

To find how your Twitter engagement is going, just click on the “View Tweet Activity” icon (it looks like a little bar graph) on Twitter’s website or mobile app to see the number of impressions and engagements that each of your tweets has received. Most of the time, you’re likely to be disappointed with how few of your followers even saw your tweet, let along engaged with it. But have you tried, for example, re-tweeting and sharing the same content at different times and on multiple days?

A Real World Example of Effective Recycling and How Well it Can Work

Let’s take this case study of recent retweets by Dan Gingiss, Customer Experience Executive over at Discover Financial Services, to promote a blog article. For the first tweet he sent out, he got very few impressions (only 142, less than 7% of his total followers) and only 6 engagements. Let’s face it, those numbers can be disappointing, especially if you have a lot of followers:

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If Gingiss had given up right after that result (like most of us do), he would have missed the opportunity for future significant engagement and impressions promoting the same article.

After several other tweets and five days, the second attempt worked very well bringing in a massive 8,043 impressions (almost 4 times the total follower base) and 189 engagements, as you can see from the image below. Amazingly, this second recycled tweet delivered more engagement than the first tweet delivered impressions:

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With that success, the temptation to try again was too much. About a week later, back with the original image but a different headline, Gingiss retweeted and received 7,338 impressions and 121 engagements. Not quite as good metrics as the second attempt, but still not too shabby.

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The Bottom Line on Recycling and Repurposing Content for Social Media

So what’s the bottom line? Yesterday’s good content is still good content today as long as it is shared again within a reasonable time limit (around a month at most).

We all know digital marketing is an agile business and can have seismic shifts in trends and technologies from month to month. It doesn’t matter if you’re a brand or individual because at the end of the day we all want our content to be engaging to our followers. Social media marketing success depends on a lot of factors such as day of the week, time of day, headline, hashtags, @mentions, visuals and, of course, the quality of your content.

So, does reposting content double your effectiveness in social media marketing?

According to this case study, it very well can. Marketers won’t really know until they test it out. Don’t be afraid to test out different times and days, as well as doing things like changing the attached image – all of this will take you less time than creating new content and could have the same (or better!) results.

On a side note, given Google’s Panda update, it’s important to also know that reposting your content on sites more authoritative than yours, even if you publish it first on your blog and have them link back, can result in a duplicate content penalty. Here’s a detailed article on how to avoid this penalty.

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