Why You Should Share Your Blog Post More Than Once on Social Media: The Case for Reposting Content

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Reposting the same content on social media can be quite a controversial topic. Some people don’t like it at all, while others advocate it strongly.

For Buffer’s social media accounts, we regularly do this. We found this to work surprisingly well and thought it might be interesting to explore the topic in a more analytical way.

Here is some interesting data around republishing your content multiple times on social media. Simply looking at the latest social media stats, there seems to be good case for doing so. Some people also call this the “Guy Kawasaki”-technique for using Social Media. Looking at his massive following, it seems to be working well!

Why should you repost the same content? 3 big reasons:

First of all, let’s see what kind of benefits you can get from reposting your content multiple times.

1. More traffic

The first, and perhaps most obvious, reason to share your content more than once is to drive more traffic that the initial share.

Tom Tunguz did an experiment on his own blog to show how reposting the same content helped him to boost traffic.

To get an idea of how many people were seeing and sharing his posts, Tom looked at the number of Retweets he got when Tweeting a link to one of his blog posts. We can assume from this that actual visits to his posts increased with each Retweet, as well.

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 1.50.17 pm

With each subsequent Tweet of an existing blog post, Tom noticed that he got around 75% as many Retweets as the time before.

What was really interesting here is that even though he got more Retweets each time, this was directly proportionate to the number he got originally.

This graph shows the average number of Retweets Tom got the first time he Tweeted, and the second.

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 1.50.23 pm

He found that the blog posts that only got Retweeted a couple of times on average when he first shared them only got a couple of Retweets the second time, as well.

Blog posts that were intially Retweeted a lot, however, got quite a few Retweets when he shared them again, as well.

We’ve also noticed that Tweeting posts from the Buffer blog more than once gives us more traffic and more engagement (favorites, Retweets).

Here’s an example where we’ve done this:

ba1 copy ba3 copy ba2 copy

2. Hit multiple time zones

Guy Kawasaki is known for posting the same content multiple times, and one reason he advocates doing this is to reach your followers in different time zones. He’s found that this increases the traffic to his content, particularly when Tweeting the same link several times:

The reason for repeated tweets is to maximize traffic and therefore advertising sales. I’ve found that each tweet gets approximately the same amount of clickthroughs. Why get 600 page views when you can get 2,400?

Guy generally repeats Tweets of his blog posts (with minor variations) four times each, to hit different time zones:

We provide content repeatedly because people live in different time zones and have different social media habits.

Even if you only Tweet the same thing a couple of times, if you spread out your Tweets (or Facebook posts, or updates on other social networks), you’ll be able to reach more people who might have otherwise missed out on seeing your content.

3. Reach your new followers

Something we’ve noticed at Buffer is that a lot of our posts are still relevant months after we publish them. The other thing that changes after we publish a post is that more people follow us on social networks, so if we repost content from our blog that’s six months old, many of our followers will be seeing it for the first time, so they’ll get value out of it even though it’s old content.

You can use a tool like Twitter Counter to track your follower growth, so you know when it’s a good time to repost some of your older content.

Making it work

If you want to try this out on your own content, here are some things that have worked well for us at Buffer.

Make sure to reframe the content each time

Something we try to do each time we post a piece of content is to slightly reframe it so we’re not just repeating ourselves.

Here’s an example of how we might do that on Facebook:

First, we post the actual link

fb1

Then we go and post only one image to explain part of the post

fb2

This way we can sometimes get double or even triple the amount of engagement by highlighting different elements of the content each time we post it.

First we publish it as a link:

Then, through Twitter’s new expanded images feature, we publish it as an image and reframing it:

 

 

You can simply right click any image on the web with Buffer to share a new image post on Twitter or Facebook, that according to the latest social media statistics, will garner significant more clicks, retweets and favorites.

We’ll also try slightly different wording each time we post the same thing, like this:

ba5 copy ba4 copy

Test different headlines

Since we post the same content to Twitter multiple times, we take advantage of this opportunity to test out what headline works best for the blog post.

Here’s how we usually run that kind of experiment:

  1. Find 2 headlines for an article that you think will perform well.
  2. Tweet both of these headlines at roughly the same time, at least 1 hour apart. Here I’ve found that doing the 2 Tweets both in the AM or both in the PM works best – 9am is much more similar to 10am, then say 12pm is to 1pm. So going with clear “morning” or “afternoon” times is crucial.
  3. Compare the data for which headline to settle on.

And here’s an example of the analytics from a headline experiment we did on this blog post:

First tweet:

Second tweet:

The second Tweet clearly performed better as we found out through our social analytics and Buffer’s algorithm also identified it as a top Tweet. In fact, you can clearly see that the second headline got double the number of clicks.

When we see a big difference in engagement on a different headline like that, we usually go back to the original post and change the title itself (the URL never changes, just the heading of the blog post), so this can be a really useful learning experience for us, as well as helping us share our content with more people.

Image credits: Tomasz Tunguz

P.S. If you liked this post, you might also like How Twitter’s new expanded images increase clicks, retweets and favorites and 7 Big, Recent Twitter Changes you Should Know About to Optimize Your Tweeting

  • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

    Sorry, forgot one thing… I love your advice about Facebook. It sounds so simple, but sharing different aspects of the same article makes sense. I’ve done that a few times for list type articles (for example “10 ways to…”, “10 myths to debunk…”) I love the idea of sharing different types of posts- for example photos, polls, questions etc. Thanks- you’ve got me thinking! :-)

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  • Decision.io

    I’ve recently begun doing this as well. While we don’t yet have numbers even remotely close to Buffer, I have noticed that each share gets a little action from different people. I’ve yet to have anyone complain either. I have also been experimenting with sending out things from the archive as long as they are still relevant… playing with different ways to entice a click and a read (while remaining true to the content of course).

    Thanks Belle!

  • http://www.joshbenson.com/ Josh Benson

    Great post. I’m looking to do that more. One thing I do is post an update to Twitter and go back and post the same post to Facebook and LinkedIn and delete the link. It’s tidy. I think less clutter leads to more reads – unscientific, but I know I like cleaner status updates. (:

    • http://tracywongphoto.com/ Tracy Wong

      Josh I agree! I tend not to click the links that seem to be generated from another source.

      Thanks for a really great post! I’ve always wondered if reposting my content is I should do but wasn’t sure if I’d end up looking spammy.

  • Andrea Leyden

    I’ve noticed that Buffer posts more than once on Twitter but love the way you share the link then an image with the link to the same content on Facebook. Will definitely try this out – thanks for the info Belle!

  • Gyan Devi

    I agree with you and Guy Kawasaki and repost content regularly and cycle my tweets every 8 hours. I love the bufferapp for so many reasons and you’ve got a great support team! One thing I’d love to see is an easier way for me to schedule my tweet cycle. Perhaps adding a “+ (# of hours)” button and permitting duplications by eliminating the duplicated tweet message?

    • Belle

      Hi Gyan, great points there. Perhaps our custom scheduling feature could work in this way for the moment? We’re also considering testing a “share next” button to quickly add something to the top of your Buffer queue which you might find useful.

  • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

    I’m not sure what happened to my first comment, it seams to have disappeared, or maybe it got flagged as spam? Anyway, what I wanted to say was thanks for the post. I think reposting content is a great idea, as long as it is done in moderation. I love your idea for posting different elements of a post at different times using Buffer. For example I could post different types of post (a photo, a poll, a question, a text update).

    I was a little disappointed to see you advocating Guy Kawasaki’s technique. I don’t mean to get at him as such, but I think posting the same message across different timezones is extreme and (at least in my view) is crossing the line in to spamming. I do think that targetting people across different timezones (if you’re interested in reaching people across the globe) is a good idea- but I would adopt a more gradual approach. I use the WP plugin Tweetily which posts old posts at set points throughout the day and week. It would be awesome if Buffer had a plugin for WordPress that added older posts to our buffer queues.

    If done sensitively, reposting content can produce a lot of engagement for older posts without overloading your fans. You want to keep as many people on board as possible- and it’s is a bit of a balancing act. I’ve had a lot of success with it, and I definitely recommend people try it, just don’t try and over post!

    • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

      Well Guy’s viewpoint is most people aren’t staring at Twitter all day long. So realistically most will likely only see his tweet of the same link/message once. And with followers around the globe this is likely true.

      • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

        Except you have to think about some of your followers who only follow a couple of hundred people. They’re timeline is likely to be full of you tweeting! I am just saying there is a balance to be struck.

        • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

          For sure, but Guy obviously doesn’t care about anyone only following a few people.. He’s made that pretty clear..

    • Belle

      Good point Ian, it’s definitely a balancing act! I haven’t looked into it, but I wonder if you could use an IFTTT recipe to add older posts to your Buffer queue perhaps?

      • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

        The trouble with an IFTTT recipe and Buffer is that you can only post to one social network via Buffer using IFTTT. I don’t know why that is the case. Do you? It would be great if you could choose the network you want to post to via Buffer at the time of creating the IFTTT recipe.

        Also there needs to be an app that randomly adds posts from the blog to Buffer at different points in time. Anyone have any ideas? Most people I know use Tweetily or SocialOomph, but I would love to use Buffer.

  • joshmatz

    I have a question on changing the headline title after seeing which performs the best. Is this for SEO purposes, or do you see longer engagement times once the title changes? Or is there another reason?

    Also, how do you manage reposting times? Do you schedule them manually?

    • Belle

      Yep, we do manage reposting times manually. We set all of these through Buffer.

      As for changing the title, this is mostly about what people will click on, read and share. We don’t change titles based on SEO, but more for human reasons, based on which title people seem to respond to best.

      • joshmatz

        Cool, thanks for the response!

  • Jessie Wood

    Great post. Weirdly, when I use bit.ly and Buffer together, Buffer only shows the total clicks for that link – it doesn’t break it down by post. I can do a breakdown in bit.ly of the stats but it’s not as precise. Oh well! :)

    • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

      Jessie, Buffer gets its info from bitly analytics I think, and bitly only tracks click throughs for that particular link. If you want to get more detailed, you could add your own tracking string to the end of the url each time you post a link to a page, for example ?=tracking1. Although this is probably meaningless to the website hosting the article, bitly will treat it differently. Does that make sense?

  • Ladi

    Would it be okay to share the posting by putting it in two different places. I have three blogs, one is on my website and sometimes the content from one is meaningful to the other. Can I put the same posting on the different blogs?

  • http://www.gxjansen.com/ Guido Jansen

    Great idea! So why doesn’t Buffer allow me to do this? ;)

    “Whoops, it looks like you posted that one recently” is the error message I get when I try to buffer the same post more then once.

    The above screenshot with 3 the same posts text (but with different links) in the Buffer queue is not something that I can accomplish :(

    • Belle

      Hi Guido,

      You’re right that this didn’t always work before but we’ve actually made a change to allow it now. If you give it a go, it should work for you :)

      • http://www.gxjansen.com/ Guido Jansen

        Awesome, thx!

    • carokopp

      Hey Guido! Thanks so much for mentioning this. So sorry for the confusion! I think that is three separate screenshots pieced together, from different days. :) I think we’re thinking through this one though, thanks so much for the nudge here! Really good one to try to get the right balance of encouraging posts to be different and also helping people share the same post multiple times. :)

      • http://www.gxjansen.com/ Guido Jansen

        thx :)

  • http://www.atlantamarketingminds.com Dexter Fulton

    Great article! I think I’ve been a little to conservative in the past, trying not to offend people, but after reading this article, I’m going to ramp things up a bit.

  • Himanshu Bhatt

    Won’t it be counted as spam??

  • Jennifer

    I’ve thought about this a lot as I’ve seen different bloggers do this and I think it makes a lot of sense. When a Twitter user is reading through recent Tweets they’ve only got so much time and the more people they follow the more likely your tweet from a couple of hours ago won’t be seen by your follower. The more you tweet about a post the more likely they are to actually see it.

  • Johnnie Jazz

    I never bothered to do this because I thought it would turn off my readers. But this suggestion really comes in handy if you are experiencing a writer’s block or feeling sick! Thanks for sharing this!

  • Kristian Lee

    I think this is a great idea and a better experiment. I enjoy your examples on how to switch up the same post to see the different interaction you may get as well as the time – am and pm. Appreciate you sharing how your experiments have worked out.

  • http://www.clickclickmedia.com.au/ Phil Wendell

    This is a great post, not often do publishers consider how they promote their content and too often it is taboo to promote more than once, but fair enough if you aren’t reaching your following with only one tweet.

  • Jeff McElfresh

    Great idea but I can’t seem to make it work. You reference and it is known that, Guy Kawasaki tweets the same message 4 times- each 8 hours apart. How can you do that with buffer, which we know Guy uses?

    • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

      I’d really not recommend tweeting out the same message 4 times each day. It might work for him, but it’s likely to frustrate a large proportion of your audience. I’d recommend reposting content over a longer period such as a week or, if it is new content perhaps a 3 or 4 times in the first day. But to post all your links and content multiple times a day is (I am sorry to say) just spamming (but that’s my humble opinion)

      There are a few ways to do it. If you use the likes of Feedly then you can you can set up a recipe in IFTTT so that your saved later articles are added to Buffer. That just does it once. In order to do it more than once you’d have to use other tools such as Zapier, dlvrit or SocialOomph.

      • Jeff McElfresh

        I have created a few recipes with iFTTT and have not had the best success. The best one I have found is one where if posted to Instagram, it also posts to twitter as a pic.twitter link therefore showing the image. More than half of the time that recipe failed. Not sure if I would trust IFTTT to post somewhere else anymore.

        • http://iag.me/ Ian Anderson Gray

          Really? I used IFTTT all the time and have 53 recipes running without any problems. Did you go into the activity log to troubleshoot? I am genuinely interested as to what the issue could be. I use a similar Instagram->Twitter recipe and it’s been working ok. If IFTTT isn’t working (which it should) then you could use Zapier but it isn’t free.

  • Erik Schwenke

    Thanks for the tips. I employed a similar strategy with my blog posts when it came to reframing each time I would repost!

  • http://www.bespokesoftwaredevelopment.com/ Bespoke Software Expert – Jon

    Great post!

  • http://www.multisocialshare.com/ MultiSocialShare

    You can use an app like http://www.multisocialshare.com/ to post to multiple social networks.

  • http://www.sachagreif.com/ Sacha Greif

    Is there a way to set a tweet to automatically be reposted at a later time, or do you have to reschedule everything manually each time? That seems like it could get very time-consuming if you have someting like 100 posts…

    • adria tomy

      i dont think tweet can b set automatically. we have to check it out for the new tweets.

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  • piyanis

    For sure, but Guy obviously doesn’t care about anyone only following a few people.. He’s made that pretty clea