In today’s crowded social media landscape, social marketers know how difficult it can be to lift their brand’s content above the noise. Throw in the fact that many social media algorithms prioritize relevance over chronological order, and social teams post all kinds of content to see what stays and what doesn’t.

However, it is exhausting to constantly identify relevant content for multiple social networks. And in all honesty, some days you just don’t have the time to create new social content from scratch.

When it comes to creating social content, it pays to “work smarter, not harder”. Rather than constantly coming up with new ideas, social marketers should take a look at what they already have and reuse their top performing blog posts, videos, reports, white papers, and more.

This article explains how to reuse content for each social media platform and how to make your content work for you instead of the other way around.

Why it pays to reuse content

In addition to the obvious appeal of recycling (less work, more time saved), reusing your content for social media offers a number of strategic benefits, including:

  • Reinforce your brand messaging
  • Give content an SEO boost
  • Reaching target groups who missed content in the first round of advertising

For example, the Sprout Social IndexTM is our annual data report that appeals to the entire marketing industry. But we also include data points that are specific to certain industries and that can be used to attract niche audience attention. With that in mind, we’ve created an entirely new article, inspired by data from the index, and deepened those insights into the industry. At the end of the article we added a CTA reader who downloads the index report to see how these insights can be put into action.

We know getting a feel for how your industry is doing in the social arena is a big endeavor. That is why we have checked the data of our 20,000+ customers in order to provide you with industry-specific benchmarks. Dive into:

– Sprout Social (@SproutSocial) June 22, 2020

What should I watch out for when using content for social media?

Before you dive into recycling your content, you should know that not all content is suitable for this particular art form. Put your best foot forward, as the saying goes: prioritize content that performs well and meets your needs and goals. Having a goal in mind will make it easier for you to determine which metrics to use to evaluate what content to include in your curation strategy. Goals can be:

  • Increase brand awareness in a specific industry
  • Drive organic traffic back to your website
  • Supportive leads or attempts

Next, ask if the content you want to reuse is evergreen or time limited. An item that performs well all year round may be easier to reuse right now, while event-specific or seasonal content may require careful planning before posting.

If you are new to using social media content, you also need to consider where to post it. The right channel makes all the difference – how you tell the story is as valuable as the story itself. Think about which of your networks is most active, how your target audience will use each of them, and what format you can convert content into. A three-minute video based on an eBook works well for YouTube, but it’s probably too long for Twitter. And as always, you know your audience. Think about what your target audience in each network expects from you.

Here’s how to use powerful content in a social media post

After you’ve compiled a list of your best pieces, it’s time to start using your content on social media! Here are some ideas to help you develop your creativity and turn content into an engaging post for your networks:

Post Twitter threads.

WordPress now has a feature that automatically publishes blog posts as a Twitter thread at the same time with just two additional clicks. Talk about two-for-one content! You don’t need WordPress, of course, to reuse posts this way. A little copy and paste (and some editing) makes this option accessible to any social media manager.

Cross-post your live stream.

Extend the life of your livestream event by saving and uploading videos to YouTube, sharing snippets on Twitter, or cropping clips for an Instagram post. Screenshots and quotes can be used on non-video posts to grab your audience’s attention or to tease what is to come in the future. The ways to reuse live streams are endless.

Make it a GIF.

Do you have a video clip or animation that will make you smile? Turn it into a GIF! There are plenty of free tools to do that, and GIFs make fun, eye-catching posts that can be used to promote content. To encourage new readers to interview Philz Coffee, we converted part of the video interview to a GIF to accompany a pull quote on Twitter.

Ask a question.

The same questions that are used to trigger comments at the end of videos and blog posts can be re-used on other platforms. LinkedIn Q&A, as well as Facebook and Twitter polls, provide the opportunity to engage your audience with existing content or tease a new report that is on the go.

We’re releasing the Animalz benchmark report tomorrow, but there’s still time for one more reveal:

In a year dominated by COVID-19, which industry saw the greatest blog growth compared to last year? # 7DaysOfData

– Animalz (@AnimalzCo) October 19, 2020

Give an answer.

Search your Facebook and LinkedIn communities for questions that an existing article can answer. By reusing content and / or linking to it in your answer to questions, you build relationships and increase the likelihood of being found by others who ask the same question.

Revise written content for Instagram.

Even written content can find a home on a visual platform like Instagram. However, don’t just copy a paragraph and paste it as your Instagram post. Consider pulling out key data points or quotes to build a social narrative. We found that a Sprout article on mental health attracted a lot of page views from social media managers and was well received by our community. We turned it into an Instagram carousel with tips on how managers can address the issue of burnout with their direct reports.

Turn a webinar into a video.

Can this educational blog post be reformatted into a LinkedIn Live or YouTube video? Not only is it easy to convert written content into something your audience can see and hear, but it will likely appeal to followers who prefer webinar formats to long-form reading. After launching the index, we turned the report into a webinar in which we discussed the key findings with a group of social media experts.

Repurposing intelligent content generates exponential returns

If you already have high performing content, it’s time to start taking it across channels. With a little creative reformatting and placement, social media marketers can get the most out of their brand’s largest content and reduce the amount of work involved in creating content. It’s a win-win situation!

Wondering how to keep track of all of the posts that you are about to do? Check out our advice on building a social media calendar that works.