Should you Auto-Post to Facebook and Twitter from Instagram?

I’ll be the first to say it: composing interesting, well-written, and eye-catching posts for multiple social media channels, multiple times per week (or daily) for your winery or business takes a lot of time.

I know the time commitment it takes to write captions that persuade your followers to click, find the right hashtags to use to reach new customers, create images that look good when cropped different ways for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and make sure that content is tailored to those different platforms. I do all of this for every day of the week, for multiple wineries, as part of my my social media and marketing business.

So, given the amount of time it takes to successfully run social media for a brand (and by that I mean, your work is actually contributing to business goals in a quantifiable way), AND given the extra time it can take to optimize your posts for different platforms, any feature that saves you time when creating content should get a big yes from me, right? And therefore, Instagram’s option to auto-post your content from their platform to others including Facebook and Twitter should be a no-brainer… or is it?

As someone who’s built a business on the idea of creating the best online presence you can for your winery or other brand, I say: not so fast.

But let’s back up. What feature am I talking about here, exactly?

When you’re composing a post in Instagram, after choosing your photo and writing your caption, the app gives you the option to also post the exact same content to Facebook and Twitter (and Tumblr, if you use it), automatically, with no extra work on your part. In theory, this option makes social media managers’ lives easier – giving you three posts for your brand for the work of one.

Instagram Autopost Example

But if your goal is to maintain a professional-looking social media presence for your brand, and get your followers to take action when they see your posts – is this the right way to share important information to non-Instagram platforms?

Let’s take a look at what it looks like when you use Instagram to auto-post to Facebook:

fb-autopost-example.png

As you can see above, when you auto-post to Facebook from Instagram, it sort of looks like a regular Facebook post. Except, any hashtags you used on Instagram also show up on Facebook, which is fine if it’s just one or two, but if it’s more (up to 30 per post is the best practice on Instagram), the high character count will be interpreted negatively by Facebook’s algorithm, reducing the portion of your followers the platform shows your post to in their feeds. And it frankly looks a little messy.

Additionally, if you used language such as “learn more at our link in bio” in the post – that will look silly in a Facebook post, because on that platform, you CAN include links in posts, and it’s confusing to refer to a “link in bio” that doesn’t exist on Facebook – when you could’ve made it easy for followers to click a real link in the post instead! (Which you can do when posting or scheduling natively in Facebook.)

Now let’s look at what content auto-posted to Twitter from Instagram looks like:

twitter-autopost-example.png

As you can see above – this is a quite ineffective content from a user perspective. Because Twitter would prefer that users post directly on their platform (instead of from Instagram), their site will not attach whatever photo you chose in Instagram to the Tweet. It will instead appear as a long Instagram link, and depending on the length of your caption, the text of your post will also likely be truncated. So your followers won’t see the visual you planned for the post, and important information may also be missing.

Furthermore, like on Facebook, since you couldn’t include a link in Instagram, no link to whatever page you’re driving your followers to will be in the Tweet either. And Twitter lets you include links, so it looks silly not to include them (and will be confusing for potential customers)!

So sure – it may have saved you time to auto-post to these other platforms, but are those posts achieving your winery or business’ marketing goals? Are they actually getting your followers and customers to click a link and buy a ticket to your event, or see a picture and want to return to your property to buy more wine? If a Facebook post says “link in bio” with no clickable URL, or a Tweet has no image to actually entice them, the answer is: probably not.

It may take you a little extra time to compose posts separately in Facebook, Twitter, or a scheduling tool optimized for those platforms, but if it means sharing posts that get your message, links, and beautiful images across in a way that benefits your business, then that time may very well be worth it.

P.S. Simply don’t HAVE the time or expertise to optimize your posts to different social platforms? If your marketing budget allows it, it might be time for your winery or business to start working with a dedicated social media manager (or to take a crash course and learn some time-saving best practices from an expert!)


Meaghan Webster is a wine and food photographer, marketing consultant, and results-based social media manager for wineries in Washington, DC, Virginia, and New York. Learn more about her services at meaghanwebster.com or see her latest work and tips at instagram.com/meaghanwmarketing.

In addition to managing social media and taking photos for clients, Meaghan is also available to host classes, lessons, and one-on-one workshops on social media best practices for brands. Interested in booking a workshop or class? Get in touch here!

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