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Stop Tweeting Your Blog Posts Only Once: The Case for Re-sharing on Social Media

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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.

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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.

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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 initially 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:

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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

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

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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:

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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:

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Second tweet:

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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

This post originally appeared on Buffer, and is reprinted with permission. 

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12 thoughts on “Stop Tweeting Your Blog Posts Only Once: The Case for Re-sharing on Social Media

  1. Crazy, I had no idea. I’ve done this a time or two but didn’t have a reasoning behind it. I can understand the different time periods an hour apart. You’ll hit a different audience that wasn’t on there before while giving up to date info to everyone. Great share.

  2. Great article, loved the examples you gave. However, I would also include a caution to not “over-tweet”. Remember, we’re marketing to humans and humans can get annoyed by following the company/person that constantly re-posts or over-posts content. It’s like seeing a TV commercial twice in a row vs. twice in an hour.

    1. I totally agree with you Matt! I like the way you compare “over-tweeting” to seeing TV commercial in multiple times. Very clever idea!

  3. I think it’s all about what works for your target audience on twitter. I’ve never thought of posting same content several times so that I could reach followers in different time zone.
    What concerns me is that what about those followers who see same post twice? If I were that user I would unfollow that person or company.

  4. I’ve always used content to meet the need of my audience and put similar tweets up pointing to an existing asset in an effort to give variety and value to my audience.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the techniques talked about her, but telling people the should reuse a tweet is dumber than saying it can only be tweeted once

    A feed full of “read my post” links is never as good a engaging with your audience on Twitter.

    Of course, this is a NO RULES question. Do whatever works. For me, I do a whole lot of sharing, conversation and just good ol’ tweets to support my habit of promoting my own stuff :)

  5. Superb Belle, I had experienced this in my G+ network by re sharing content 3-4 times and each time got some new shares and +1 and also got the benefit in serp. Thanks you to make this things more clear with me and with my other friends.

  6. I think the reframing content each time you post it is the key here. Simply repeating your posts makes you a great unfollow candidate, especially if you repost every single update.

    Like Warren said, it’s a no rules question. Everyone has a unique audience and you have to find out what works with them and what doesn’t. Luckily we have a tool like Buffer to help us.

  7. Love the level of detail about testing your results, thanks so much! I hadn’t really given the science of tweeting so much thought. Obviously, I should :)