Hand-drawn diagram of content plan
From knowing which demographic you're targeting to understanding the qualities of each social platform, creating your content distribution strategy takes time and diligence. — Getty Images

When a business posts the same content on all of their marketing and social channels, or even multiple times on the same channel, it’s called cross-posting — and it can actually do more harm than good to the brand.

For example, let’s say you own a bakery. If a customer follows you on Instagram, they likely also follow you on Facebook or Twitter. How many times do you think that customer wants to see the same post of your featured cupcake of the week?

Many small business owners intuitively know that every piece of content should not be repeated across all social and marketing channels. Depending on a variety of factors — from the audience demographic to aspects like caption length and hashtag practices — certain types of content should be created and reserved for their respective platforms.

Here’s how to build a content marketing plan that considers what type of material works best with each platform.

[Read more: A Complete Guide to Content Marketing]

Consider your customer journey

Your customers get different uses out of each social media channel. Research by the firm Axios outlines the purpose of each social media channel and what the goal of your content should be for each by considering the layout and format of the site, the goal of the user on each platform, and the referral traffic – i.e., where the user comes from before they click on your page.

The results show that customers are on a different mission depending on what site they’re scrolling through. Therefore, plot your content strategy to help your customers achieve their mission by serving them the right type of content. Ask these questions to get started:

  • What is the goal of the user on the platform?
  • What type of content does the platform highlight? (i.e., images, long-form posts, video)
  • How does this platform differ from your other channels?

[Read more: 6 Essential Steps to Creating a Brilliant Social Media Marketing Strategy]

Plan your content marketing campaign to communicate a unified message with a variety of content.

Vary your content, but remain consistent

The variety of content in each of your business’s channels should build on and complement one another. While customers don’t want to see the same exact copy and picture five times in a row, they should still somehow experience your brand in a unified way.

Find the balance between keeping your variety of content fresh, but also clearly consistent with your branding. Plan your content marketing campaign to communicate a unified message with a variety of content.

Types of content by platform

To understand which types of content perform best on each platform, you need to do some research.

For example, Axios data found that visually oriented sites like Pinterest and Instagram are used for aspirational, lifestyle-type viewing content; while sites like Reddit and Facebook are used to ask questions and connect with like-minded users.

Experts at Entrepreneur recommend the following specific content types for these three widely used platforms:


On Facebook, “curated content” might refer to posts from your company’s blog or high-quality content from news sites or industry partners.

Video overwhelmingly performs best on Facebook, so consider posting educational video content, such as how-to guides and blog post summaries. A blog post summary is a video that takes the most salient points from a blog post and summarizes them in a short clip. This format is a little more engaging than just asking someone to click a link to read an article.


Instagram’s platform is obviously extremely visual. High-resolution product photos and behind-the-scenes content are two options that deliver high engagement analytics.

User-generated content is also high-performing: This might include reposting photos (with permission) from your best customers or from influencers. Tag the customer or influencer to get an extra boost of engagement. Don’t have a product to shoot? Some service providers find success by posting motivational quotes or graphics.


Twitter is a news-oriented social media platform. Approximately 40% of users are on the site to find out breaking news; and 39% of users log in to keep up with news in general.

If you have an announcement about your company or limited-time discount, share it on Twitter. Make sure to use the right hashtags to help customers spread the word about your brand. GIFs and memes are two types of content that perform well on Twitter.

Timing is key

When and how frequently you post matters. Stagger your posts throughout the day on different channels to create a steady stream of content. Otherwise, you might be spamming your customers inadvertently. Depending on the platform, some social media algorithms may even punish you for over-posting, sunsetting your content and prioritizing other posts over yours.

Likewise, when you post matters as much as how frequently you share content. “The best time to post on social media is whenever your audience is most likely to see and engage with your content,” writes Hootsuite. Their research shows that most social media users are active between 9:00 a.m. and midnight EST, Monday through Wednesday. But, watch your analytics carefully to see when your unique audience is most engaged with your content, and post accordingly.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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