The Ultimate Guide To Repurposing Content For Social Media

January 17, 2017 Social Media Strategy

What is repurposing content?

It’s taking content that exists and using it in different ways.

Let’s create an example.

You’re an implements dealer and you sell small yard machines like snowblowers, lawn mowers, etc. You identify a question that your target customers are asking:

How do I winterize my riding lawn mower?

That’s a popular question. I’m sure many people ask dealers that question and I’m sure many more ask themselves at home or they go online and google that information.

So the dealer wants to create some content to answer this question. Here is an example of creating content and then repurposing that content:

Step 1. Create a video showing viewers how to winterize their riding lawn mowers.

Step 2. Pulling just the audio and creating a podcast episode.

Step 3. Creating a blog post based on the steps provided in the video.

Step 4. Taking the blog post and giving it to a designer who will create an infographic.

Step 5. Taking the blog post + Infographic and creating an email newsletter or a series of emails.

That’s not a bad strategy for repurposing content and there are more things you could add:

  • Slideshows
  • Printouts
  • Mailers
  • Etc.

But in this post we’re going to go through some tips for repurposing content for social media.

If you’re struggling to create content for your social media efforts then this should provide a way to easier to create more content. It’s still not easy to succeed with social media marketing, but repurposing is definitely something that will help.

Step 1. Identify Your Best Content

Look at all the content you’ve published on social media. Look at all the sites that you use and identify the ones that have the most engagement (shares, likes, comments, etc.). Count them all or at least get a feel for what’s been the best.

There are two reasons for doing this.

First, it’s good to get a feel for what your audience has already found value in. And you can take the successful content you already have and breathe new life into it on other social sites.

Second, you can use your knowledge to create new content on related topics.

Step 2. Turn Successful Content Into Other Media

We got into this earlier with the example of repurposing content. It’s the same thing with social media, but obviously with some of the channels it’s important to create the right kind of media (text vs. video vs. images, etc.).

This involves some work, but it’s worthwhile especially if you know the content has been successful already (see: Step 1).

Let’s say a photo or graphic did well on Facebook. Let’s use the implement dealer again. They post a graphic on Facebook showing the most exciting new lawn mowers for the next year.

The image does incredibly well with their audience on Facebook. People like it like crazy. They ask questions. They comment about their favorite brand or model and more.

It doesn’t matter if the dealer planned for the image to be successful or if they posted it more out of habit just to see how it did. It was a success and now they can build on that.

So they take the successful graphic and they can turn it into:

  • A video for YouTube, Twitter and even to use on Facebook
  • A correct size image for Instagram and Pinterest
  • A series of text updates on Twitter
  • A podcast to publish on their website and on iTunes

You get the idea.

Step 3. Pay Attention To What Media Works On What Channel

Many social sites allow for different media. You can post video, text and graphics on all the big networks including Facebook and Twitter. Some of the others, though, limit what you can share.

As you start repurposing your content you’ll want to pay attention what media works on what channel. Photos have been incredibly popular throughout the existence of Facebook.

Text has been popular on Twitter, but photos and videos have come on in the last few years.

Photos have obviously been big on Instagram, but short videos are becoming more common.

With the big networks especially you’ll want to see what works the best. It might mean that you start with videos for Facebook if videos are more popular. It might mean that you take a video and shorten it for use on Instagram and Twitter, but that you also use lots of text on Twitter.

Step 4. Create New Content From Scratch…With A Plan

Now we move into the stage of creating content from scratch. You still want to do a mix here of content that builds on successful content while also experimenting with things that are brand new.

Let’s say that the video on winterizing a lawn mower was successful. The next video might be on how to change the oil on a riding lawn mower or how to sharpen the blades on the mower.

These things are very similar to what was already successful.

But the dealer could also create new content that is more different. Maybe something like the top mistakes homeowners make when mowing their lawn or the funniest looking lawn mowers in history.

Anyway, when you come up with ideas like this you want to have a plan.

Start with the media you want to begin with. That maybe be video, but it could depend on your most popular social site. Let’s say that you have the most success with video on Facebook.

So you create the video, but at the same time you’re creating a podcast, a blog post, a series of text updates for Twitter, etc.

Create them all at once.

Maybe you don’t publish them all on the same day. Maybe you space them out. Try out both and see what works the best.

But then we also get into the final step of repurposing content for social media…

Step 5. Reshare

Resharing is incredibly important.

When you think about your followers on social media and how often they see your updates the chances are that a good number of your followers don’t see most of your updates.

With that in mind it’s important to reshare your content.

A simple example of this might be sharing photo or graphic multiple times on Twitter. Maybe you share it once a day for a week. Then you share it 3x a week for a month. Then you share it 1x per month for a year.

But you keep on cycling it through. This extends the life of the content you work hard to create.

Conclusion

Repurposing content is an important strategy for content marketing and for social media. It’s a way to get more content for more social sites. If you’re curious how some people and brands are able to update so often while building big followings then this is probably one of the strategies they’re using.

It doesn’t guarantee success, but it does give you an edge.