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Social media platform integration. If this hasn’t become a buzz phrase for you as a marketing professional, it should be.
Being able to post to multiple outlets at once helps streamline efficiency and productivity, no matter whether you’re an individual sharing status updates or a marketer sharing advertisements. And while there are various third-party programs that enable posting to the likes of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram from one source, some social media channels also enable cross-posting from one another as well. The best example of this is Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook and Instagram are outliers when it comes to social media channels in that they’re both owned by the same individual. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg bought Instagram for $1 billion back in the spring of 2012 when the photo-sharing social media app had only 30 million users. Today, there are 1 billion users on Instagram. Since Facebook’s purchase of Instagram, however, the two platforms have rolled out ways to post to each program from just one of the channels. Instagram was first to roll out this feature, allowing users to share posts with photos to their Facebook account simultaneously, and it more recently launched a feature for users to share their Instagram stories to Facebook. And now Facebook offers cross-post functionality with Instagram as well – however, this feature has not been universally rolled out yet and is still only available to some business users. As you can imagine, the feature has big potential for business pages. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at how to cross-post from Facebook to Instagram and why so many social media marketers are excited about this new feature.
If your business is not yet on social media, then you should create an account immediately. But for the sake of this article, let’s hope that you’re already on social media and have amassed a respectable following. As you should know by now, social media is a great way to engage with current customers, develop new customers, target certain user demographics, share relevant product news and information, and gain market insight. It also provides an additional means for customers to contact you via comments or direct messages. However, after you’ve established social media accounts, it’s important to maintain them – and doing so should consist of posting regularly to stay in front of your customers. On this note, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that the biggest benefit to cross-posting between social media channels is the time savings. Instead of creating a new post for each channel every time you want to post something, you can create one post and publish it to multiple channels.
When it comes to cross-posting from Facebook to Instagram, there’s another huge benefit: You can do it right from your computer. Instagram works best when using it from the mobile app, which can make posting to this particular platform tedious for social media marketers sitting at a desk in front of a computer all day. Facebook, on the other hand, offers similar functionality whether you’re posting from a computer or from the mobile app. As a marketer, you’re likely performing most of your work in front of a computer, and it may be cumbersome air dropping or emailing photos from your desktop to your mobile device just so you can form an Instagram post. That’s a huge advantage of this new cross-posting feature that’s rolling out with Facebook, as it allows you to create one post on “the social network” and then share it to Instagram with the click of a button. In the next section, we’ll take you through things step-by-step.
How to Cross-Post from Facebook to Instagram
So how do you get Facebook’s new cross-posting feature to work for you? We’ve broken things down step-by-step here:
- Link your accounts: First things first, you’ll need to link your Instagram and Facebook accounts. This is really easy to do. Log in to your Facebook account and click on the “Settings” menu in the upper-right hand corner. You’ll see a sidebar on the left-hand side of the page. Look for the “Instagram” tab and click on it. It should be near the bottom of the sidebar menu. Once you click it, you’ll see a “Manage Instagram on Facebook” screen. Simply log in to your Instagram account from here to link these two social media accounts.
- Create a post: Keep in mind that if you’re going to share anything from Facebook to Instagram, you’ll need to include an image with it. At this time, cross-posting from Facebook to Instagram only works with a single image. Get started by writing a Facebook post and attaching an image to it. We’d also suggest adding a few relevant hashtags to your post that are applicable over both social networks. (We’ll tell you how to enhance your hashtag game when cross-posting later.)
- Publish the post: After you’re done creating your post and you’re reading to publish, check the content box. You should see a “News Feed” option, which will ensure the post publishes to your Facebook news feed, and an “Instagram” option, which will cross-publish the post. Make sure you check both of them, then hit “Share Now.” You can also preview the post before you publish to make sure everything looks good. However, don’t schedule the Facebook post for a later date/time. If you do, it won’t cross-post to Instagram.
Tips and Suggestions
If you don’t have this functionality yet with your business’ Facebook account, don’t panic. It’s a new feature and it’s still being rolled out. Not everyone has it yet, but that time is likely coming soon. And even when it does roll out universally, you can bet that Facebook will be continuously making improvements to its functionality. In the meantime, here are some tips, reminders and suggestions for upping your cross-posting game:
- Hashtag use: We told you in the previous section how you’d be wise to use a few hashtags in your cross-posting that apply to both the Facebook and Instagram channels. However, if you want to add more hashtags to your post – particularly on Instagram, where they can help more users find you – then we’d suggest adding them as a comment after your cross-post publishes. You can also edit your Instagram post if you’d like to add them to the specific post.
- Two-factor authentication: If your Instagram account is set up with two-factor authentication, you’ll need to disable this feature before you’re able to cross-post from Facebook. This can be done in your Instagram account settings.
- Limitations: There are currently a few notable limitations when cross-posting from Facebook to Instagram. For example, you can only cross-post a single photo. You also can’t schedule posts. And unlike cross-posting from Instagram to Facebook, you can’t share your Facebook story to Instagram. Finally, the cross-posting feature can only be performed via a computer – the feature is not yet accessible from the Facebook mobile app. Keep in mind that this feature is still in its infancy and will likely be updated before and after its universal rollout with enhanced functionality and user-friendliness.
- Business use only: While you can post from Instagram to Facebook on your personal account, you can’t yet do it from Facebook to Instagram. This new feature is for business use only. Whether it will eventually be adapted for personal use remains to be seen.
Other Ways to Post
While Facebook’s new functionality allows business pages to post from “the social network” to Instagram, there are other ways you can enable simultaneous posting to both of these – and other – social media channels. However, in order to do it, you’ll need to use a third-party software to link your accounts. Depending on what software you use, you may be required to pay a monthly or annual fee. Two of the most popular applications are Hootsuite and Buffer, which permit Facebook and Instagram posting. Compared to Facebook’s new feature, what’s nice about using these third-party platforms is that you can schedule posts. You can also customize posts for each specific platform in advance, rather than posting and then editing them once they go live. Another nice thing about using a third-party program is that you can also simultaneously post to LinkedIn and Twitter. Keep in mind that the only reason why there’s cross-posting functionality between Facebook and Instagram is because they’re both owned by Mark Zuckerberg.
Social media marketing will only continue to play a more important role in how your business is perceived, and as marketers are being asked more and more to multi-task and take on new responsibilities, increasing efficiency is a key priority. Facebook’s new feature that allows business accounts to cross-post to Instagram is a great step in the right direction for making a marketing team’s job that much easier. Facebook is sure to continue to improve the platform before it completely rolls it out, and in the meantime there are several third-party programs that also enable cross-functioning ability.