In today’s crowded social media landscape, social marketers know how challenging it can be to get their brand’s content to rise above the noise. Throw in the fact that many social media algorithms prioritize relevance over chronological order and social teams find themselves posting all kinds of content to see what sticks and what doesn’t.

But trying to identify relevant content for multiple social networks all the time is exhausting. And, frankly, some days you just don’t have the time to create fresh social content from scratch.

When it comes to social content creation, it pays to “work smarter, not harder.” Instead of constantly coming up with new ideas, social marketers should look at what they already have and repurpose their top-performing blog posts, videos, reports, white papers and more.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to repurpose content for any social media platform and how to make your content work for you, instead of the other way around.

Why it pays to repurpose content

Besides the obvious allure of recycling (less work, more time saved), there are a number of strategic benefits to repurposing your content for social media including:

  • Reinforcing your brand’s messaging
  • Giving content an SEO boost
  • Reaching audiences who missed a piece of content on its first round of promotion

For example, The Sprout Social Index™ is our annual data report that speaks to the entire marketing industry. But we also include data points that are specific to certain industries and can be used to capture the attention of niche audiences. With this in mind, we’ve created entirely new articles inspired by data from the Index and dive deeper into those industry insights.

What to consider when repurposing content for social media

Before you dive into recycling your content, you should know that not all content lends itself to this particular art form. Put your best foot forward, as the saying goes: Prioritize content that performs well and will meet your needs and goals. Having a goal in mind makes it easier to determine which metrics you’ll use to evaluate what content to include in your curation strategy. Goals can include:

  • Raising brand awareness in a certain industry
  • Driving organic traffic back to your website
  • Supporting leads or trials

Next, ask if the content you want to repurpose is evergreen or time-constrained. An article that performs well year-round may be easier to repurpose right now, while event-specific or seasonal content may need to be carefully scheduled before posting.

Repurposing content for social media also means you need to consider where it will be posted. The right channel makes all the difference—how you tell the story is equally as valuable as the story itself. Consider which of your networks are most active, how your audience uses each of them and what format you’ll be able to repurpose content into. A three minute video based on an eBook may work well for YouTube, but is likely too long for Twitter. And as always, know your audience. Think about what your audience on each network expects to see from you.

How to repurpose high-performing content into a social media post

After compiling a list of your best pieces, it’s time to repurpose your content for social media! Here are some ideas to help kickstart your creativity and turn any piece of content into an engaging post for your networks:

Post Twitter threads.

WordPress now has a feature that automatically publishes blog posts simultaneously as Twitter threads with just two extra clicks. Talk about two-for-one content! You don’t need WordPress to repurpose posts this way, of course. A little copy-paste work (and some copyediting) makes this option accessible to any social media manager.

Cross-post your livestream.

Extend the life of your livestream event by saving and uploading videos to YouTube, sharing snippets to Twitter, or trimming clips for an Instagram post. Screenshots and quotes can be used for non-video posts to capture your audience’s attention or to tease what’s to come in the future. The possibilities for repurposing livestreams are endless.

Make it a GIF.

Have a video clip or animation that brings a smile? Turn it into a GIF! Plenty of free tools exist to do this, and GIFs make for fun, eye-catching posts that can be used to promote a piece of content. To help drive new readers to an interview with Philz Coffee, we turned a portion of the video interview into a GIF to accompany a pull quote on Twitter.

Ask a question.

The same questions used to spark comments at the ends of videos and blog posts can be repurposed on other platforms. LinkedIn Q&As and Facebook and Twitter Polls all create opportunities to engage your audience with existing content or to tease a new report that’s on the way.

Provide an answer.

Search your Facebook and LinkedIn communities for questions you can answer with an existing article. By repurposing content and/or linking to it in your response to queries, you build relationships and increase the chances of being found by others asking the same question.

Rework written content for Instagram.

Even written content can find a home on a visual platform like Instagram. But don’t just copy and paste a paragraph as your Instagram post; consider pulling out salient data points or quotes to build a social narrative around. We noticed a Sprout article on social media managers’ mental health was attracting a lot of pageviews and was well-received by our community. We turned it into an Instagram carousel with tips on how managers can broach the subject of burnout with their direct reports.

Turn a webinar into a video.

Can that educational blog post be reformatted into a LinkedIn live or a YouTube video? Repurposing written content into something your audience can watch and listen to isn’t just easy, it’s also likely to reel in followers who prefer webinar formats over long-form reading. Following the launch of the Index™, we turned the report into a webinar where we dug into the key findings with a panel of social media experts.

Smart content repurposing generates exponential returns

If you already have high-performing content, it’s time to leverage it across channels. With a little creative reformatting and thoughtful placement, social media marketers can make the most of all their brand’s greatest content and reduce the workload of content generation. It’s a win-win!

Wondering how you’ll keep track of all the posting you’re about to do? Check out our advice on how to create a social media calendar that works.