Social Media 101: Content Repurposing
Social Media Strategy 101: Content Repurposing
Today we’re going to get into:
→ Why you need to be taking advantage of content repurposing (unless you hate yourself and wanna make your job harder than it needs to be)
→ All the different types of content repurposing
→ How to avoid common mistakes that most marketers make when repurposing content, so your shit doesn’t slop
Cool. Let’s chat.
Why repurpose content?
Well. First of all. Creating great content is hard.
So when you land on a piece of content that hits — it’s in your best interest to squeeze every bit of juice out of it that you can.
Ross Simmonds, CEO at Foundation, has drilled this idea into my head:
Create once. Distribute forever.
Taking content that:
- already exists
- already performs well
… and getting even more impressions and engagement out of it is just a no-brainer.
→ It frees up time for you and your team to invest in new, even better content with less stress
→ It guarantees that you have content that you can be confident in, even if you are in a creative rut (I have enough content to last me a year if I need it to)
The 4 different types of content repurposing
✅ Long-form → Short-form
This is taking content like:
→ Blog articles
→ YouTube videos
…and repurposing ideas or clips from them into social media content for short-form platforms like Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc.
You should look for the best, punchiest segments of your long-form content and think about how you can make them social native (more on this later).
This is what most people think of when you say ‘content repurposing.’
Example: Most successful podcasts use this approach to blow up on short-form video.
Take *Impaulsive, for example. Their team curates the best, most polarizing clips from the show (edited for short-form viewers) to platforms like TikTok and rake in millions of views.
The foundational skill to master this type of repurposing is having taste for what clips and excerpts of your long stuff are worth repurposing.
Curation and taste are skills. Hone it.
✅ Short-form → Short-form
This is taking social content and posting it to another social platform.
- Taking a high-performing Tweet and posting it to LinkedIn.
- Taking a TikTok and posting it to Instagram Reels
- Taking a LinkedIn carousel and reposting it as an Instagram carousel
Example: Oren John is crushing this right now. He is seeing momentum on TikTok right now creating content about fashion, product development, and creative direction.
So he decided to run it up on IG, too. Dude’s almost at 50K. Light work.
✅ Text ←→ Video
Content repurposing can (and should) also exist across mediums.
At its core, all content is built on the same foundation:
HOOK → BODY → CTA
Doesn’t matter whether it’s a YouTube video, a Twitter thread, or a TikTok clip. The best content on all platforms follows the above format in some way.
So… why not take a killer Twitter thread and use it as a script for a TikTok video?
Why not take a YouTube video that crushed and repurpose the script into a Twitter thread?
This approach definitely takes more time and effort than repurposing across the same medium, but if you have the talent for both video and written content this can be a powerful way to get your content in front of multiple audiences.
✅ Same platform. Different time.
This strategy is so simple it’s stupid.
But please. Take your best-performing content on a given platform and repost it to the same platform every ~2-3 months.
If it hit once — it’s probably going to hit again.
Example: I do this all the time on LinkedIn and Twitter. Check out this post — then check out this one. Lmao.
Oh, and then I remixed the idea into another original post. That wasn’t a ‘repost,’ but I did use the original high-performing post to create a derivative that also crushed.
Again: once you find something that ‘hits’ run with it!
The mistake everyone makes when repurposing content
Everyone hear’s ‘repurpose’ and thinks ‘copy-paste.’
Look. There are some times when straight copy-pasting a piece of content can make sense. In most cases, I see this work when reposting a piece on the same platform, a few months later.
Occasionally, I’ll also get away with copy-pasting a Tweet to LinkedIn, or vice versa.
In 99% of situations — copy-pasting isn’t enough. And it actually kills the performance of your repurposed content. Why?
Every platform has nuances.
Nuances in content format.
Nuances in tone of voice.
Nuances in culture.
Ignorance of these nuances leads to content that falls flat.
How to repurpose content in a way that doesn’t suck
The best repurposed content is adherent to platform nuances.
Tweets that fit into Twitter culture.
TikToks that fit into TikTok culture.
LinkedIn posts that fit into LinkedIn culture.
You might be reading this and thinking to yourself:
Shit. Does this mean I need to create a brand new piece of content for every platform I post to??
Well, no. We are repurposing, after all.
Making content adherent to platform culture can sometimes mean reworking the entire post — but more often than not, simple 5% adjustments can be the only change needed to make or break post-performance.
Take this tweet of mine, for example.
It did well on Twitter, and I wanted to grace LinkedIn with this somewhat spicy take.
One problem. LinkedIn has been known to restrict or shadow-ban accounts that use swear words or stuff that is against their guidelines.
While not an explicit swear word, I wasn’t sure whether ‘go diet in a ditch’ would get flagged by some sort of rogue AI.
So I ended up posting this version instead:
See what I did?
“needs to go die in a ditch” → “needs to be retired”
Minor difference in copy. Potentially major difference in outcome.
Let’s look at another example of this in action from a brand account that I love: Notion.
They lean quite heavily on product demos + announcements on Twitter and TikTok, but they don’t just copy and paste.
On March 17th, Notion announced the addition of 200+ additional icons to the platform.
Here’s the Twitter announcement:
And here’s the TikTok announcement (you’ll have to click to watch):
Ok. You back? Cool.
What’d you notice?
You should have noticed that the tweet was much more ‘polished’ and the TikTok was a bit more raw (they used a CapCut template which TikTok has been heavily pushing lately).
Highly produced screen recordings don’t fly on TikTok. And unhinged CapCut templates would probably jar Notion’s Twitter audience quite a bit. Each platform requires its own nuances.
[If you want a deeper dive into Notion’s TikTok and some of the ideas I just mentioned, my friend Simmy wrote this dope case study on their account]
Use platform features that are incentivized
Each social platform has certain features and formats that get a little more juice from the algorithm.
Some social media managers love to complain about this (”UGH… why is LinkedIn pushing carousels so hard 😭).
I get it. I do it too.
But I’d urge you to lean into trending and favored formats — and be sure to consider this when repurposing your content across platforms.
Say I wrote a sick newsletter (like this one), and I wanted to repurpose the piece of it about the ‘4 Types of Content Repurposing’ to LinkedIn.
I could just copy-paste the text over to LinkedIn and call it a day.
But I should take that text, toss it into a simple Canva template, and upload it as a carousel — as carousels are what is being pushed by the algorithm right now.
(Actually… I should do both of the above options, posting the carousel first and then plain text a week or two later. This is peak content repurposing).
See how that works though?
Of course, don’t sell your soul to the algorithm. Post the ‘imperfect’ format occasionally (especially if it’s for your own personal brand … you do you).
But if the goal here is to maximize reach + engagement and get our brand’s content in front of as many potential customers as possible — you are doing yourself a disservice by ignoring the formats that platforms are incentivizing.
Pair similar platforms
When picking platforms to operate on as a brand, opt for 2 platforms that have similar content types.
- Instagram and TikTok: both use 9×16 vertical video
- Twitter and LinkedIn: both use text-heavy content
- LinkedIn and Instagram: both can use carousels to grow
See how that works?
Sure. You could do Twitter and TikTok. Or LinkedIn and YouTube. But the effort and resources required to repurpose are higher since there is not as much overlap in content.
I find that writing-heavy platforms pair well, and video-heavy platforms pair well. These are two separate skills, and finding 1 SMM who is great at both is rare (I am better at writing than video, for example).
One of your most important jobs as a social media manager is to identify where you can best use the resources at your disposal to maximize ROI.
Make sure your dimensions are correct
Don’t post a square image to TikTok. Don’t post a horizontal video to Instagram (in most cases lol).
Get your sizes right. Sprout has a great guide for that right here.
If you have been creating content for yourself or the brand your work at for over a few months, you have content to repurpose.
Honestly? I could probably ‘create’ a year’s worth of content out of stuff I already have (though there is value in experimenting with new content of course).
And when you do repurpose — don’t be lazy. Just put in the 5% adjustments to potentially 10x your return.
That’s all I’ve got for today.