I think we all have probably experienced this…
You share a post on social media. A post you put a ton of thought and time into. But when it comes to engagement on social media, all you hear is the faint sound of crickets. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Is it because your post just wasn’t interesting? Unfortunately, that’s always a possibility. But it’s far more likely that your followers just didn’t see your post. Networks like Facebook have been decreasing the reach of organic posts in favor of promoted posts, which means that some publishers only get ~50% of the organic reach they got before.
One way to combat that is by strategically re-sharing your older content to give your followers another chance to see it. Conveniently, this task is easily automated with a handy WordPress plugin. Even more conveniently, I’m going to show you exactly how to do it!
But first, I want to tell you a bit more about why it’s important to reshare your old blog posts...
The Argument Behind Resharing Old Posts
You might worry that resharing your old posts is going to annoy your followers. And that might well be the case if you shared the same post over, and over, and over. But if you spread your reshares out a bit, this isn’t really a danger. Here’s why:
- The people who follow you today aren’t all the same people who followed you two weeks ago. As your blog grows, you’re hopefully also growing your social followings. Resharing your posts allows you to reach those new followers.
- You don’t have to reshare your posts in the same time zone. If you have followers in different geographic areas, you need to post at different times to reliably reach them. So there might not even be any overlap in the people who see your posts.
- Like I said, organic reach keeps decreasing. So there’s a decent chance your followers didn’t even see your original post (even if they’re in the same time zone). For instance, Tomasz Tunguz found that resharing old content on Twitter still got a significant, though proportionately lower, amount of engagement.
So, as long as you’re spacing your reshares out either over raw time or geographic time zones, you should be able to boost traffic to old posts without annoying your readers.
How to Reshare Old Content on Twitter
To automatically reshare your old blog posts, you can use a freemium plugin from Themeisle called Revive Old Post. The free version of the plugin should be fine as long as you don’t need to share posts to multiple accounts on the same social network or reorder your queue.
Get started by installing it like any other WordPress plugin. You should see a brand spankin’ new Revive Old Post option in your dashboard. Give it a click.
Configuring Revive Old Post
Before you start adding your social accounts, you should configure the plugin’s basic settings. Head to the General settings tab to choose which posts you actually want to share:
I don’t think you should set the interval between shares to be less than ~4 hours - otherwise you risk annoying your followers.
You can also select minimums for how new/old a post needs to be in order to be shared.
At the bottom of the page, you can also include/exclude specific categories. This is a good feature to use if you have categories where the posts expire quickly. For instance, if I were doing this for WPLift, I would exclude the Weekly News posts from being shared.
Next, head to the Post Format tab to configure how your posts will actually look:
You should likely leave the Post Content and Length as the defaults. But you can add a custom message before or after your post title if you’d like. You can also link in data from any custom fields you’re using and set up automatic hashtags based on tags, categories, or custom fields.
Once you’re done, make sure to hit the SAVE button.
Now’s also a good time to click the SEE SAMPLE POST button to make sure you’re happy with the end-result of the settings you just chose:
Exclude Posts You Don’t Want to Share
One more step before adding your social accounts and starting to share your posts! Head to the Exclude Posts menu option:
Here, you can exclude individual posts from being shared. This is helpful if you have outlier posts that don’t fit in an excluded category but you still don’t want to be shared.
Once you add any necessary posts, you’re ready to add your social accounts and get to sharing.
Add Your Social Accounts and Start Sharing
Finally, head back to the main Revive Old Post tab and add your social accounts:
Click Add Account to add your accounts. You’ll have to go through the standard authorization process for whichever social networks you choose. For example, here’s what that looks like for Twitter:
Once you’ve added all the social networks you want, just click on the START SHARING button to begin automatically sharing according to the options you selected:
The plugin will show you a handy counter so you always know when your next post will be shared. Unfortunately, the queue feature is locked behind the pro version, so this timer isn’t as effective in the free version as it is in the pro version. Still, it’s nice to know when your posts are going out so you can plan your manual shares:
Resharing old posts has become fairly standard for popular blogs. If you follow wplift on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed that Daan regularly reshares old posts. That’s because it really is an effective way to reach both your existing audience and any new followers you’ve (hopefully!) picked up.
The only caveat is to make sure you don’t abuse the automated nature of this plugin. Keep your posts spread out so that you don’t annoy followers.
If you’ve implemented a similar program to reshare old content, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!