I've been on all of the social media platforms for a very long time, and I've joined most of them within the first couple years of their launch. I was on Vine, Snapchat, Tinder, Facebook, Instagram, and even Musically/Tiktok super early on.
Being on these platforms has taught me a lot, and I notice the trends happening. Not in the sense of these are what are popular, as that is more common. I see the trends of what creators are doing in the sense of how many times they post or what kind of experiments they do. I watch the people grow, and how they do it. Not to mention the experiments I do too.
Tiktok is on it's probably fourth or fifth wave at this point, and while it is certainly not too late; It is still getting to be more difficult to grow organically compared to before (mind you, you can still go viral).
Meanwhile YouTube and Instagram copied the platform in their own ways with Shorts and Reels respectively. While the feature set is similar, the usage I would argue is different. Most of the Reels I see are simply ones that were on Tiktok three months prior, OR perhaps the artistic photographers/videographers.
On shorts it is mainly channels that are specifically making/experimenting with shorter versions of their long form works. They usually do what I mention in this post too, and that is syndicate across the platforms.
Why you should be sharing across all THREE
Now let me be clear I think you should do this, AS OF RIGHT NOW, but over time things WILL diverge. While I didn't agree with it at the time, for example people cross posted their blog posts to medium back in the day.
Medium became kind of detrimental to search engine optimization however, but I don't think that same outcome applies to these social video platforms.
Just like with Stories before, the feature of these short form video in vertical format, got copied by the major platforms. I honestly thought it was great, and was super excited to get my hands on those features. Reels failed to work for me at first, at all, and now it is just fine.
They all have different approaches in a slight way, but for the most part are exactly the same content. Depending on the creators, and how open minded they are; There are a lot of experiments going on. Meaning some platforms may have some creators, and not vice versa. Although I truly think if you share the same video, without any watermarks of course, to all three then you are primed for success.
Benefits of Tiktok
It is the oldest platform in this regard, yes I know YouTube and Instagram are archaic at this point, but Tiktok has dominated this content medium. Even surpassing it's predecessor Vine before it.
During one of my experiments in the early years I made a series of 12 posts interrelated, and went from 200 followers to 900 in a week. Now I sit over 3000, and I'm bit salty that it is that low. However considering that is more followers than all of my other platforms COMBINED, that is still amazing. I watched KallmeKris from pre-10K days, and now she has upwards of TWENTY-FIVE MILLION!!!
The organic reach is immense, and the algorithm I'd argue is 2-3 times as strong as YouTube's. That is just saying something in of itself.
Benefits of Reels
I for one am loving the multi-content type approach that Instagram is going for, from short to long form videos, square to vertical pictures, and even reels and guides. There are a plethora of things you can create for the platform, and I didn't even mention stories or carousels.
There is already an audience there more than likely who will see your reels, and the hashtag system is more refined. With a bit of a boost to SEO as well, and so I think it is a viable place to grow.
It was insane in the early days, as people were LITERALLY just reposting their tiktoks, with the watermark and all. Then going absolutely apeshit viral, but Instagram updated to scorn the watermarks, which honestly makes a lot of sense.
However there are plenty of apps now to get rid of it, and even repurpose.io I think has a feature now too!
Benefits of Shorts
I am really surprised how little acceptance this feature has gotten. Being on such a powerful platform as YT is, but it is only the really determined creators I've seen take advantage of it.
One thing I have to say right now, is that YOU SHOULD NOT make a separate channel for your shorts. I think that is stupidest thing, as YES it does sort of fill up your videos tab. Considering how watchtime works too at this point, it can sort of mess with your channel's time. However those things I am sure are going to be kinked out over time.
You have a separate "Shorts Shelf" on the home page of your channel, and I think at some point soon they will fix how it looks on the actual videos tab too. Perhaps a vertical video feed alongside traditional videos.
The biggest reason I think you shouldn't make another channel, is that you are literally directing your viewers to a different profile than you want. Some shorts channels have grow a lot, but then their main channel barely was touched. Send that traffic to your actual page, and just be careful about when you post.
Perhaps make sure you are posting regular videos in between shorts sprints. The virality at this point is nothing to overlook.
Doing all three
It should be noted that Reels and Shorts the time is limited to just one minute, whereas now on Tiktok (at the time of this writing, and if you have the feature yet) you can go up to 10 minutes. I got it recently, and I mainly use it for videos that just barely go over the 3 minute mark.
Most people make videos in the 15-30 second range on all platforms. Now that some education creators are able to make longer ones they do so on Tiktok.
If you are making content for all three, then you got to think of the length being a deciding factor. Maybe you make a slightly longer one for Tiktok even, or perhaps even IGTV. Then you are getting to grey waters though.
To keep it simple I'd say make a short clip, post it to all three, and contextualize to the platform as best you can. I.e. Shorts/Reels gives you a title section, and you can make cover photos on Youtube.
NOTE: I should mention that Pinterest is doing these video idea pins, that are similar in nature, and you can send your tiktoks over there as well.
The Dangers of Syndicating
As I mentioned before with Reels, people were posting the same video with watermark, that ended up doing really well for them at first. However it would penalize them after that update. You just gotta pay attention to updates is really all that is.
Or don't share something with a watermark! lol
The other thing to think about is audience fatigue. I don't really see this much with microcontent or short form stuff, but it can happen. If say I follow you on all three platforms, and then I see the same thing over and over. More than likely I could get annoyed. Although here is the deal, if I am following you everywhere enough to where I SEE that you are crossposting, then guess what? I probably don't care.
I follow Gary Vee on basically every single platform, and I often see all of this stuff. Do I see repeats? Sure, but mostly in the form of slight alterations.
Also too Gary is literally the epitome of saying the same shit over and over, but as he says no one is listening besides a small few. I stopped watching his keynotes after a while because I got the information down originally. It is a good thing.
Why you don't really need to worry as of now
Let's be honest the Shorts and Reels platforms are still new right now, and even though they are gaining ground it is still infancy. Meaning you can do basically what you feel like content wise, and still probably get a boost. This is because they simply want more content in the feeds of those features.
Eventually you'll have to separate your content strategies for each of them, but until then you are golden.
IGTV and Quibi
May they rest in peace, but there are some lessons to be learned from them. Let's first state that technically IGTV isn't dead, only the app was merged into the main app, and now you simply have the "Channel" tab on your profile.
As I mentioned before, you can now post 10 minute videos to Tiktok, and that leads to an interesting thought process. Quibi died over quarantine because they couldn't get people to sit there long enough to watch their 15min on average shows.
I wonder if Tiktok's size, and now video length maturity is at the right moment in time. It also could be said that IGTV/Channel Tab is a prime source for cross posting those more longer form vertical videos too.
It really all depends on your topic niche.
The Future Platforms of Short Form
This interesting tool serves as a decentralized alternative to titkok, and while it isn't out yet. I think you should keep an eye out for it, or for something like it.
Tools of the Trade
There are many tools out there that make it easier for you to achieve a more omnichannel presence. Here is a post where I share some of the best.
What I am using for my Gaming Clips:
Taking an Omnichannel Approach
Syndicating is just one step!
This post ended up longer than I originally expected, but it is a topic that I felt pretty strongly about. I really like this short form video content, and I even was on Vine back in the day. Let alone on Musically before Tiktok bought them out, and so I've been on there for now nearly 4 years.
I still think 10 times a day is ideal for growth at this point, maybe if I am over shooting it at least 5 times then. Sort of crazy how exponential I think about it, as Gary Vee literally put out a Tiktok earlier this week and told someone twice a day. Granted it really is all about quality, and I think that is why he told that person twice. He knew who he was talking to, and what they were capable of; Not to mention what kind of content they produce.
I really think that if you want to grow quickly, and take advantage of the prime time of Shorts/Reels + the remaining organic growth of Tiktok (time is running out), then you have to post far more than you think.
By repurposing you get to that point a lot quicker.