In an everchanging digital age, it can be demanding to constantly come up with new and interesting content for social media, email and your website. With all this pressure on you and your team’s shoulders, it may be tempting to lift and reuse something you saw on the internet. However, this type of activity is considered plagiarism and can have huge negative consequences.
Plagiarism is taking content, such as a tweet or infographic, and presenting it as your own to your audience. Unfortunately, increased access to the internet has made plagiarism easier to do and harder to catch, as there are now 5 billion internet users and 4.65 billion social media users, according to Statista.
So, does this mean you can’t use anything you see on the internet if it isn’t yours? Not exactly. Many companies have added content curation to their social media efforts. According to Hootsuite, content curation is content from other brands or people that you share to your social media accounts, offering a way to provide extra value to your followers while highlighting your own industry expertise. Examples of content curation include retweeting a company’s tweet or sharing a link to a website post. While this is a great way to save time and build relationships with other social media users, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
CREDITING ORIGINAL CREATORS
To avoid any legal or moral issues, make sure you are crediting the source of the content you’re reusing. Whether you are directly tagging them on social media or adding a call out at the bottom of your post with their name, you want to be transparent to the origins of the content and never have it appear like the content you are sharing is your own. You should always be clear about the authorship of the content.
ADD YOUR OWN UNIQUE THOUGHT
Provide extra value to your content by adding your own take to what you’re sharing. This will also help position your company as a thought leader and valuable voice in the industry. For example, add a pest prevention tip to your post if you reshare NPMA’s Bug Barometer report. Or when sharing a national story, add a local angle to the information that makes it more relevant to your customers. You can also use this as an opportunity to promote your expertise and services as a pest control company.
CONTENT VARIETY IN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR
According to Sprout Social, 54 percent of marketers suggest video content is the most valuable for social goals while 53 percent suggest images. This emphasizes the importance of sharing a variety of content with your followers. Sharing an assortment will also help you track your engagement and determine which media type is best for your company. For example, sharing the Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest posts provided to PPMA Mainframe subscribers during Tick Awareness Week is a great assortment of social content.
Whichever type of content performs best should be your focus. However, you should still sprinkle in the other kinds of content as well to keep your feed from becoming boring and to attract new followers. No matter what you are sharing or curating from another company, always make sure to provide links to drive your followers to your website.
DON’T OVERDO IT
Content curation is a great way to build out your social media calendar if you’re struggling to develop your own posts. But it’s important to utilize a mix of different sources for the material and not overdo it as your followers will start to notice if you’re only resharing the content of one or two specific companies or brands. When planning your social media calendar, allocate posts for original content. According to Hootsuite, 40 percent original content and 60 percent curated content is a good ratio to target. Make sure the 40 percent of original content is high-quality and actionable.
In the end, a well thought-out and developed social media strategy is a crucial element to the success of a business and can include original and curated content. When done correctly, it can help generate brand awareness and increase traffic to your website, which will help you convert and acquire new customers. It’s important to keep in mind that utilizing content curation in your strategy can yield positive results, but it needs to be approached in an appropriate—and legal—way.