By Noelle Laury
Reposting or leveraging content created by anyone other than yourself comes with responsibilities and rewards. It can be costly and time-consuming to generate original content at a cadence conducive to growing your audience and brand awareness. Leveraging other creators’ content is a curation process that can reward your networks and channels when you repost properly.
All content, language, visuals, and other multimedia elements are subject to copyright infringement. Basically, if you are sourcing something that you did not create and it is not labeled “creative commons” there are some important responsibilities, even legalities to consider.
If you did not create it, the content is not yours, therefore, be an ethical social media citizen by:
Giving credit where credit is due
Chances are if you are thinking about sharing someone else’s content it is something relevant, engaging, and probably aligns with your brand. The creator likely put a lot of time, possibly money, and effort into developing the asset, posting it, and promoting it. As a good social media citizen, it is critical to give credit by @-mentioning the creator in your post.
Never taking what is not yours, especially the credit
Curated content is a great way to include additional information or resources to validate your perspective or enhance your channels. This content should include clear messaging identifying the source of content and the creator. Leveraging others’ content to promote or represent your own work without properly crediting the creator is unethical and, in many cases, illegal. It is not harmless, and it is easier than you might think to get caught.
Asking for Permission Rather Than Forgiveness
Original content is the bread and butter for those who create it. If you repost work that is not yours without giving credit, it is tantamount to stealing. There are penalties for infringing on copyright laws which can be embarrassing and costly. The best approach is to err on the side of caution by asking the creator if you can repost their content. If they give permission, ask them how they would like to be tagged, or credited in your post.
Proper reposting etiquette is about being a good (social media) neighbor which means sharing is still caring. Those of us who create content, professionally, love when our reach is extended by enthusiastic shares and mentions. If you are a fan of someone’s work, give them a boost. By doing this, you are encouraging the creator to continue posting similar content and elevating your own brand. In turn, good social media neighbors may return the favor and repost your content.