There’s a graphic designer who creates her own cartoons to post on Instagram. She comes up with the idea, writes the copy, and draws the artwork. It takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it. She has a ton of engagement on her page and the custom cartoons help her get new clients.
Some people love her cartoons so much that they repost the entire graphic and tag her in the copy of the post on their feed. This is the right way to use someone else’s content.
But one loser took a screenshot of her post, cropped out her handle and website that are at the bottom of the graphic, and then reposted it as if it were their own creation. This is the wrong way to do it.
If it’s not your idea or creation, you need to give FULL CREDIT to the original poster. Plain and simple.
How to Properly Curate Social Media Content
- ALWAYS tag the original poster (their social media handle) in your status update (the text part of the post). Sometimes it might take a few clicks to find the original poster because other accounts have reposted it.
- NEVER remove or crop a watermark, social media handle, or website URL from the original post.
- SOMETIMES you can create your own graphics instead of having to credit a person. This is better for your brand since you have full control of the design. This is okay to do when it’s not an original or unique idea. For example, a Thomas Jefferson quote can be redesigned to fit your brand and you don’t need to give credit to another account that also shared that quote. (Understand the difference? It’s similar to the rules of what constitutes plagiarism. If it’s general knowledge that you can find in multiple resources, then you can create your own social media graphic.)
Personally, I like to wait a few days or even longer if there’s a post that I intend to share on my account. I want the original poster to get as much traffic and engagement from it as they can before I share it. (I’m not trying to steal the spotlight from their performance.) This isn’t required but I recommend it. Related Reading: Your Guide to Scheduling Social Media Posts on a Budget
You can expect that some accounts won’t want you to repost their content regardless of whether you give them credit, and that’s okay! If they ask you to take it down, just go ahead and honor their request.
What do you do if someone steals your content?
I’ve also been in a position where my original content or a post that I created for a client has been stolen. Note: it’s “stolen” when someone doesn’t give credit. It’s “content curation” when they do.
There are benefits to another account reposting your work. You get additional visibility from their audience, which in turn should increase your followers and engagement on your posts. However, you obviously need to be tagged in order for others to find you!
If you’re okay with the account reposting your work:
- Comment on the post that it was your work and you’d appreciate a tag.
- Direct Message (DM) the account and request a tag
They do typically listen but if they don’t then be prepared to either report the account or just let it go. (Or you could ask all your friends to comment on the post that you should be tagged!)
If you’re NOT okay with them reposting your work:
- Take a screenshot of everything. The post, the caption, and any communications with the account.
- Message or comment that it is your work and you would like it to be removed.
- Report a copyright violation to Instagram/Twitter/Facebook
Fortunately, I haven’t had an issue after messaging the account and requesting a tag. I’m generally okay with someone reposting my work and interpreting the action as a pat on the back for a job well done. (But, keep in mind that I’m not creating my own hand-drawn cartoons! There’s a lot more work involved for that type of content.)
Have you experienced anyone stealing your work? If so, how did you handle it? Let us know in the Million-Dollar Marketing Strategies Facebook Group! In this private group, I’ll show you how to create a Million Dollar Marketing Strategy that attracts customers and produces consistent leads for your business.