Sharing Etiquette - a few helpful hints.
Given the amount of time we spend on social sites, we see a large volume of posts, original and shared. Recently there was an explosion in comments targeting an individual for 'improper' sharing of posts.
The person involved was devastated by the comments as this person did not realize it was wrong to share in the manner being shared. I can't go in to further detail as it would open a can of worms again - lets just say it has been resolved and lessons learned.
What you think of as sharing, may be perceived as 'stealing' if done inappropriately. People spend a good amount of time and in some cases money creating content to promote their business. Be sure to recognize this in your posts.
The goal of anyone using social media is to get a reaction from fans and followers. Whether that reaction is in the form of a LIKE, a reTWEET or a share - that is the whole idea -- to gain exposure for the person or business who originally created the post. Too often content is taken without giving credit to the original post-er.
Here's a few things you can do to ensure credit is given where credit is due:
1. When sharing a post take the time to comment on the post as to your reasons for doing so mentioning the original content-provider's name in the post (preferably tagging the person/business when possible).
Why? This draws attention back to the original content provider and by tagging the person/business, it also lets them know you liked their post enough to share it with your network. Not all businesses are diligent in monitoring their Likes, comments and shares to notice on their own. By tagging, in most cases the individual is notified of your share. The sample post above gives an example of this.
2. If your reason for sharing content is at all questionable, contact the original content-provider -- explain your reasons for wanting to share their content, where you will be sharing it and give an example of how it will be shared. Most will be only too eager to allow you permission to share their content as long as they understand the reason for it and see the benefit to their business.
3. Take the time to understand copyright laws. Just because an image or article is on the world-wide-web, does not mean it is free for the taking. Almost everything has a copyright whether stated or not. A big no-no - removing a watermark from a photo to use for your own purposes. That photo has a watermark because it has a copyright - it is owned by the photographer who took the photo. That photographer makes their living by selling their photos. Do not abuse their efforts to share their work in order to sell their work.
4. Plagiarism is another major no-no! If using another's material as reference, be sure to give credit where credit is due here as well in the form of a credit when referencing stats. If quoting from another article, again give credit, linking to the original article if available when used on-line. Always make your sources available to your readers. Social media and the need to develop content is dramatically increasing the amount of plagiarism - take a moment to view this website for how to work with other's content and keep within the realm of appropriate sharing without plagiarizing.
And one last thought -- Thank those who take the time to share your material and comment back to their comments. Engagement rules!
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