How to Properly Re-Post User-Generated Content on Social Networks

Besides having a solid social strategy, strong visual content is a must to increase your reach and following on social media. One tactic to building a strong visual presence on social media (without spending a fortune on production) is to curate your feed by reposting content created by other users – but doing so does require some consideration.

In this post I’ll review repost etiquette and show you the basics on properly sharing user-generated content to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more.
But before we get to repost etiquette let’s talk about why you’d want to repost content created by others, starting with the importance of visual content in social media marketing.

Back to Basics: Visual Content
Visual content refers to the photos, infographics or videos you share to attract fans and followers or grow your list. Historically, visuals have performed better than text in social media marketing.

According to Twitter, tweets that include photos can see 35% more retweets than those without.

Social Bakers reports that videos uploaded natively on Facebook now get the most reach.

The main problem with visual content is that not everyone has the skills or resources required to create amazing visuals that will actually make your target consumer stop mid-scroll and look at - and then read - your posts.

The solution?
The most obvious answer is to hire someone to create your content or commit time to learning how to create it yourself. But what if you don’t have the time or energy for either of these options? Say hello to content curation, and reposting content for your social media feed.

Why & How to Curate Content for Your Social Media Feed
Content curation (in a nutshell) is finding content outside of your own original content to share from your accounts. Influencers and regular consumers are getting better and better at creating really high quality content – the kind of content that attracts fresh eyes to your social media channels.

Curating user content is a great way to:
Fill in content gaps
Get the quality of visuals you may need
Show your customers love
Encourage users to post more about your brand (who doesn’t love a brand shoutout?).

Remember, when you are looking for content to use in your feed, keep it relevant to your brand, and choose high quality material. You can integrate content created by your customers, clients, partners or with influencer-generated content. The content can feature your product or brand, or you can pull content that reflects the lifestyle, look and feel you've developed for your business and social media accounts.

While curating your feed, remember that striking a balance between original and curated content is key and may take a little fiddling around with. Test and see what your audience reacts to. Start by sprinkling in user/influencer reposts to drive engagement and leverage conversations that are already happening about your brand. Your followers want to hear and see original content that comes exclusively from you too. 

Repost Etiquette: The Nitty Gritty
Using other people’s content can get a little hazy when it comes to the internet, which is why there are some basic rules you can follow to cover your butt.

To be the safest, assume the content creator/publisher owns the rights to their content. Networks like Twitter and Instagram include clauses within their terms of service that enable users to retain the rights to what they post, but also give the networks rights to use the content posted with no fee or royalty. For you this means that even if someone has used a branded hashtag or tagged your brand in a photo and it seems like this is enough permission to use the photo in your own feed, that may not always be the case.

If you’ve worked with influencers on a campaign, or you've created a contest to which users submit photos, then breathe a little easier as these images are fair game to repost – just make sure this is clearly stated within the rules or guidelines on the campaign.

If this isn’t the case keep the following rules in mind when reposting:

Always give credit...

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