Etiquette Lessons: The Do’s & Don’ts of Repurposing Social Content

mobile phone with instagramIt’s a widely held belief that truly great social media content is always 100 percent original. But for luxury brands, the gold standard for social posts—the marriage of pristine professional photography with perfectly pithy captions—doesn’t always lead to strong user engagement.

And all those polished still-life shots on Instagram are starting to feel homogeneous. Because how many ­flawlessly lit “flat lays” (the social term for product tableaux shot from overhead) can we consume before they start to feel painfully corporate?

A far more effective social strategy for independent ­jewelry retailers includes using a mix of original and curated content, says Johannah Miller, a social media strategist for global management consulting firm Accenture. “Some of the best accounts on Instagram include curated content and photos,” she adds. “Reposting can bring relevant content to your audience and can also help you build relationships with brands and businesses in your area.”

While it’s important not to overdo it, thoughtful reposting can help a retailer build up its local community. “You’re reaching out and playing a role in your area,” Miller explains. “And by doing that, you’re no longer operating in a silo, which is important.”

Below are some of the social expert’s top tips for reposting content with both politeness and panache.

Credit Correctly

Building social cred—and symbiotic relationships—through reposting relies heavily on giving credit where credit is due, every time you repost. You should tag the author of each repost in the caption, using that feed’s social handle. Miller suggests using the Repost app to share content, but advises against reposting content verbatim. “Add your own caption that shows your users how and why the content matters to them,” she says. End each repost with an author credit (common credit formats include “RP: @jckmagazine” and “Repost: @jckmagazine”).

No Hashtags Required

Unless the account you’re reposting from has a hashtag you want your business to take part in, don’t carry over hashtags from the original post—or use them to identify the post’s original author. “People will hashtag the words repost or reshare, but it’s kind of spammy-looking,” Miller notes.

Find Local Content

Look for content on social channels that would be interesting or helpful to your clientele, says Miller, including from local influencers who could be candidates for branded partnerships at some point. And while it used to be good etiquette to wait a few hours before reposting someone’s content on your feed, Miller says as long as you’re crediting correctly, this is no longer an issue.

Ask Permission

If the social feed from which you’re sharing content belongs to a ­person or company you’d like to spark up a relationship with, it’s nice to send a direct ­message to ask if you can repurpose that content on your page, Miller says. “You definitely don’t have to ask them to repost—you can repost anything you want,” she explains. “But it can be a nice way to introduce your business.”

(Woman: Lumina/Stocksy; dog: Lee Towndrow/Moment/Getty)

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