So, you’ve got your social media content all planned out and scheduled for the next few weeks. You have lots of new and exciting ideas swarming around in your head. Your audience is engaged with your content. Life’s good.
And then you realize one of your posts is quite similar to someone else’s. Are you a copycat? 🥴 Or were you just inspired by another person’s content? We know it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two – so let’s break it down together.
Here’s where we draw the line:
1. Replicating captions word-for-word
People put a good amount of thought and effort into their captions. Copying and pasting is a BIG no-no! If you agree with someone’s caption, research the topic and put your own unique spin on the information. Find a new way to deliver the message that works for your audience and incorporate your own thoughts.
2. Following one person really closely and following their entire strategy step-by-step
Have you ever heard the saying “What works for someone else may not work for you”? The same applies to social media. When you duplicate someone else’s strategy, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice believe it or not. What does that look like?
· Keeping track of the exact days someone else posts
· Tracking the format type of the content they post (still images vs. videos vs. stories, etc.)
· Replicating captions word-for-word 😉 (just don’t do it!)
There are a ton of tried-and-true social media strategies that are perfectly fine to incorporate into your own. At the end of the day, social media is about experimenting. Try different strategies and see what generates the best results!
3. Recreating an exact graphic with your own colors (there’s an even finer line with this one!)
Creating compelling graphics for social media is a lot of work. Imagine you’ve just spent hours coming up with the perfect graphic, only to realize days later someone is passing it off as their own. It’s a slap in the face! Figure out a way to put your own “special sauce”✨on your graphics to keep them unique to your brand.
Keep these tips in mind⬇️
👉🏼 If it FEELS like copying, it’s copying. Your intuition is strong – trust it and be ethical.
👉🏼 When pulling inspiration, look at HOW you’re doing it. Are you putting your own knowledge and twist on things? You should be!
👉🏼 If someone inspired you in a major way and you can remember who it was, give them credit.
👉🏼 Search outside your industry and niche for inspiration. The more places you pull inspiration from, the less likely your content will be considered unoriginal.
👉🏼 Don’t feel pressured to rely 100% on your brain to come up with everything. You should be inspired by others and you should want to create valuable content – but there’s a right way (and wrong way) to do it!
As humans, we are constantly inspired by other people’s content and ideas. It happens whether you realize it or not. It’s 100% normal for your ideas to be influenced by people you follow on social media. AND THAT IS OKAY! 👏🏼
Be smart and ask yourself how you’d feel if the shoe was on the other foot. If the thought makes you cringe, revisit the drawing board and try to figure out how you can create the content in a way that’s authentic to you and your brand – it’s the best way to stand out among the crowd!