After originally sharing the cautionary tale about what happens to a piece of viral content when it falls into the hands of unscrupulous people who share content to their large following without bothering to give you credit or link to you.
In the current age of social media sharing we’ve all shared something that belongs to someone else, while not bothering to give the original artist any credit. That isn’t necessarily a sin, per se. What is pernicious are the people who have large (sometimes bought) followings who poach content from others, do not link to them, and then use that material to get them hundreds of thousands of likes/shares.
Since writing this about a month ago the person who had the ridiculous amount of shares (pictured above) has added “Courtesy: Ultimate Designs” what would have helped is if they had put an “@” in front & linked to the Ultimate Designs Facebook page but let’s just be happy that they made the smallest step. Why this matters is that when looking at your page analytics on Facebook this makes all the difference in the world.
There you can see the actual reach that your content is getting ~ measured not just by the vanity metrics of “Likes/Shares” but by the people who have actually clicked on the photos, links, etc…(that doesn’t show up to the public) and also includes the activity on the “shares” as well. This is important information for any small business or solo-entrepreneur who is trying to figure out what is working and what isn’t.
It can help you make better decisions about your future marketing efforts and measure what the public likes. That is why the disparity between the pilfered piece (at the very top) and the “original” post caught my eye. If when sharing it, the person had linked to the original creator he might have unknowingly facilitated more work and exposure for this artwork. Which should be the goal for any artist or business on social media, for without that you are only chasing after people to give you empty praise and virtual pats on the back – through a like button.
Keeping your eye on the prize, creating those serendipitous connections between yourself and the people who like your work, and want to hire you is the main goal of sharing this content. To forget that is to condemn your brand to obscurity. The web makes it terribly easy to connect people, but it also makes it terribly easy for people to also find your work and pilfer it. Make sure you always watermark, include your name (or @ handle) and clearly list your web address, even if that is only your Facebook page* so that people can then reach out & connect.
The creator of this series has reached out to me and shared these thoughts, for which I’m humbled. For if even just one person takes heed, and uses the best practices, then we are well on our way to making the web a better place.