No matter which social media platforms you’re using, it’s important that everything you share, like or comment on builds your brand instead of breaking it down. So how do you have enough content to be in front of you followers regularly? It’s important to create and share your own content (whether it’s images, blog posts, tutorials, etc.). But another important part of your social presence can be to use online content from others.

Obviously the internet houses endless amounts of content. The good news is that a lot of that content fits your brand and your followers would love to read it. But, the bad news is that a lot of that content could hurt your brand or simply be uninteresting to your followers. The more you share content that your followers don’t love, the less and less followers you’ll keep. And the less and less new followers you’ll attract. Losing followers could mean you’re also losing customers. So how do you know what to share and how often to share it? Keep reading to find out.

 

Pay Attention to Your Industry

 

The first step in sharing content your followers care about is staying current with what’s happening in your industry. You need to know what people are talking about and sharing. As well as what trends are big and what news is happening. Use online content in your marketing strategy that is relevant to those things. Luckily, there are easy, free ways to stay on top of what’s going on in your space.

 

Use Online Tools to Help You

 

Google has a free tool called google alerts at alerts.google.com. You can add keywords that you and your followers are interested in. After you’ve set it up, google will email you as often as you’d like with articles relevant to those topics. This can give you good articles to share that your followers will enjoy.

 

To stay on top of what people are talking about on social media, search for trending hashtags. You can do this through a simple google search. Once you know what hashtags are trending that are relevant to your business, join the conversation. Find content about what people are talking about it and share it using the trending hashtag. This can be a good way to get noticed by new followers and for the followers you already have to know you’re current.

 

Follow Influential People in Your Industry

 

Another great way to stay on top of things is to follow people who are influencers in your industry. It’s pretty easy to find people with large YouTube followings and great blogs in your space. If what they say aligns with your brand, share it and/or learn from it to help your business.  Most influencers are interested in getting their content in front of as many eyes as possible. That means they like it when others use online content that they created.

 

Especially in the beauty industry, you have be current or people won’t trust you. Make sure you’re spending the time to know what’s going on. Only use online content that aligns with what’s current and represents your brand.

Share Smart, High Quality Content

 

The basic idea here is to make sure you only use online content that is well done. You don’t want to share blog posts or articles that are hard to read because of poor grammar and spelling errors. Don’t share videos that are so shaky they’ll make viewers sick. And definitely don’t share anything from anyone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

 

You DO want to share content that looks good, sounds good and is correct. If you find a piece of content that you really like but you aren’t sure if what the author is saying is correct, do your homework. It will only take you a small amount of time to do some research. However, the benefits are huge. This will ensure that you aren’t spreading lies, rumors, or incorrect practices to your followers and you’ll maintain your credibility. Don’t clog your feed with content from others unless it looks amazing and is correct.

 

Maintain Your Message

 

Many people get into the bad habit of sharing any random content they like personally to their business social media accounts. It’s fine to share a cat video every once in awhile if that is something you love. That tells your followers about who you are as a person or brand and can make them like you even more. However, if you continually use online content that has nothing to do with your industry or your brand, you’ll lose followers. Losing followers is losing customers. Always assume that your followers are following your business because they are interested in your business.

 

So what is your brand message?

 

It’s basically whatever you think will attract your ideal customers to you. As a stylist, you can do this in a couple of ways. One of the easiest and most focused ways is to focus your message on what you are best at. If wigs are your specialty and you would prefer working with wig clients, you obviously want to share things related to wigs. However, if your specialty is metallic hair color and those are the clients you would prefer to work with, share things pertaining to that. You can let people know about other services you offer through your own original content. But spend the most time talking about what you love to do. 

 

You Choose Your Message

 

Basically, you choose what your message is. It’s important that you stay focused on it when you use online content from other people. This doesn’t mean that you can’t share images of other awesome things you’re doing outside of your specialty. When it comes to your own content, go ahead and show off what you can do! But don’t clog your feed with content from others unless it’s purpose is to bring in your ideal customer.

 

Don’t Use Online Content to Accidentally Promote Competitors

 

This may seem like an obvious thing, but there are so many people out there who don’t realize they’re doing this. Before you use online content, make sure it wasn’t produced by someone in your industry who is in your area and does what you do. That would basically be saying to your followers, ‘I actually like this person’s work better than mine so go ahead and visit them instead of me’. Before sharing an awesome piece of content, see who published it, what they do and where they are based. If you’re sure your potential customer bases don’t mix, go ahead and share it.

 

One Exception…

 

The slight exception here is promoting a friend who will also promote you. You may have seen this on social media before. Two stylists who are friends will post each other’s work and talk about how great their friend is at what they do. If you’re in the same area, this is basically promoting a competitor, even if it’s a friend. Both of you have the same potential customer base. But, this can be completely safe and beneficial to do if you both have different specialties. Let’s say your friend is absolutely amazing at color and you are absolutely amazing at working with wig clients and you’re each looking for those specific clients. This has the potential of getting both of you more clients that you may not have reached before. Use online content from each other to get both of your more clients.

 

Give Credit

 

This is the most important part when you use online content from others. You have to make sure that your followers know the content did not come from you and that it is legal for you to share it. Remember, you wouldn’t want someone sharing your content and taking credit for it!

 

When you share a blog or article, link directly to it from your social accounts and say where it’s coming from. If you quote a blog or article, be sure to say where the quote came from.

 

When you share videos or images or any other type of content, be very clear in your post about who made it and where it came from. If you’re nervous about using a piece of content, don’t do it or try to get some type of written permission that it’s okay.

 

In most cases, if you give obvious and full credit to the person you got the content from, you should be okay to share it. You don’t want to run into any types of legal troubles and most importantly, it’s just not professional to rip off someone else’s hard work. Hubspot has an awesome article about how to correctly cite sources online. You can find it here.

 

How do you like to use online content from others? Is there anything we missed? Let us know on Facebook!