How to Properly Repost User-Generated Content on Social Networks

Christian Thomson

Christian is a British-born entrepreneur and founder of Marwick. For over 19 years, Christian has successfully helped businesses excel in digital marketing.

In your own experience online, you have probably noticed that visual content is more likely to catch your attention than simple text, and you are not the only one. Visual content—videos, photos, and other images—are known to perform better than text, especially where social media is concerned.

As one quick example, Twitter has noted that tweets with photos are retweeted 35% more often than those without. Video is performing very well on Facebook, particularly Facebook Live. So why isn’t everyone using more visual content?

Not everyone has the ability to create eye-catching visual content. Others may not want to invest the time and resources necessary. In these cases, one option is to hire someone to handle it for you. Another option is to curate and re-post content.

What is Curating Content, and How to Do It

Simply put, curating content means finding content created by others in order to share from your own account. It is an excellent means of obtaining high-quality visuals and filling in some of the gaps that may exist in your content. It can also encourage users to create posts about your brand if you include content from your clients, customers, and partners.

Curated content might feature your brand, or it may simply be content that matches the overall look and feel of your business.

Do keep in mind, however, to find a good balance between current content and your own creations. Experiment a little and try to discover what appeals most to your audience. You can do this by starting off with user or influencer reposts. This should result in engagement as you make use of existing conversations surrounding your brand. Just don’t overlook your own original content.

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What you Need to Know About Re-posting

While people can and do re-post all the time, that is not to say that you can use whatever you like with impunity. There are some rules that should be followed. At the very least, you should be assuming that the creator owns the rights to the content. Even if you have been tagged or a branded hashtag has been used, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can simply make use of the content.

One situation that would allow you to make easy use of content would be if you hold a contest for which users submit content. Provided you spell everything out in the rules, you needn’t worry about using the submitted material.

Outside of this situation, there are some rules that you should always keep in mind.


Make Sure to Give Credit Where It’s Due

Imagine going through someone’s Facebook posts and coming across content that you created, with no credit given. You wouldn’t be left with a very good impression of the one sharing it.

Giving credit is quick and easy. Simply add a line at the end of your post tagging the content’s creator. You might even acknowledge them in your caption if you prefer. Something like, “check out this photo by @originalcreator” is enough.


“There’s an App for That!”

If you are using a photo you found on Instagram, things are even easier. There is an app called Re-post that will add the user directly to the image itself. Ideally, you would still include your own acknowledgement.


Never Present Someone Else’s Work as Your Own

This one should be obvious but trying to pass off someone else’s creation as your own is a very bad idea. At the very least, you could find that you lose the confidence of your followers.


Don’t Promote Your Work Using Someone Else’s Content

Using someone else’s creation in paid advertising for your business is probably the easiest way to get yourself in trouble. If that is your intent, then make sure that you are using content submitted to you with the understanding that this is a possibility.


Do Not Modify Content

If the content was good enough to catch your attention, it probably doesn’t need reworking. Further, since the creator owns the rights, you might be causing yourself legal issues. If you really feel the need to make changes, seek permission from the creator.


Tag the Creator

If you are sharing content across various platforms, tag the creator appropriately on each. If you are unable to tag them (they may not be on the same platforms as you) then at least acknowledge them with either their handle or their first name and last initial (John S., for example).


Just Ask

This is your best bet. Simply ask for permission to use the content. If it is being shared from a large company, they may provide you with sharing guidelines and ask you to respond with your agreement.

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How to Re-post in Each Network


Facebook is simple: just “share” the content. Facebook will clearly identify the source for you. Simply share it as-is or add your own caption if you like. You may also upload the content to your Facebook fan page, acknowledging the source as detailed above.



This is another easy one. If you see the content you like, simply retweet it. If you are creating an original post using visual content from another creator, then once again, you can simply tag them in the tweet. You may also tag Twitter photos directly.



The Re-post app mentioned above lets you add user handles to the content, but if you choose not to use it, be sure to give credit to the creator in the post and/or tag them.



Pinterest allows you to share by use of a “save”. This will indicate the source of the content.



LinkedIn will allow for the sharing of content from company pages or from one profile to another. You will be able to tag another profile or company, but only if you are sharing from your personal profile, so be sure to always include acknowledgement in your messaging.


Parting Thoughts

Sharing your own content is always going to be preferable, but if you find that you lack the ability or time to create the visual content that you would like, then re-posting is an excellent alternative. Just be sure to follow these guidelines when you do. Don’t forget your re-posting etiquette!

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