Miss Manners for Social Sharing
When I see a great meme I want to share it! If it gives me a smile or an insight or useful information I want to pass it on, and I want to show my gratitude to the originator. The easiest way to accredit a great meme is to thank the person who posted it in my comment about the post.
Accreditation is more than being nice, it is a best practice in Social Media.
Everyone has heard that Social Media is all about engagement – why would you miss such a wonderful opportunity to engage? I suspect that giving someone credit for doing the work of finding great post material is going to do a lot more for positive engagement than simply sharing their meme without acknowledgement. I’d be ticked if someone passed on my hard-earned great find without acknowledgement – wouldn’t you?
As a professional, I’m always on the lookout for great material to share, so I understand that it takes time and effort to produce interesting posts. When I say thank you it is heartfelt! And when someone thanks me, I appreciate it! It makes me feel good, both because it acknowledges my good work and because it validates my achievement of a great post. I know I feel good, so I want to pass the feel-good on to others – now that’s engagement :)
How far does this go? Does a post that has been shared several times become a chain-letter of accreditation? My preference is to thank the person whose post I am sharing and the originator, who often is the creator of the meme. Graphics are work too, and I appreciate creativity.
A technical note: Shared posts do not retain the comments of the previous poster. Why do you care? What if you shared a post with the comment “Don’t try this at home” and the next person to share it is a fan of Jackass movies? That fan may thank you when presenting a great activity that qualifies for Darwin Award behaviors. You can think about whether you want to be presented as a fan of natural selection on Social Media.
Often memes have a copyright or other accreditation in the image. Often they don’t. If you’re willing to put the time and effort into making original art, I suggest that you claim your credit by including branding in your creation. After all, some people haven’t read this post yet. Your great engagement is a benefit to you and those you engage with, and that will make them happy to engage more with you. It’s a win-win!