If you use social media you’re probably used to sharing other people’s content. Maybe you’re even a bit of a compulsive content sharer?

But have you ever thought it would be much, much better to create and share your own content instead? (Answer: Yes it would be …. much, much better!)

Not that I’m saying you should stop sharing other people’s content entirely. It has its uses. Sharing is what makes the world of social media go round. But if you aren’t creating your own content you’re probably missing out …. and you could be inadvertently making a big mistake too.

Here are some of the disadvantages of sharing someone else’s content:

* Most of the credit goes to the creator. Their link, their traffic etc.

*Reshared content doesn’t carry as much weight as original content. It’s less likely to be read.

*Content you’ve shared is less likely to be reshared than original content. Let’s be frank, very little content truly goes viral.

*You could be sharing something you’d rather not be sharing. (Unless you check every single word and image to make sure it’s all kosher. And let’s be honest, who does?)

*Carelessly shared content could lose you followers or even damage your reputation.

So then, what are the advantages of creating more of your own content. (Hint: They’re often the reverse of sharing other people’s content!)

*You stay in total control of your social media image.

*You get to put your own ideas out there. Which, let’s be honest, is the whole point of social media. You might even become known as an expert in your subject.

*You get the credit for the content. And, better still, the traffic.

*Original content is much more likely to be shared.

*Of course, many people share other’s content because it’s easy to do. Maybe they think it’s hard to create your own content. But the truth is it needn’t be difficult to create your own content.

Here are a few ideas for creating your own content:

*Write a short article on something that interests you. An easy way to do this is a list of points, known as a listicle.

*Write a short personal or business news story.

*Report on someone’s else’s article or news story, but add your own thoughts.

*Review something. People love reviews – they can be traffic magnets.

*Rewrite someone else’s article or news story with your own slant. (Not word for word obviously.)

*Take and post a photo. Better still add a caption or written explanation to it. Or even make a meme. Here’s some information on creating memes.

Again, I’m not saying you should stop sharing third party content entirely. It can still be a quick and useful thing to do. But try to strike a balance: One share of your own content to each two pieces of someone else’s content shared is a good aim. One to one is even better.

Mark Hempshell is a copywriter and content marketer who specialises in writing articles, blog posts and sales copy for the property industry. You can find more useful articles on marketing your business better here: www.markhempshell.com