I know how you feel. You see one of your competitors, or someone who has a business that’s kind of close to what you do, and notice that they’re absolutely KILLING it on social media… while your social media tends to be a big fat disaster.

So you decide to copy this company’s social media strategy because you think you’ll get the same success and engagement as them.

But let me tell you something: that way of thinking is WRONG. It’s okay to take ideas of what a company is doing and make them your own, but completely copying a social media strategy is not the best route to go.

Here’s why.

Just because it works for them doesn’t mean it will work for you.

I can’t stress this one enough: just because something is working for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you. That’s like being a business coach and noticing that one business coach is selling $6,000 packages – so you decide to sell $6,000 packages because she is. You can’t ASSUME you’re going to be able to sell that just because someone else can – there is so much more that goes into it.

The same goes for social media. Copying a strategy will NOT work out in your favor. Not only will it be blatantly obvious to the company that you’re copying them (YIKES!), but as I mentioned earlier, there are so many logistics that go into a social media strategy. I’m talking target market, location, services, etc. Companies create their social media strategy FOR their target market, and if your target market is different than theirs (which it probably will be), then you’re creating a strategy for the WRONG people.

Consumers appreciate brands that do things that are “out-of-the-box.”

Remember when the Nordstrom anniversary sale came out a few weeks ago and every fashion and lifestyle blogger that exists posted about the sale on their blogs and their social media NONSTOP? It made people want to stop reading blogs for weeks, and any time someone mentioned “N Sale,” a bunch of major eye rolling was followed. The point is – people don’t like to see the same thing over and over and OVER again. Consumers like to see things that are new and haven’t been explored before.

If you’re writing and sharing the same content on social media as another brand, your audience will become very bored VERY quickly because they will have already seen it before – and that will result in your accounts getting hit with that “unfollow” button far too many times. Work on creating a strategy that is unique to you and will make people go, “WOAH, that’s cool!” when looking at your account – and then you’ll find your brand growing.

Social media is a lot of trial and error.

Social media is all about the trial and error – it takes a few tries to find out what really works for you. You can’t expect to try one thing and assume it will work – so you can’t expect to copy a social media strategy and assume that will work as well. I can guarantee that it took that brand MANY tries to get at the right outcome with their social media, so it’s going to take the same amount for you.

Instead, brainstorm a few ideas that you like and try them out! You never know until you try – and eventually, you’ll come across the right combination that will blow other companies’ social media strategies right out of the water. YUP.

Not only will creating your own social media strategy bring you success, but it will also make you feel PROUD when you realize that it actually does work – how can you take credit for the success of a strategy when all you did was copy what someone else was already doing? If you build a strategy from the ground up and absolutely nail it, then you’re going to feel a whole heck of a lot of proudness.

And I want to clarify that grabbing INSPIRATION from a brand is completely different from COPYING a brand. It’s okay to keep in mind simple techniques that a brand does for you to use as your own – such as if you like that a brand uses quote images, makes an introduction of themselves every few weeks, shares the latest projects they worked on with clients, etc. But it’s NOT okay to take everything a brand is doing and make it your own.