We all share stuff we like – whether it’s informative, challenging or just plain funny. No problem. It’s certainly part of the way everyone behaves, so it has a place within any marketing or content strategy.

When I say it has a place, I mean that it should be part of a much greater whole – not the extent of what you do.

Whether sharing lots of stuff, random or otherwise, enables you to build up lots of followers isn’t the point. Marketing (including social media) isn’t a popularity contest. It’s pointless having followers, any amount of them, if they’re not actually interested in what you really offer. Those people who do choose to follow you aren’t following you for the right reasons.

The point is, when you’re sharing others’ stuff, you’re driving people somewhere else. You’re not driving them to you. Plus, you’re squandering search optimisation benefits and pushing potential customers to other websites.

Yes, I know. George Takei has squillions of followers and he just shares other people’s stuff. But he’s not a business trying to interest people in specific services or products. People follow him because he’s a celebrity – and a really decent chap, obviously. It’s not really comparable to most organisations’ needs to grow an audience via content marketing which drives them towards engagement.

Your publicity, social media, marketing – all of these should deliver a cohesive message around a defined content strategy. Otherwise you’re just making noise.

What you share should be (mostly – it’s OK to have some fun, too) relevant to your organisation and attract people who are interested in those things. It doesn’t have to be all your content, but your content should be at its heart. It’s better to have 1,000 followers who are bothered about what you say, and interact with you, than 1,000,000 who couldn’t give a fig.