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Guest Post by Jessica Ann

Social media is all or nothing. You’ve got to give it your all, or you’ve got nothing. Right?

Not so much.

There’s such a thing as sharing the work. And you may or may not be aware that you’re already doing it.

Shared media falls between owned media and earned media. Let me explain…

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Owned media is the foundation of your brand (i.e., your website or blog). And earned media happens when customers rave about you (or worst case, if they complain). But there’s a gray area  between owned and earned that’s just as important.

It’s called shared (or partially owned) media and it’s where the fun begins.

Earned and owned media take time to build. It’s a long-term process with no silver bullet. While shared media won’t make you an overnight success (nor should you want it to), it can create brand awareness in a quicker way.

Sharing and engaging on social media sites allows your content to be distributed rapidly. But your business shouldn’t stop at sharing on social networks. You really need to own the content for long-term success.

Businesses who only post on Facebook or Twitter without the foundation of a website are heading down the wrong path. Facebook may be the current media darling, but who really knows its future? It has the potential to go the way of Friendster, with Internet archeologists uncovering the civilization years from now. Who will want your content then?

If you already have a blog, shared media is the perfect balance to distribute your content. Here are a few ways to do shared media:

Facebook: Write a blog post about your business and post a paragraph from the post, along with the link. Those interested in reading further can click through to your blog and read your information where you own the content.

Instagram: Instagram is now web-friendly so you can easily email, capture a screenshot, and/or upload an Instagram photo to your blog. Even though Instagram (owned by Facebook) technically owns your photo, you may want to add a watermark before it gets posted to your blog. It could end up getting distributed on Pinterest (see below) without your permission.

Pinterest: Create a board that’s about your business, and pin the Instagram photo that you posted to your blog. Remember to watermark it with your company logo or your signature if you’re worried. Adding a watermark has the added benefit of further branding your content.

YouTube: Embed your YouTube video into a blog post. YouTube’s robust search maximizes your SEO and content to its full potential. Just make sure that you either describe the YouTube video or explain what your business does in the blog post. It’ll help with SEO and clarify what you’re about

Fusing your own, owned media channel with social media creates shared media – the best of both worlds.

Do you use shared media to market your business? Please tell us about it below.

This article originally appeared on the Vocus blog.