Yes... finally, after dealing with my fair share of copycats, I am finally writing about why you shouldn't do it and why I DON'T do it.
You've seen it, if you follow enough people, it will happen to you, you'll spot a trend. Suddenly no one can keep it together 'Some days I think I have it all together, then I find my phone in the fridge' and many more like this... or the SAME image used to celebrate holidays over and over... WHY?
Have you considered what it makes people think of YOU.
1. Lost credibility:
If you copy anything, especially without giving credit to the source, you look like you 'stole' an image, post idea or content.
Once you lose the credibility of your audience, how do you gain it back, it's hard. You may never grow that trust back from your audience once you have lost it.
2. Promoting someone else:
If you steal something that someone knows from another account, they may think it is from the original source, only adding more recognition to them.
I'll give you an example, I saw a post, then I saw a similar one by someone else, I thought it was the original poster doing it again... why would you promote someone else.
I understand being 'inspired' by another account, but there have been blatant copies done.
3. Just plain tacky
I know it can be hard to be creative, but following someone and mimicking their style (sense of humour - when its obvious) or unique attributes loses your own authenticity. If you are authentic with your brand, be inspired by other pages and accounts, but keep your own flair.
I saw Account A having great success, so Account B thought they would mimic them, hoping for the same success. But, their brands were very different so their audience got confused seeing a whole new style of posts that were not at all in line with the genuine personality of their brand... fail.
Remember, social media should be a way to connect with your audience, what does it say if you are using that opportunity to falsely provide communications to them.
...and its local
Nothing is worse than stealing from someone local, in a small community your error is amplified and a lot more embarrassing!
What you can do to create your own awesome:
I manage multiple accounts, some days I feel drained of creativity (let's be honest here). I grab a book, get outside, people watch or go for a walk, sometimes just getting away from your space can help re-job that creative side.
I will listen to comedians, a Ted talk, meditate or lose myself in a rabbit hole of videos or learning tutorials... there are lots of opportunities to create your own creativity.
Take a break, if you are drained, stop. Grab a notebook and throw it in your pocket or purse, that way when you do have an idea, you have a spot to write it down, real life observations can be funny!
Enjoy, just don't fall into the trap.