Images are absolutely crucial for increasing your audience engagement on social media. They are a necessary part of your overall social media content marketing strategy and often the most powerful way to convey your message.
Sourcing images in the Internet can pose a challenge for those actually attempting to stay within legal and moral boundaries.
Anyone can find every image they could imagine simply by conducting a Google search for whatever it is they seek. However (and pay attention now)...in most cases it is against copyright law to use those images. To put it another way:
To grab an image from a Google search and use it in content without citing the source is stealing.
Yes, you heard me right. Likely this is not the intent, however, it is often what happens. There are even content marketing companies managing social media for other organizations that make this a common practice. However, there can be nasty legal repercussions that can occur, and rightly so.
Best practice is simply to source images with a creative commons license (which means that artists have given permission for others to use their images), and there are many sites that also require no royalty fees so that images are free.
From marketing materials to classroom projects to digital stories, images bring the message to life and are a necessary part of creating engaging content.
So, rather than risk the penalties of stealing an image from Google, try one of these 12 sites that offer free creative commons images.
- Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/
- Pexels: https://www.pexels.com
- Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/
- Public Domain Pictures: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/
- 1 Million Free Pictures: http://www.1millionfreepictures.com/
- Viintage: http://viintage.com/
- Gratisography: http://www.gratisography.com/
- PD Pics: http://pdpics.com/
- New Old Stock: http://nos.twnsnd.co/
- FreeImages: http://www.freeimages.com/
- Pickup Image: http://pickupimage.com/
- Public Domain Archive: http://publicdomainarchive.com/
There are also a number of image creation tools that have stock photos within their platform available for use and allow you to design your images within their platform.
So, stay legal and make images a key piece of your online communication strategy.
Happy image sourcing. :)