Any successful social media campaign is likely to involve visual media such as images and videos. But if you’re a small or medium-sized business and don’t have the funds to commission original photography every time you want to post something visual, then you may want to consider using other people’s images and manipulating them for your posts.

Below, we’ve rounded up four ways to find legal images to use for your social campaigns.

Make sure you understand copyright basics

Understanding copyright law surrounding images online is important, so make sure you research before you start using other people’s images. Copyright protection is automatic; unless someone has explicitly permitted you to use their images or you’ve found them on a website that offers royalty free images, you won’t be allowed to use them.

Get the right license for premium stock images

If you’re paying for premium stock images to use on your website and social media, you should make sure that you get the right licence. For example, the standard ‘personal use’ licence won’t cover you to use it online for commercial purposes, so review the website’s guidelines and purchase the correct licence. Commercial licences are often more expensive, but they’re cheaper than being caught out and having to pay the original licenser hundreds of pounds.

Use a free stock images website

Royalty free image websites such as PixaBay and Pexels are perfect for finding images that you can edit and manipulate for social media. You might, for example, find a stock image of a restaurant on a website, and then add your company logo or special offers so people can see what you’re offering. Such websites offer images on a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license, meaning you won’t have to give credit or ask permission to use them commercially.

Retweet and repurpose other people’s content

Although you should avoid reposting other people’s content without asking for permission, social media offers a way to bypass this. Retweeting, sharing and reposting on Instagram is a legal and ethical way to share content and images without asking for permission first; and it will give you the ability to promote your business without creating your own visual content.

If you’re looking for help with your social media management, get in touch with Jumping Spider Media today on 020 3070 1959.