A frequent question I’ve been asked lately is “can I use images off the Internet in my social media feeds or is that copyright infringement?”. Of course the answer is always “it depends” so let’s talk about the best ways to use found images on your blogs, website, or social networks.

The best way to share any content, no matter what media type, is to keep the original source link with the content. It’s all about promoting someone else’s content and showing yourself or your brand as an expert curator on a topic, rather than claiming that content as your own.

For example, below is a YouTube playlist we created to showcase content marketing we think is clever. The videos are streaming from their original channels, but through a playlist we created on our channel and have embedded here:

This means that whenever someone watches a video in our playlist, the views will be noted on the original source video and the user can easily click through to the channel where it’s streaming from.

You can do this with images, as well. Below I’ve just inserted an image into this blog using the “Insert From URL” option in the “Add Media” dialogue box, plus I made the image a link to the article where I found the image. To be even more copyright friendly, I’ve added a caption stating the name of the article. The only trouble with this method, is if that if the host ever changes the link, the image below will no longer be displayed.

Family watching tv while using mobile devices.

The reinvention of the 1950s living room

Here’s an example from social media – we tweeted someone’s Vine and the video maintains the original username and when clicked on, takes you to the Vine owner’s channel.

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There will be some cases where you might want to create your own graphics, perhaps by creating an inspirational quote or a holiday card. In those cases, if you don’t have original photography or illustrations to use, you’ll need to obtain the license to use someone else’s imagery.

I recommend purchasing stock images or looking for Creative Commons images.

Creative Commons has a variety of licensing options, and you can search for free images that you can use at this link: http://search.creativecommons.org/. The thing is that with most of the CC licenses, you need to credit the owner, so you may need to provide a caption with the artist’s name and potentially link to their site.

Be sure to look for the license and then click through to see what’s involved in using the image. In this example, the license says “Some rights reserved”.

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When I clicked on “Some rights reserved”, I received instructions on how I could use that image:

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Here’s how I could use that image:

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If you don’t want to credit the image owner and want to “white label” the image or claim it as your own, you want a non-attribution license which comes with a fee. I recommend the following stock image sites where you can purchase the license to use the images as your own:

dollarphotoclub.com

istockphoto.com

depositphotos.com

gettyimages.ca

I hope that helps and please let us know if you have any questions about creating content for your brand!

~ Christina, Owner & Strategist at Antenna Social Media & Design

Please note: I’m not a lawyer and I recommend consulting with someone who focuses in copyright law if you have any doubts about the content you are posting.

People buy from people – relationships are the key to sales. 

Interview Excerpt:

Social media has exponentially increased the amount of people you can connect with, which means you can develop relationships with thousands of people for less time and money than with traditional networking.

Creating a strategy doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and it is a valuable investment.
Businesses are seeing 4 times their return on investment (ROI) for time spent in social media and those using advertising programs such as Facebook’s FBX are seeing 16 times their ROI!
Boutique agencies, like ourselves AntennaSocial.ca, will build a strategy that help you use social media most effectively for your specific needs. Your strategy can be set up in a modular fashion with iterations tailored to your budget.

Strategies are your road map to guide you in your social media marketing decisions. Social media is all about who you should be connecting with and what sort of content you should be creating or sharing from others.

A Social Media Strategy provides you with advice and guidance – it tells you who you should be connecting with and what sort of content you should be creating or sharing from others. Your strategy should include the following:


  • Review of your overall business goals, not necessarily specific to social media. Do you want to increase sales? Improve customer service? Expand to a new market?

  • Definition of your target audiences to show that your Social Media Consultant understands your business.

  • A list of measurable goals that the strategy is working towards.
  • Recommended online goals.
  • Specific social media campaigns with examples including which platforms to use and which to spend most of your efforts on.

Many businesses think that “if you build it they will come” but simply creating a Facebook page will do very little for your business. You need to be active on the platforms you choose, in order to be successful in social media.  It is similar to face-to-face networking – the more interactive you are, the more likely people will remember you (your business) and you will gain their trust and respect.

Another common mistake is that many people will hire companies that simply promise to increase your number of followers. What will you do with thousands of followers who don’t care about your business? You are more likely to find qualified leads (potential clients who convert to sales) with a smaller amount of followers that have been targeted by a well-reasoned campaign, than by randomly finding thousands of people who will follow for the sake of following. 
 
Your clients are on social media so if you don’t have a plan you are risking missing out on conversations about your brand AND you are definitely losing money in the form of potential clients. Social media is the best way to gain Search Engine Optimization, brand recognition, and find qualified leads.

To see my full interview by Ronalda Walsh check out her blog “Insight: A window into the world of communications & pr”.

Christina Adams, Director Social & Digital Media, Antenna Social Media + Design