Rules and Themes for Public Image Search and Social Media Posts

There are several factors that go into creating strong, useful social media posts as part of internet marketing and branding efforts, and one that’s near the top of any list is images. Social media posts featuring images produce engagement that’s 650 percent higher than text-only posts, serving as a way to quickly capture people’s attention and draw them toward your brand.

At SEO Werkz, we’re here to help with all areas of social media marketing, including helping you locate and choose the best images for your posts. There are a number of resources available for obtaining free photos online, but it’s important to understand a few basic terms here so you don’t step out of line and use images you aren’t licensed to use. In today’s blog, we’ll go over a few important themes and terms to understand in this realm.

Creative Commons Basics

The first important term here to know is Creative Commons, the title of a non-profit organization that handles many areas of copyright licenses and their use among creators. Creative Commons features six different license types, each with different details in terms of what level of permission they grant the public.

So in a case where a photo you’re attempting to use is labeled with an Attribution license, those who use this work in any way will be required to grant credit for the image to the original creator. If the photo has a NonCommercial license, on the other hand, all commercial businesses and brands will be barred from using that photo.

Royalty-Free Images

Royalties are an important area to understand within public images. In many cases you’ll see what are called royalty-free images, which, as the name suggests, allows you to use the image without paying royalties or license fees for each individual use.

It’s important to note, though, that “royalty-free” does not necessarily mean “free.” Many such-labeled images will have a one-time fee, one that isn’t considered a royalty but still must be paid before you can download the image. The royalty-free section only refers to you not being required to pay more than once.

royalty quote

Public Domain

In other cases, you might find photos that are labeled as public domain. In these cases, there is no intellectual property right or exclusivity applied to this image at all – the image is owned by the public at large, rather than any individual. You will not require any permission to use this photo, and can do so at your convenience.

Again, a note here: Just because you have located a picture on the internet, and can view it on a device, does not mean the picture is considered public domain. You have to confirm this elsewhere, and ensure you are not using work that needs to be attributed or paid for without doing so.

For more important information on how public image rules work for social media posts, or to learn about any of our SEO, PPC or social media marketing services, speak to the staff at SEO Werkz today.

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