Do you remember making grade school presentations when you would copy and paste whatever picture a search engine found and never worry about it? You were very likely infringing someone’s copyright. Meaning, you were using their work without paying for it or crediting them. In higher grades, we started to credit images and put them in our works cited list. We learned how terrible plagiarism was so we made sure to cite quotes properly.
Then why do we think as adults that we can just go back to using search engine results on social media? Especially as a business, copyright infringement can lead to being sued so why put your business at risk where there are so many free options such as Unsplash or Pexels?
One of the easiest things to spot on a business’ page are copyright infringed images. These might be something as simple as a holiday post or as complex as a local landmark taken by a photographer. Creatives should be paid for and credited for their work. If you don’t know the rules of copyright in your country, I recommend hiring a social media manager to take care of your business’ image for you and make sure the person or agency you hire is well versed in the rules of copyright and of the social media platforms you use.
You wouldn’t steal a photographer’s image and use it on your billboard, so why would you on your social media channel?
If you have any questions about your business’ social media pages get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and remember, if you’re not sure about the image usage rights, don’t post it!