To Use or Not to Use: Watermarked Photos


Social media……where do we even begin, right? Social media is all about sharing, especially when it comes to your business. Although the majority of the world is sharing pictures of half eaten food or unnecessary random thoughts, businesses are evolving the way they market and advertise to their customers and discovering new and clever self-promotion tactics with the help of social media managers such as Moxie. Having a marketing agency handle your social media can require you to strategically balance a marketing budget in order for them to maximize the effectiveness of your advertising. But, what if you don’t have a budget and want to handle your own social media for your business? We as social media managers encounter many “don’ts ” when it comes to small businesses and organizations trying to handle their own marketing on social media. Today we will be talking about just ONE (out of many we’ve noticed - stay tuned for future blog posts, wink) that we feel is the most commonly committed, the use of Watermarked Stock Photography.

According to recent social media surveys, 88% of people use visuals in more than 50% of their social media posts, with 56% saying they use visuals 100% of the time. That means photos are involved. Sometimes we are in a rush to share or repost images without giving a proper review. We get it. Businesses have to make money and sometimes its difficult to promote themselves on social media. Having a strong social media presence for your business is very important and business owners should never undervalue the place it holds for a business.

With visuals being one of the most common assets used in social media today, finding the perfect photo has never been easier with the help of stock-photo sites. Before these sites were available, obtaining the photo you needed was not an easy task. Any professional photographer can tell you how obtaining the skill and equipment necessary to take great photos does not come cheap nor easy. Which is why stock-photo sites are a great option that are available to find exactly what you need. The cost of stock photos varies depending on the licensing set for each specific use. Since most stock-photos are copyrighted, most sites place a watermark on the photos in order to keep people from using them without permission or without paying.

We all know that everyone usually goes on Google to find a photo they need and once the find it, they are quick to snag it and use it as they please. But just because everyone is doing it, that doesn’t make it right. Even if a photo you find doesn’t have a watermark, it doesn’t mean that it is free for anyone to just use. All stock-photos don’t just magically take themselves or grow on stock-photo trees. It takes a lot of time and money to produce all these photos and that is the very reason these watermarks have been placed on them. When searching for photos online, you should play it safe and always assume that the image you found is copyrighted.

Here at Moxie, we personally understand that most assets and tools necessary to create amazing content costs money. But, what if you can’t afford to pay for stock-photos and wish there was a way around it?

Well, you’re in luck! Here is a list we put together of websites that offer free images for you to use.






Make sure you understand the restrictions on each image before you publish them.