Sourcing Visual Content for Social Media Use

Want to stand out from the social media crowd? Images, animated GIFs and video can significantly increase content engagement. Research has shown that including images in tweets can increase click-throughs by 18 percent. Even better, using animated GIFs over images can boost Twitter click-throughs by 167 percent.

Video makes a huge difference as well. Ninety percent of consumers consider product videos useful in the decision-making process, and 92 percent will share videos with their contacts. In other words, video content can help you generate leads.

Choosing What to Use

Users appreciate funny or thought-provoking content, such as stand-alone graphics featuring humorous messages or inspirational quotes. It’s the latest trend among brands leveraging social media.

The type of visual content you use will depend on your target audience. You can create your own content, but if you don’t have the time or resources, you’ll have no problem finding stock photos, animated GIFs, videos and infographics online.

Free Stock Photography

There are several resources that allow you to use images for free and with little to no restrictions, such as these:

  • MyStockPhotos — These artsy stock photos are available for personal and commercial use.
  • Gratisography — This free site offers high-resolution photography with new additions added weekly.
  • Raumrot — This lifestyle imagery is free for commercial use.
  • Unsplash — Beautiful, free photos. Gifted by the world’s most generous community of photographers.

Paid Image Sources

If you’d like a broader selection, a paid photography resource may be your best bet:

  • Shutterstock — This well-known library is full of photos, vectors, illustrations, icons, footage and music.
  • Getty Images — Photographers around the globe contribute to this high-quality collection.
  • 123RF — Millions of stock photos, vectors, video clips and music at surprisingly low prices.
  • iStock — Discover royalty-free images, illustrations and videos that will make you stand out.

Whatever you choose, make the most of your visual content so you can resonate and engage with social media followers.