7 Websites for Free Stock Images

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It can be extremely difficult to catch the attention of your audience with a simple text post on social media. Visual content became increasingly popular in 2016. With platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram on the rise, it became the norm to attach images/video to your post. Those browsing the internet tend to engage more with visual posts, with images on Facebook review 2.3x more interaction than those without (source)You’d be missing a trick if you did not spend the time putting together a post with attractive visuals.

However, it’s not always easy to take the perfect image for your post. Many companies don’t have the resources or time to have a full set of professional photos, and these companies rely on stock images to create the visual content that is needed to get the attention for their audience. The price of stock images can vary, but sometimes you may not have the budget to splash out on hundreds of images. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of websites where you can get royalty free stock images for both commercial and personal use.

 

Creative Commons:

Imcreator:

Gratisography:

 

Pexels:

Picjumbo:

 

Pixabay:

 

Unsplash:

Redirect yourself to the above websites by clicking the image

When you are downloading images, always make sure to check the copyright laws that come with the image, some authors may require that you credit them, others may be completely free to use. If you don’t know, don’t risk it – it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Our Social Media for Business course will give you relevant information on copyright laws and how you can protect your own work online, and the best practices to stay safe online to avoid any potential trouble!

For more information and to sign up to your course, use our contact form.

10 Tips to Increase Productivity

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The use of social media within the workplace has become increasingly popular. Many businesses see the importance of marketing their products and services through various platforms in order to create relationships with a worldwide audience.

Employers want their company’s message to be promoted on social media. However, they don’t want staff to be using social media as a procrastination tool. Here are 10 top tips to increase your productivity while using social media for business.

Find the right platforms
There’s no point in posting on Pinterest when your target audience is on LinkedIn.
Analysing social media platforms for their main audience will give you a greater insight into what your target audience are using. You will avoid wasting time using platforms that aren’t going to suit your business.

Use the right dashboard
Social media management tools are key for organising your workload. A dashboard will allow you to publish and schedule your content; meaning that during you 9-5 job, you can also schedule any posts that are needed for the weekend.
A dashboard will also allow you to create channels so you can monitor your streams, engagement and even your competitors. We recommend Hootsuite or Buffer.

Cut out all distractions
This one goes without saying and can be applied to any job, it’s important that you cut out all distractions and know how to effectively manage your time and workload.
You may have just been mentioned in a tweet, but you need to take time out to focus on creating your email newsletter. Your reply on twitter can wait a couple of hours until you’ve finished the task you’ve initially set yourself, and a clear mind will lead to a better reply.

Embrace sharing content
Sharing other company’s content doesn’t mean that you are copying and pasting from another brand and claiming it as your own work. Sharing and retweeting is perfect to show social media activity and open the possibilities of a business to business engagement.
Sometimes you may see some content that you think your audience will love, don’t be afraid to share it; those share and retweet buttons are there for a reason!

Encourage activity across the business
You may be part of a business where a lot of things happen outside of the office, and sometimes you can be too busy to get out there and create some content. Encourage your co-workers to be sending you photos of what they’re up to during their working day, whether it’s from networking events to a personal success. It’s called social media for a reason!Create a content calendar
Create a calendar that highlights all of the important events going on so you can relate to these in your social media posts. Whether it be an event that your business is having, the launch of a new product, or something that is likely to be trending worldwide, it’s always good to use these as a hook for your business.
Creating a content calendar bi-annually will give you the time to plan content for events in advance.

Plan content in advance
It’s never good practice just winging something. If you have your content planned for at least a week in advance, it will take a lot of pressure off you as opposed to making something on a daily basis.
Taking a day or two out of your week to create and schedule your content will give you the rest of the week to analyse, engage and get on with any other work you may have.

Always engage with your followers
Your followers are the reason that you are using social media for business. If you’re not going to take the time to reply to their tweet, then they won’t take the time to tweet you again. Engagement is key with customers. If you have one customer that regularly engages with and shares your content, then that will also be going out to their network and can create a valuable connection for your business.
Show that you care about your customers by engaging with them at every opportunity.

Know when to take if offline
Engaging with your customers can lead to all kinds of opportunities, and it’s important that you know when an opportunity has arisen to take the conversation offline and deal with it in a more personal manner. Showing that you can deal with a matter online is important for your brand reputation, but it’s also important that customers won’t feel too exploited by providing so much information over a twitter thread.
Don’t be afraid to ask for direct contact details to deal with any matters offline.

Cross promote your channels
Are you wondering why your Facebook page has more followers than your Twitter? Maybe that is down to your Twitter followers not knowing that you are on Facebook. Encourage your followers to be active on all platforms and give them the incentive to want to see your posts across all their social media channels.
Cross promoting your channels will be great content as well as increasing engagement across all your platforms.

 

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