If you are a wholesaler, distributor, retail store, or even a small business owner, posting pictures, videos, or text of your products and services on social media is a great way to reach thousands of potential customers instantly. However, when using social media as a marketing tool, it’s important to follow all copyright laws and agreements to avoid any potential legal issues. When using media from other sources, you must first obtain permission or proper licensing before using it on your own social media accounts. Using stock photos, creating original content, or hiring a professional are also great ways to ensure that your content does not lead to any copyright infringement. In this blog, we will discuss the most common mistakes people make when breaking copyright laws and how to avoid them in the future.
What is Copyright Infringement?
Copyright infringement is the illegal use of someone else’s media, such as images, videos, or text, without their permission. This includes using branded content or trademarked materials without proper authorization. By breaking copyright laws, you are not only at risk of facing legal consequences, but you are also taking away from the hard work and effort of the original creator. It’s important to remember that even if something is available online, it doesn’t mean that is available for free use.
Avoid Using Editorial-Use Only Stock Photos
One of the most common mistakes people make when using social media for marketing is using stock photos for editorial use only. Editorial use only means that the image can only be used for non-commercial purposes, such as news articles or educational purposes. If you would like to use these for marketing posts, you must first receive permission from the original source. On Shutterstock, you can tell if an image is unable to be used when a pop-up checkbox appears upon download that asks you to acknowledge that the image is only for editorial use.
Create Original Content to Avoid Copyright Issues
Creating original content is always a safe bet when it comes to avoiding copyright infringement. Whether it’s taking your own pictures, creating your own videos, or writing your own text, you have full rights and control over the use of these materials. This also allows for more creativity and uniqueness in your marketing strategies. If you would like to protect your own original work from being stolen, you can register it with the U.S. Copyright Office.
Can You Use Popular Songs When Marketing on Social Media?
Another mistake that people often make when using social media for marketing is using popular songs without permission. Trending sounds on TikTok or popular background music on YouTube are tempting to use to make your content more engaging, but this can lead to major copyright issues. To avoid any legal problems, you can add free-to-use music or reach out to the artist for permission.
Reach Out to Manufacturer Before Posting Product Photos
If you are promoting products from a specific brand or company, it’s always best to reach out to them directly before posting any images or videos of their products. Saving photos from their website to use on your own social media without their permission is considered copyright infringement. Some companies may have marketing kits you can use that include approved images and captions.
Contact Boston Web Marketing for Reputation & Social Media Management for Small & Large Businesses Across All Industries
Whether you are a new business setting up your social profiles for the first time or a franchised brand with multiple locations, Boston Web Marketing can help. Our team specializes in following social media trends, creating engaging content, and building a strong overall online presence for businesses of all sizes. We make sure that all content that gets posted on your platforms or website is fully original and designed for your target audiences and goals. To learn more about our social media marketing services, call us at 857.526.0096 or visit us online to request a free audit!