How to Effectively Use Stock Photos as Tools to Up Your Social Media Game

Every marketer knows the importance of adding visuals to their social media content. After all, audiences remember 80% of what they consume visually and only 20% of what they read. This is where the effective use of stock photos come in.

Instead of hiring photographers to shoot custom photos for commercial or editorial purposes, it’s often ideal to use stock photos to save time and money. Stock photos are pre-made and can be readily downloaded for immediate use. There are stock photos that come with little to no charge. When used wisely, stock photos can potentially help companies boost their social media presence and overall profitability.

You can improve stock photos usage and overall social media campaign by bearing in mind the tips below:

Consider Your Social Media Channel

Each social media network calls for a different approach. Before anything else, ask yourself the questions:

  • What kinds of photos are used on Facebook? Instagram? Twitter?
  • Are the images altered or customized in specific ways?
  • How are the attributions in copyright addressed?

These are some of the things that you should consider before proceeding with using stock photos in your social media campaign.

Go for Free Images

Once you’re done considering the prerequisites, you’re ready to start finding photos relevant to your niche. Before heading to Google and typing in the keyword, take note of the copyright and usage rules in terms of online photo content. There are websites that give you the full rights to use their images legally. Choose a free stock photo database that has high-quality images perfect for your posts.

Optimize The Image Size

It’s ideal to download stock images in the highest resolution, but you also have to optimize the image size to meet the sizing guidelines of your chosen social media platform. Know the optimal image sizes for the social networks you’re using so that you can use the right image size each time.

It’s important to never overlook the use of the right image sizes to ensure that the photos appear just right. You don’t want your photos to appear pixelated or awkwardly stretched.

Customize Your Stock Imagery

In order to make your brand truly unique, even your images should also appear somewhat original. You don’t have to capture images from scratch. You just have to tweak your stock images and use your creativity.  Just be sure that the images you alter come with the label “modifiable”. This ensures that you’re legally allowed to customize or modify them.

The changes may include adding your brand’s mascot, logo, or colors. You can change the shape to follow the optimal size requirement, make some collage by mixing stock photos with your own images, add borders and frames, and so on. You may also add text over your images (like motivational quotes, calls-to-action, best practices, fun facts, and so on). Posting these to your social media channels will surely help in boosting your traction and engaging your audience.


Certainly, stock images can be a valuable tool to make your social media content more worthwhile. Consider the tips above and make your social media marketing stand out using invaluable stock photos.