Q: WHERE CAN I GET IMAGES FROM TO USE ON MY WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA? DO I NEED TO ASK PERMISSION?
A: There are many outlets which offer imagery (and video) for commercial use. Taking an image from another source without permission, or an image you’ve found on Google Images, is a breach of copyright and could land you in trouble or with a bill from the rights owners. Stock photography sites allow you to pay the image owner for the use of an image – sites like istock, Shutterstock and Getty, where the images are royalty-free once you have paid for your image or video. If you see an image you love and have to have, you can use reverse image searching to find the source a nd get permission or buy if it is not available for free.
There are also free stock image sites. A quick Google search will bring up a few, but my favourite is Unsplash. Here, images are donated to the world by their photographers. You are asked to credit or say thanks to the photographer if you would like, but it isn’t mandatory.
For product or device images, use your sales representatives. Ask them for up-todate imagery – you will have permission to use this as a customer.
As a web developer and marketer in aesthetics, we see a lot of the same stock photography used by clinics on their websites and social platforms. If you licence a photo or use a free image under Creative Commons, you are allowed to edit them. Change the colours, add filters or textures to your stock imagery to make it feel more like your brand than a generic image.
Of course, taking your own photography regularly for your website and social media will make it unique and most in-keeping with your brand. Is it time you invested?
Q: WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT ON INSTAGRAM AND FACEBOOK – LIKES, COMMENTS OR FOLLOWS?
A: A like is fleeting and takes less than a second to leave but is a better indicator than nothing.
A comment, especially with words or a follow-up question, beats a like in terms of engagement. Encourage those that find your posts to leave a comment by including a “call to action” in the caption. If you ask a question, or ask for questions, you are more likely to get comments. Interaction generates reach on social media.
A follow, of course, shows that someone likes your post(s) and stories enough to want to keep up with them. A great, informative bio can help convert more profile visitors to followers.
I also like saves and shares as a metric, especially on Instagram. A share tells us that this post had a specific piece of relevance or value to a person’s life with such impact that they wanted to share it with their own network. A save says that this post is important enough to go back to in the future. Think about tracking these, too.
What’s important to me for most of my clients, however, is clicks to the website, phone calls, email newsletter sign-ups, contact form submissions and ultimately, patients in chairs. Building a bigger brand on social media is awesome, but you need to see it as one tool to fill your clinic’s books rather than devote too much angst to it when your latest post doesn’t get as many likes.
Alex Bugg works for Web Marketing Clinic, a family-run digital agency, which specialises in medical aesthetics. They build websites and deliver award-winning marketing campaigns for doctors, nurses, dentists, distributors and brands.
Contact her: alex@ webmarketingclinic.co.uk or follow her on Instagram: @webmarketingclinic