Free Photos for Community Managers Pt. 2

By Jill Mailander     |     February 06, 2013

Last week Ben Bowes wrote about sources for Free Photos for Community Managers. This week I’m following up with how to tap your community for photos. They may already be doing all the work for you, all you have to do is ask!


This is one of the greatest sites to tap into for photos. By searching #brandname you’ll find all the photos that have your products tagged. The great thing about searching Statigram this way is that it’ll give you a list of hashtag search results that are similar to your keyword and may help you think of other relevant keywords to find the perfect photo. Once you’ve located the photo that you want to use, reach out to the fan via commenting on their photo.


Flickr is one of the other top sites for finding content. Search #brandname to find photos that have been tagged with that specific keyword. Just like Statigram, you can reach out to the photographer via commenting. Flickr also has a search option to pull up creative common’s images.


Your community already likes your page and most likely owns your product. There are several ways to aggregate photos with Facebook.

  • Watch the wall to see if people are uploading pictures. When you see a photo you like, comment and ask your fan if you can use their picture in future posts. I like to grab the photo right then and there and name the file with the fan’s name. Just a suggestion though. Once they give you permission to use their photo, be sure to call out their name when you re-post. Your fan will love their claim to fame for the day and be more likely to share that photo.
  • Create a fan album if you have a lot of fan photos. Fans love it when brands show them the love. This will also remind other fans to upload image.
  • Run a Facebook UGC contest. Although it will cost a certain amount of money to run the contest, it’s worth it for the library of User Generated Content.
  • Ask your community in a Facebook post to share their pictures with you for future posts. Whether they end up giving you images or not, it never hurts to ask! A lot of people don’t know that you want to use their images. All it takes is a reminder and they’ll love to help you out.


Twitter is another place that fans will often share their images of your product. Many images link to Instagram but it’s a great way to keep your eye out for relevant content that may not be hashtagged on Instagram. Just like Facebook, ask your fans right then and there if you can use their image for future posts/tweets/etc.


Pinterest allows profiles to set up boards where other people outside of the community manager can pin images. Create a UGC board where people can upload and pin their own images. It would be best to have a rules pin on your board that states: all content has to be original (not re-pinned from other sites), by pinning images to the board the fan is giving the brand permission to use that content in other social media initiatives, and that the image must contain the product. This will take some moderating on your part as people love to not read the rules and just pin like wildfire.

About Jill Mailander

Jill is an Account Manager at Room 214. Besides all things social, her main expertise lies in Community Management and Digital Strategy. She has worked with many social communities including: Mrs. Fields Cookies, Crock-Pot® Slow Cookers, Mr. Coffee® Brewers, FoodSaver® Vacuum Sealers and Aer1® Systems. Jill's work with these communities has lead to a vast increase in fan growth, engagement, loyalty, and brand awareness. Other clients that she has worked as a social strategist for include Horizon Organic Milk, Udi's Gluten Free Bread, and WD-40. Jill is constantly working to stay ahead of the curve on what the next big thing will be and loves trend spotting. In Jill's spare time she loves snowboarding, drinking red wine with the ones she loves, sleeping for abnormal amounts of time, and spoiling her enormous cat (seriously, he's 25 lbs). Connect with Jill on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, or follow her on Twitter @jillmailander.

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