When you think about stock photos, you might imagine generic, boring stock images of people smiling while shaking hands in a conference room, or a woman laughing while eating a salad. That's the stereotype, right? They range from the boring to the bizarre.
With that background, no wonder some people aren't using stock photos in their social media strategy.
But stock photos are so much more than boring placeholders, they're crucial for keeping your content top of mind and getting people to stop their scrolling and digest your message.
People are visual creatures, and we're way more likely to remember what we see than what we hear. You're only likely to remember about 10% of something you read after three days, but you'll remember 65% of the visual content you saw (source).
So having a good visual is a must, but it's not like most of us have the budget or time to go out and take our own photos. I don't know about you, but I don't keep a professional grade photo studio in my spare room or office.
So your best bet is definitely to go with stock photos, but the key is finding sites with great-looking, authentic, not-cheesy images that support your brand.
Here's our list of the web's best stock photo options that will make your social posts look great.
- Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/
- Unsplash – https://unsplash.com/
- Death to Stock Photo – http://deathtothestockphoto.com/
- Gratisography – https://gratisography.com/
- Stocksnap – https://stocksnap.io/
- Magdeleine – https://magdeleine.co/browse/
- Pikwizard – https://pikwizard.com/
- Picjumbo – http://picjumbo.com/
- Morguefile – https://morguefile.com/
- Foodies Feed – https://www.foodiesfeed.com/
- Reshot – https://www.reshot.com/
- Stokpic – https://stokpic.com/
- Pexels – https://www.pexels.com/
- Life of Pix – https://www.lifeofpix.com/
- Free Range Stock – https://freerangestock.com/
- Picography – https://picography.co/
- Vintage Stock Photos – https://vintagestockphotos.com/
- Foca – https://focastock.com/
- Focus Fitness – https://www.focusfitness.net/stock-photos/
- Free Stocks – https://freestocks.org/
- Nappy – https://www.nappy.co/
- Startup Stock Photos – https://startupstockphotos.com
- Freely Photos – https://beta.freelyphotos.com/
- Pic Spree – https://picspree.com/en
- Designers Pics – http://www.designerspics.com/
- Styled Stock – https://styledstock.co/
- Negative Space – https://negativespace.co/
- Kaboompics – https://kaboompics.com/
- LibreShot – https://libreshot.com/
- Fancy Crave – https://fancycrave.com/
- SplitShire – https://www.splitshire.com/
- Jay Mantri – https://jaymantri.com/
- ISO Republic – https://isorepublic.com/
- New Old Stock – https://nos.twnsnd.co/
- Travel Coffee Book – https://travelcoffeebook.com/
- Foter – https://foter.com/
- RGB Stock – https://www.rgbstock.com/
- Free For Commercial Use – https://freeforcommercialuse.net/
- Stockvault – https://www.stockvault.net/
- Albumarium – http://albumarium.com/
- Good Free Photos – https://www.goodfreephotos.com/
- Free Nature Stock – https://freenaturestock.com/
- Burst –https://burst.shopify.com/
- Realistic Shots – https://realisticshots.com/
- Dreamstime – https://www.dreamstime.com/free-photos
- Rawpixel – https://www.rawpixel.com/free-images
Have a free (non-cheesy) stock photo site to add? Drop it in the comments below!
Andréa Jones is a social media strategist who works with lifestyle brands to build their online presence through targeted social media and content marketing solutions. She's also the founder of SavvySocialSchool.com – a membership community with everything you need to achieve visibility, growth, and engagement on social media.