Social media is all about sharing. You share your work and (fingers crossed) your followers share your work, too. But with all of that sharing, re-posting and re-blogging of your work and others’, the original source can get lost in the shuffle. If that work is yours, that means you’re not getting the credit you deserve for its creation—what’s more, it’s possible that someone else is! Or, maybe your work has been posted on a salon’s website without your knowledge and without being credited to you.
That’s what happened to Bel Fountain-Townsend, licensed nail tech behind the Instagram account @sohotrightnail. “Someone was using my photos to advertise services for their own salon. They had taken images from my Instagram, blurred the watermark and reposted them on their account,” says Fountain-Townsend. “This isn’t OK and absolutely should not happen. The general rule is that if you’re looking at another artist’s photo—not just of nails, but anything being used as a reference—then you should give credit for the inspiration.”
So, how do you ensure that your work will be credited properly and that, in turn, you are crediting the work of others correctly? To help, we tapped experts in the field of social media and tech-savvy nail professionals to get the scoop on giving—and getting—credit where credit is due.
The first rule of thumb when it comes to giving credit is getting the OK from the original source. “I always tell people to ask for permission first,” says Kristin Peaks, social media director of Immotion Studios, a branding and advertising agency in Fort Worth, Texas. “This is simple to do via Instagram messenger or email. Then of course, you want to credit the person either below the image in a blog or in the status update. If possible, always tag the person who created the content.”
If you can’t reach the original source, the next best thing is to backlink to the original source’s website or social media page. In layman’s terms, a backlink is a hyperlink to the original source that takes viewers from your website to theirs When adding a backlink, it’s important that you link directly to the individual and not the search engine through which it was found. A backlink to the search engine does not credit the nail artist and instead of increasing their visibility—one of the many benefits of crediting—it keeps the traffic on larger platforms, such as Google and Pinterest. Additionally, you must credit to the photographer if that information is available.
It’s also important to never edit the images, says Peaks. “I see it all the time; someone will take a hairstylist’s before-and-after photo and upload it to Instagram, but use a filter,” she says. “This is falsely showing what the hair looks like and is a big no-no.” To avoid any additional no-no’s, here are best practices for crediting on the most popular social media channels:
Crediting on Instagram is as simple as tagging the original source in the description and photo, and clearly stating the source that is responsible for the image. Again, you must also tag the photographer if that information is available. A tag differs from a backlink in that a tag notifies the user of when their handle (such as Fountain-Townsend’s @sohotrightnail) has been mentioned in a message, whereas a backlink takes viewers from one site to another. It’s important to note that this feature can only be used for photos, not videos. To properly credit someone on Instagram:
- Screenshot the image you want to share.
- Include the source’s handle at the beginning of the caption.
- Tap the photo to tag the original source.
When crediting posts on Tumblr, link the nail artist’s name to the site where the image was found in the caption, copy and paste the link in the Content Source box and include a link to the nail artist’s website or social media page as the Click-Through link. If the photo was sourced from another site not associated with the nail artist, a credit to the site from which the source was pulled is also needed. This should be done regardless of whether you are uploading a picture to Tumblr or ‘reblogging’ through Tumblr’s dashboard. “Tumblr can be tricky,” warns Alayna Frankenberry, senior account executive at the Content Factory, a Pittsburgh-based public relations, social media and content marketing firm. “If you share a photo and add text to the post to credit your work, other users reblogging your post may delete your credit.” This is why the safest way to credit on Tumblr is to include the artist’s website link or handle name in the caption and set a Click-Through link on the image that will take viewers to the original source when clicked. To set a Click-Through link on Tumblr:
- Upload the photo you want to share.
- Include the source’s handle or website link in the caption.
- Input the source link in the Content Source box of the Settings menu.
- Click the icon in the lower left-hand corner of the image; input source link to set Click-Through link.
The ease in which content can be shared on Pinterest makes this platform a particularly hairy one for techs. If you’re curating content from Pinterest, always site the original source within the description of each pin. When you upload or ‘Pin’ your photo, include the artist’s handle and/or website link at the beginning of the image description. Similar to Instagram, Pinterest has a feature that allows you to tag other Pinterest users, notifying them that their content has been reposted. In order to tag users, you will need to know their Pinterest handle or email address. Here, how to credit someone on Pinterest:
- Upload the photo you want to share.
- Tag the source’s Pinterest profile; if they do not have one, include their source handle at the beginning of the description.
YouTube allows viewers to share directly from the platform onto their social media channels or embed the video into a blog post on their website. When sharing directly to social media, include the artist’s handle that corresponds to the social media channel you are sharing their work on in the message; i.e., Some nail artists have different handles for different social platforms. So, if sharing their video on Twitter, include their Twitter handle; if sharing on Instagram, include their Instagram handle and so on. If you want to embed a YouTube video into a blog post, include a backlink to the artist’s name below the video and, if creating screenshots from the video, include their handle in the caption of every image. To credit a shared YouTube video:
- If sharing the link directly from YouTube, include the source handle at the beginning of your message.
- If embedding the video into a blog post, copy the embed code.
- Paste the embed code into your post and include a backlink to the source’s YouTube page and/or website below the video.
On Facebook, there are two ways to share a post: by uploading a picture to your status update or sharing directly within the platform. If you want to upload a picture you found on the internet to your Facebook timeline, you have the option of tagging the user int he same way you would tag someone on Instagram or Pinterest (this requires that you know their Facebook handle). If they don’t have a Facebook profile, include their Twitter or Instagram handle at the beginning of your status update. If sharing a post within Facebook, the originating URL and sharer are featured on the shared message, meaning a credit in the description is not necessary unless you want to be extra cautious or thank the user for creating great content. To credit a shared post on Facebook:
- Upload the photo you want to share and include the source handle in the status update.
- Or you can share directly within Facebook.
- If doing so, include the source handle in your status update.
Protecting Your Work
They say the best defense is a good offense. With that in mind, it’s important to do everything you can to safeguard your own work before it’s posted on social media. “The best thing you can do to protect your images is to put a watermark on them before posting,” says Frankenberry, who suggest Canva, an online graphic design platform that allows users to create watermarks using the software’s design tools. “Make sure you place your watermark somewhere near the center of your image so it can’t easily be cropped out.”
But, what if you take the steps to protect your work and you discover that it’s being shared without your knowledge and without proper credit? For Cassandre Banel, a Seattle-based freelance nail artist, repeated attempts at reconciling a stolen image from her Instagram accout @palemoonseattle required her to ultimately take up the matter with Instagram itself. “In my case, the salon that was stealing my images believed everything on the Internet was public domain and blocked me after repeated attempts to credit my work, which I requested via direct message,” she says. “I went through the legal website for Instagram and was able to have them remove the posted photos,” says Banel. “If you want them to be removed, Instagram has a form that will walk you through the steps of reporting it.” To locate copyright infringement forms on most social media channels, look for the ‘Privacy’ or ‘Security’ sections of the platform’s Help Center.
When done properly, crediting benefits both parties involved. “It’s a ‘you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours’ world [on social media],” says Peak. “Influencers on social media will share your content if you share theirs. So, give credit where credit is due.”
— Kiana Martin
[Images: Kelly Vandal (@sincitynails)]