Sharing is a wonderful thing, and is what fuels social media marketing. But an incident that happened last night reminded me of a basic, and very reasonable, worry. The nutshell of what happened is that a local business shared a photo of their unique architecture. It was quite striking.
One of the things I like to do for local businesses is to share items from their newsfeed in order to offer support. And that was exactly what I did.
About a half hour later I had a message come through from the photographer. She was delighted I liked the photo, but wanted to make it clear that it was copyrighted.
We had a very nice exchange, and she relaxed once she knew why I was sharing it.
A couple of realizations came from this.
One is that neither businesses, nor individuals, have quite come to terms with the fact that business has come to Facebook. It is almost as natural as breathing to share photos with a friend, and then those friends share it again. But in everyone's mind, that is just amongst friends.
With businesses the game changes. Sharing is still the name of the game - activity being a necessity on a business page, but it is no longer just amongst friends.
The only suggestion I have for this is based on material being shared to a business owner/staff's personal page. If that happens I would recommend asking permission before it is shared.
However, items are usually added to business page (unless the privacy settings are set to keep items from being added to the Timeline). Once that happens there is little to be done. And with the reduced size of the image there is little chance of a high quality download. So, if the photograph is copyrighted there is little chance of someone actually being able to "steal" a good copy.
The other realization was that I personally needed to look into safeguards. This is particularly true as I put the final touches on the virtual gallery, Creative Pulse. There is going to be Facebook publicity for the site, and I wanted to make sure I had protected the artists' material to the best of my ability.
The first things I learned is that most of the Facebook/photo tips no longer seem valid. After I had read several articles I went back to Facebook to test their accuracy.
The common belief is that you can go to "Photos" and change the "public" settings on photos. You can't.
The other belief is that only "Friends" can download your photos. I tested this with a couple of business sites that I had not "liked," and a couple of random people who were not "friends."
The "download" showed up on all of their photos and albums.
So far the simplest means of protecting your photographs and images is to reduce their size before loading them to Facebook.
Though, for professional photographs, there are means of adding your name or watermark.
As for Creative Pulse I have turned off the "copy" ability on the website, and will make sure that publicity images are reduced.
Cathy Mosley brings her 26 years of storytelling and writing experience to the realm of Social Media. To help small businesses.