Flickr has millions of very active users and is in the top 15 social networking/media websites!
How does Flickr work?
A Flickr account is free. You’ll need a Yahoo ID to sign up. Once you’ve joined, adding photos to Flickr is done through a simple upload system.
The typical experience for most users of Flickr would involve uploading a photo, adding the photo to a personal photo album (a “set”, as Flickr calls them), and then sharing your photos.
That said, by being a smart and active contributor to the Flickr community, your business (web site) can get indirect marketing exposure via Flickr. The MORE people that see your product the more solid your BRANDING is.
Here are a lot of ideas and options to use Flickr to your advantage:
1.) Use your web site address as your Flickr screen name. Your screen name will be attached to every photo you upload, every message you post in a Group discussion — everything you do on Flickr. Let your screen name advertise your web site URL.
2.) Use your Flickr profile to advertise your company, products, services, etc. In your profile, Flickr asks you to describe yourself and lets you give your web site name and address. Use this to describe who you are and what your business does, but keep the sales pitch to a minimum. Make it informational instead. Make your company logo your Flickr icon.
3.) Upload quality photos of your products/services, and things related to your business.
4.) Write appropriate text for each photo, but avoid the hard sell. You can give a name and write a description for each photo you upload. You should describe the photo accurately — i.e., “This is a bottle of our newest release, 2005 Chardonnay….” — but avoid any hard sell copy. Remember to keep the focus on the photography, not the sales pitch. You can also add “tags” to describe each photo. If you rely on local traffic, the tags should include the city names where you do business (but don’t overdo it).
5.) Find and join appropriate groups and share your photos in those groups. There are groups on Flickr for just about anything you can imagine. Be sure to find and join any groups related to your location — search on your city name, nearby city names, and your state. When appropriate, posting photos and joining discussions in those groups will allow you to reach a local audience. Read carefully the rules of each group for posting photos. There are usually limits.
6.) Link prominently from your web site to your Flickr photostream. There are three reasons for this: First, because people visiting your web site are likely to be interested in your photos, too. Who doesn’t appreciate good pictures? Second, some of your visitors are probably already Flickr users, and they might welcome to the chance to add you to their “contact list.” (Return the favor if they do!) The third reason is that search engine crawlers should follow a prominent link from your web site to your Flickr photos, and when that happens, you have more potential matches for search engine users. (Yes, Flickr photo pages are crawled by Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com, too.)
7.) Take part in the Flickr community. By this, I mean the following:
• Comment on other photos you like, whether they’re related to your business or not.
• Add great photos to your “Favorites” list.
• Take part in discussions in your groups (but avoid the hard-sell tactics).
Remember that every time you do one of these things, your screen name will show — with your comment, with your discussion posts, etc. And if your screen name is your URL, that’s free advertising.
Be smart and creative about this. If you find a photo from another user in your area of interest, and that photo is getting a lot of views and comments, add your own comment to get your screen name in front of a lot of eyeballs. (Just make sure it’s a legitimate comment on the photo, and as always, don’t comment to promote your business.
8.) Providing Stock Photography- If your online marketing goals include establishing your company as a subject matter expert, building brand recognition, and establishing relationships and goodwill, then providing stock photography via Flickr is a great strategy. Make sure you alter your permissions to allow others to view and use your photos. Each time your picture is used in a blog they are supposed to link back! Creating very valuable back links for search engines and the possibility of those blog readers clicking on that picture to see more of your items! Of course there are always limits and risks to this, especially if you sell photography you risk being copied. So this should be thought through carefully before doing.
9.) Load pictures on Flickr and push them out to a Facebook page. When photos are only published on Facebook only subscribers of Facebook can search for them. Pictures posted on Flickr allows anyone on the Web to find them.
10.) Build your Flickr contacts by inviting your friends to join Flickr, and also by networking with other Flickr users you meet online through your groups and so on. You will see your contacts’ new photos on your Flickr homepage and, more importantly, they will see yours too!
1. There’s no need to stuff linked keywords into your photo descriptions, into the comments you leave on other’s photos, etc.
2. There’s no need to plaster your URL all over the photos you upload.
3. There’s no need to post advertising messages in discussion groups.
If you try these, all you’ll do is turn-off the Flickr community … when the whole point is turn them on.
FINAL NOTE: Like all social networking sites it takes time to grow and network. It is important to not do the hard sell, and blatantly self promote. We have some interesting workshops to come to help us all out
Have fun, and enjoy learning about each other through photo sharing!!
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