On my bookmark toolbar, even before Facebook and Twitter, is Flickr. Maybe it’s personal preference, my line of work, or specific interests, but I love looking at pretty things. It’s my go to site for ideas and inspiration for not just artistic ventures, but essays, entrepreneurial ideas, and project concepts. Like many, I’m a visual learner & thinker, and I think pictures often can say a lot more a lot faster and have the capability to be more engaging for your audience.
So, naturally Flickr is a tool that can be used for marketing either yourself or your small business, if done correctly!
The Flickr community, filled with creative and artistic people, are very sensitive to users who abuse community guidelines and while they might not tattle-tell on you to flickr moderators, they certainly won’t take nicely to your postings or be inspired to comment or look at your website if they feel you aren’t sincere in your posts.
Here is a practical list of DOs and DON’Ts to best utilize Flickr:
1. DO: Use your website URL as your Flickr screen name/handle.
People who find your photos and enjoy what your posting will appreciate this when it they want to see what else you’re doing and find further inspiration or communicate on similar interests. Also, since each photo will be shown with the screen name in the corner, Flickr members will be more likely to visit a site when they’ve seen the URL repeatedly.
2. DO: Make your profile information about your business. Include your full name, a brief description about your business, your website’s URL, and other contact info (just don’t over do it.) Also, your “buddy icon” should be either a professional picture of yourself or your company logo.
3. DON’T: Spam.
If there’s one way to turn off the Flickr community, this is it. One of the benefits of Flickr is that it provides an excellent opportunity for people to see the personality of a business and the people behind it. Don’t abuse it by over-doing your advertising. Being genuine is the best way to gain credibility on Flickr. Subtlety is key when using Flickr to market yourself.
4. DO: Allow people to use your photos (with credit, of course).
While we all want to be protective in our allowance of our picture use, if someone asks to use your picture, let them! Just as long as they give credit where credit is due. Letting people use your photos in exchange for sharing the source of the photo is a great way to bring in traffic.
5. DO: Be an active member of the Flickr community.
Gain exposure by:
- commenting on others’ Flickr photos. People appreciate when others enjoy their work, so let them know what you think. Just keep it positive, (or, if you’re into photography and you simply have to, keep criticism constructive).
- adding photos to your Favorites. If you like a picture and want to find it again later, add it to your Favorites by pressing the star above the photo. When you do this, the user receives a notification that you favorited their photo, which is always flattering.
- creating Galleries: Galleries are a way to curate up to 18 photos from your fellow members centered around a central idea or theme. For examples of galleries click here.
- joining Groups. Joining Groups relevant to your business and adding your photos to the group helps you gain exposure and see what like-minded individuals are posting. You can find a group for almost anything.
People appreciate being appreciated and will likely reciprocate.To view Part 2, click here.