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Social Media Snapshot: Flickr Brand Building


For the better part of 2009, Twitter and Facebook have been stealing the spotlight when it comes to discussions regarding social media “movers and shakers”. This is understandable as both have truly stepped on the gas in terms of increasing user base and improving functionality both in-house and externally through third party application development. Furthermore, both companies continue to dedicate significant time and research towards making their services useful for businesses, as we see new organizations join these networks daily and each with unique goals and strategies for doing so.

Flickr: Building Your Corporate Brand Identity

However, Flickr is a photo and video sharing social media channel that is also experiencing rapid growth and integration within many avenues of online business development and marketing, currently hosting more than 4 billion images, up from 3billion in November of 2008. With that said, Flickr should be researched and considered for use by many
entrepreneurs as it too plays a large role within your company’s potential to benefit via social media outlets.

While there are a multitude of both personal and professional reasons to utilize Flickr, business owners should focus on implementing this platform to increase their level of personal interaction with current clients, build further awareness of their corporate brand, and perform strategic outreach campaigns to potential interested parties that would otherwise be unaware of their products or services.

Below are some simple starting points that will hopefully start your creative juices flowing as to how you can tailor the use of Flickr to your own company’s needs and strategies.

Flickr Facts for You & Your Company

• Flickr is an online web service and social community for sharing photos and video. As of October 2009, it claims to host more than 4 billion images, up from 3 billion in November of 2008.

• Flickr allows for user interaction, commenting, categorizing of albums, and building of contact lists (like followers or friends, if you will).

• Flickr allows users to sign up for a Pro-Account, which provides unlimited uploading of pictures and videos for $25/year.

• Flickr Groups are used to enhance social sharing based on location, events, affinity groups, etc. This is a large asset for businesses to further reach potential clients and customers based on interests.

• Within Flickr, users can create online Photo Contests to increase user interaction and visibility to the channel.

• Flickr provides a very resourceful analytics program that allows you to track your photo traffic and views by very detailed metrics.

• Ties in very well with other social media channels to cross update and draw traffic back to the channel.

• Very effective tagging, batching, editing and grouping functionality with Organizr.

How Can You & Your Company Utilize Flickr?

• Share all photos and videos from both in-house and user submitted material to act as a live-time online photo album.

• Utilize the highly effective keyword tagging features to get your company’s material visible to SEO searches, as well as internal searches from Flickr users.

• Join many Flickr affinity groups to gather interest from those who may not be familiar with your company’s products, services, location or values.

• Photo contests and special promotions can be designed and executed with Flickr as the vehicle used to facilitate these activities.

• Connect Flickr to current website, Facebook Fan Page, corporate blog, etc. to smoothly cross post content among all of of your company’s online assets.

• Flickr has great API and Widget based functionality that allows you and your technical staff to utilize Flickr functionality within your current online assets, displaying your public Flickr content in ways that work best for your brand, purpose or intended delivery to your audience.

• Learn more about your community and the values, activities, events and experiences your users or fellow businesses take part in.

A very important thing to keep in mind regarding your use of Flickr for business is this – do NOT oversell. This is highly frowned upon by the Flickr team and, more often than not, those companies who practice this have their account deleted from the site altogether. Flickr has constructed a very helpful, light-hearted and colloquial set of guidelines that will ensure you are fully aware of what the Do’s & Don’ts are for using this service.

Entrepreneurs must understand that Flickr is not a billboard, rather it is an online photo sharing community, a virtual scrapbook if you will, for you to further connect with those who you wish to gain a more robust idea of who you are and what you value as a business.

So, take take a tour and explore the various features and uploading tools available. Search for groups that would be of interest to you or your market. Ask questions and share your thoughts here by commenting below. As you research its versatility and role within the world of social media, it could spark creative and helpful thoughts as to how Flickr can be useful to your company and overall brand identity.

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  • Phaoloo

    This is the first time I know more about Flickr. I thought it is only for storing images. Helpful information!

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Thanks Guy for writing this article!
      Yes Flickr is much more than a photo sharing site. Regards.

    • Guy Mitrano

      Glad you found this helpful, Phaoloo. If you have a few photos to share you can sign up for a free account (with space limitations), and give it a try to see how you like it.

      No problem, thanks for the kind words, Ben.

  • tony ramirez

    Wow, I didn’t realized how powerful of a tool Flickr can be.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      So glad that you learned so much :)

  • Shirley

    Great explanation on the branding benefits of Flickr. Very interesting and valuable post :).

    All those online social networks out there have a way you can build a brand with, we all just have to find out one way or the other by learning by ourselves or by learning from someone like you have taught us in this post.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Ya Guy did a great job explaining the values of Flickr. I know, there are so many social networks out there and they could all benefit us!

    • Guy Mitrano

      Thank you for the comment, Shirley, much appreciated.

      You have hit the nail on the head when noting that, “we all just have to find out one way or the other by learning…”. We are all constantly searching for what will work for our specific market, brand, service/product, etc., however we have to stay aware of the end goal and not be clouded by thinking every single social media outlet is the “right one” for us. Flickr may work for some and be off target for others. However it never hurts to learn more about the big players out there in the social media arena so we spend our time and money efficiently in our quest to grow and enhance our visibility.

      Thanks again!

  • Clinton Skakun

    Filckr’s pretty cool. Photo blogging really has its place. If you attend seminars and hang out lots take lots of photos and post it on your flickr, makes for getting the word out.

    Cheers
    Clinton Skakun

    • Guy Mitrano

      Great point, Clinton. Photos can further illustrate the events, adventures, lifestyle and characteristics that make up our companies, our co-workers and our clients/communities. Great stuff for painting a better picture of who we are.

  • http://freebloghelp.com Gabe | freebloghelp.com

    Flickr is awesome! It’s just that many folks don’t know how much they can actually do there.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Yeah it is! I’m going to start using it more hopefully.

    • Guy Mitrano

      Very true, Gabe. Do you have a Flickr account or have a few favorites you explore from time to time? Glad you see the great opportunities that exist with this particular tool!

      • http://freebloghelp.com Gabe | freebloghelp.com

        I actually don’t use my Flickr account (there’s only so much time, you know). But I’m very familiar with what it can do and am always amazed at what some people accomplish with it.

        • Guy Mitrano

          Thanks for the reply, Gabe. If you ever get it going, let me know, I’d love to check it out.

          All the best!

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  • Sarge | BeginnerBlogger.com

    I didn’t even know Flickr had a video service!

    Flickr is something I haven’t dived into yet. I have a ton of images I’d like to share but along with all my images are a lot of crappy ones. I just need to sort them out then start posting the ones I’d like to share.

    I think it’s important to bring a bit of personality to your business or blog and using photos and sharing with Flickr is a great way to go about it :)

    Hosting an image contest would be a great idea not only to get the community involved but also get more great images out there under creative commons that other people can use. An idea for the future ;)

    Sarge | BeginnerBlogger

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Same for me, I also need to get my photos organized more and use Flickr to my benefit. It definitely would add some personality to my blog. Sounds like a good idea, an image contest.
      Best of luck ;)

    • Guy Mitrano

      Hey Sarge :D,

      Yes, their video upload/tagging/display functions are great for further interaction and engagement with your clients/community.

      Flickr’s Organizr is a great tool to allow you to sort through those photos you want to use or may wish to remove and build a nice little collection that you can divide into separate albums, submit to different groups, etc.

      Thank you very much for bringing up the Creative Commons point. If you would like to see some examples of photo contests or successful brands that have added that personalty to their brands through Flickr, shoot me an email.

      All the best!

  • http://internetjobscams.blogspot.com chandan

    Hi young bro I have come to your blog after reading your interview on famousblogger club. Your blog is really very nice. I wish you all the best.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Thanks so much, I really appreciate it!

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  • http://ileane.wordpress.com ileane

    Ben,
    Good to see you have joined Blog Engage and decided to submit this article. It’s true that Flickr is a great service. I have some images posted there but I didn’t post any videos yet. I’ll give it a try and let you know how I make out.

    I’m also glad that Sarge from @beginnerblogger mentioned the creative commons section. I need to get some images for my next blog post.

    Thanks for the post.
    @Ileane
    .-= ileane´s last blog post: Blog Engage Activity for Ms. Ileane Speaks in November =-.

    • http://ben-lang.com Ben Lang

      Hi,
      Thanks for coming from Blog Engage, looks like its really helping me out. By the way this was a guest post by Guy Mitrano so he’s the one to be thanked.
      Regards.

  • http://ileane.wordpress.com ileane

    Ben, I noticed Guy’s bio at the top after I sent the comment. Thanks Guy.

    Guy, do you have a Twitter account? I didn’t see a link. What about your Flickr account link too.
    .-= ileane´s last blog post: Blog Engage Activity for Ms. Ileane Speaks in November =-.

    • Guy Mitrano

      First, thanks again for the kind words Ben.

      Thank you very much, Ileane, for the comment and I am glad you found the post helpful.

      My twitter is @GuyBBY and my company’s is @anchored_in_VT

      Our Flickr album can be found here, http://www.flickr.com/photos/burlingtonboatyard/

      Hopefully you can see how we are using this to connect further with our users, customers and community. If you have any specific questions please feel free to email me and we can chat. I also can share with you the links of some of my consulting clients’ Flickr accounts that I have set up, managed and run different promos/contests through.

      I am going to make it a point to check out Blog Engage further, and would like to be in touch sometime. Shoot me an email with some contact info.

      Thanks again, Ileane!

  • http://nauticalsites.blogspot.com/ Andrew

    Thanks Guy! I hadn’t really given Flickr must thought until I came across this article.

    And believe it or not, I had been trying to come up with ideas to get customers of my online stores to share pictures of their personalized products.

    I have received little response in asking customers to email me photos. How old school of me!

    I’m definitely going to try working with Flickr!
    .-= Andrew´s last blog post: Good Business =-.

    • Guy Mitrano

      Hi Andrew,

      Thank you for replying, I truly appreciate it.

      Sounds like your line of business (products that can be personalized) is a great avenue for utilizing Flickr to garner user generated content, as well as possibly host some promotional contests in which current clients and/or potential ones can benefit by receiving discounts, etc. There is some great potential there to work creatively to drive sales, as well as general branding growth.

      I would be more than happy to discuss further, feel free to email me (guy@burlingtonboatyard.com) or get at me on twitter (@GuyBBY) and we’ll chat.

      All the best,

      Guy

  • Jawaad Ahmad Khan

    Hmmm…I think I have to get back into flickr. I’ve used it for a while to showcase my button-making business (https://jawaadahmadkhan.com/buttons), but I guess it has a lot more possibilities and reach tied with it (other than just showcasing products).
    .-= Jawaad Ahmad Khan´s last blog post: V2 – “Changes” =-.

    • Guy Mitrano

      Jawaad,

      I think you’re right, and hopefully this article as well as just getting in there and “messing around” with the features Flickr provides can help you solidify a set goal or strategy that you want to focus on with this social media network.

      You may wish to search the Flickr groups or look around at some other outfits within your market that you know of to see how they may be using photo sharing sites to their advantage with their custom made crafts, products, etc. and then put your own creative twist on it.

      Feel free to reach out if I can be of any help.

      Thanks,

      Guy

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  • Mike

    Thank for informing us in this new innovation on the web. It will make us fill organize in uploading our file especially our photos. Hope to visit you again, thanks…

  • http://www.rubyrynne.biz Ruby Rynne

    Several nuggets that I’ll use when formulating my next social media management strategy. Thanks!