A Picture is worth a thousand words | Flickr for Website Marketing
In our current economic climate, small businesses have to work harder and smarter on the web to compete against King Kong Corporation, with a seemingly endless marketing budget. It also means that small business will have to be more creative and use many of the marketing opportunities the big guys have overlooked. And carve our marketing opportunities where none exist.
Let’s examine one opportunity few businesses are using: Flickr.
Flickr is a social media website owned by Yahoo which allows you to upload and share your pictures with prospects, registered Flickr users as well as the general internet audience. The main attraction of Flickr is its focus on the social sharing of images with their community of the interested viewers. Flickr’s social networking foundation, solid user base and its explosive growth has transformed it into a practical platform for marketing your business, organization or website. Last year one blogger Barry Schwartz started writing about how Flickr can be used as a traffic building tool for your website or online business.
5 Ways to Market with Flickr
Your Website address should be used as your Flickr screen name. Your screen name is used for everything you do on Flickr — it will be associated with every photo you upload and every comment you post in a Flickr group. Use your screen name to market, brand, advertise your website’s address.
Upload pictures of your products, events, services, and things related to your organization or business. A Hair Salon, for example, would upload photos of hair styles, makeovers and satisfied customers. A volunteer organization would upload photos of fundraising events, community service projects, and even supporters to thank them for their work. An event coordinator would upload pictures of events they’ve worked — their staff, the decorations, the overall look and feel, etc. A woodworker would upload photos of items you’ve made, your workshop, etc.
Use detailed descriptions of your photos. When you upload photos in Flickr, you can give a name and write a description for each image. Each description should be accurate — i.e., “This is a great example of how we layer coloring in auburn hair” —avoid the temptation to use hard sell words. It’s important to keep the focus on the photography, not on your sales pitch. Flickr also allows you to add “tags” to categorize each photo, tags should include things like your company name and web site address. Finally, if you rely mainly on local traffic, your tags should include the city names where you do business.
Use your profile to market your company, organization, products, services, events, etc. When creating your profile, Flickr asks you to describe your company and lets you give your website’s address. Use this opportunity to describe who you are, your main area of focus and what your business or organiz does — keep the sales pitch to a minimum. The site also allows you to upload a “Buddy Icon” — make this your company logo. One great feature is that Flickr does not force you to give your profile a gender, marital status or other details that humanize the profile.
Here’s what the johnwebster.name profile looks like.
Prominently link from your website to your Flickr photostream. The main reason for this is that search engine crawlers should follow a prominent link from your web site to your Flickr photostream, when that happens, you have more potential hits for search engine users. (Yes, Flickr photo pages are crawled by Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask.com, too.)
Also, because people visiting your site are likely to be interested in your pictures, too. Plus, it’s very likely that some of your visitors are already Flickr users, and they may want to add your company or organization to their “contact list.”
If used properly, Flickr can be an awesome tool for marketing and advertising your small business or organization. Your focus is to be an active and contributing member, and avoid using hard-sell tactics in your photos, comments, discussions, etc.