You’ve heard the old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” well, when used correctly, Flickr can make that saying a marketing reality for your green business or organization. Did you think Flickr was just for hobbies or sharing photos with friends? Think again. Try using Flickr for some of the following and see how it can help you market your green business.
1. Tell Your Story
The best use for Flickr by far is to use it to tell your business or organization’s story. This can be done in a number of different ways. First, Flickr is an excellent way to put a face to a name. Most people like to know where their products come from, including seeing who makes them. Add portraits and/or candid photos of your staff. Then use Flickr to show exactly how you do what you do (provided the photos don’t give away top secret information). Peace Coffee in Minneapolis used Flickr to give people a bird’s eye view into the construction of their new coffee shop. Use Flickr to show how you get a project done from start to finish.
2. Connect with Others
Flickr isn’t just a place to deposit photos. It’s one of the fastest growing social media tools being used just behind Facebook and Twitter. After you sign up for a free Flickr account (a $25 yearly upgrade gets you unlimited uploads, storage, sets and a number of other benefits), search for people you might know; join groups related to what you do or where you’re located; comment on other photos that relate to your own business. Flickr can be a great place to find current or potential customers, but it can also be a good place to find people who can help you improve upon your own product or service. Take steps to foster community around your Flickr page, and when you do, be sure to link back to some of your other sites.
3. Find Stock Photography
Flickr can be a great resource for green marketers because there are literally thousands upon thousands of images that you can access and use for free. Most only require that you credit the artist and provide a link to their page. The photos in this article were found on Flickr. See how we attribute them at the bottom of this article. Using Flickr for simple stock photography can save your business or organization big, but before you use anything, be sure and check the copyright restrictions and only use things that are licensed under the Creative Commons.
4. Share Stock Photography
On the flipside, Flickr is a great place to share stock photography, which can drive more exposure to your business. You don’t have to be a graphic designer or photographer to add images that can be used as stock. Take a creative look at everything your business does and think about how you can share that with others. It might be as simple as taking photos of your finished product, capturing the production process, or it can be entirely unrelated to your product. Maybe your office is located in a really cool location or building. Chances are, if you take a picture, any picture, someone will find it useful. When you’re ready to upload those photos, make sure you set guidelines for use for each.
5. Organize and Share Your Media
Flickr can be a great way to organize your media for later use and sharing. And guess what, it’s not just for photographs. Free users can upload up to two videos per month, while the pro version comes with HD video playback. Flickr also comes with a handy, easy to use tool called the Organizr that lets you organize your photos in batches and sets. A few tips when uploading and organizing photos in general: be sure to include the date in your filename (or set that in your upload options). Not only does it make it easier to find, it also helps you keep a chronological record and be sure to take full advantage of the opportunity to add tags and other information. It will help both you, and other users, easily find what you’re looking for.
6. Link Building
A final use for Flickr is link building, which can be really useful in terms of search engine marketing. Every photo you upload onto Flickr provides you with the opportunity to name, describe, tag and organize your photos, but it also provides you with a place to add links back to your homepage or blog site. When you include those links, the search engine tentacles will grab your photos and provide more exposure for your business.
If you’re still not seeing Flickr’s marketing potential, consider the fact that originally, people only thought of Facebook as a place to upload and share photographs with others. Obviously it has become so much more.
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