What is Flickr and how can it be used to benefit you?
by UFSocial contributor Sydney Vandroff
Let’s pretend you are back in high school and tonight is the big night of your first date with your high school crush. A nervous sixteen-year-old boy walks up the steps and rings the doorbell with a shaky hand. Your dad answers the door with his chest puffed out and your mom immediately runs in to “save” your date from the all so intimidating father figure. As you finish getting ready, your mom invites him to have a seat and then it happens.
She pulls out the photo album with those classic embarrassing baby pictures of you running around naked with a bucket on your head and pudding all over your face.
Cue panic mode.
Now, whether this has happened to you or not, we can all agree that this seems more like a scene out of a 90’s rom-com than something would happen in the modern world of 2017. This is where Flickr can help.
Flickr, founded in 2004, is a photo hosting site that combines the art of picture taking with social media. The company has two main goals for its consumers; “to help people make their photos available to the people who matter to them” and “to enable new ways of organizing photos and video.”
Among the two million groups, over thirteen billion photos have been amassed. The typical user is usually female, has a college or graduate education, and visits the site while at work, with a slightly smaller percentage at home. But overall, Flickr wants to make the process of switching your memories to a digital format easier and more accessible to all types of users.
Once signing up for a free account through flickr.com, which is synced with Yahoo! accounts since being purchased by the company in 2005, users can upload their photos and videos to albums to their page, with added tags or geotags if desired. With a simplistic interface, not only uploading, but sharing images is done in just a matter of clicks:
In addition to sharing albums on other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter, account owners can also give permission to friends and family to organize the photos, add comments and tags.
Providing your own content is only one aspect of the site, the other being the “Explore” feature. Flickr users can search through genres, topics, and trending images to look through a plethora of content offered by other users, including famous names and brands.
While Flickr certainly is a great place for amateur photogs and family picture obsessed moms, businesses can also take advantage of the site for marketing and advertising purposes.
Advertising executive, Emily Vandroff, out of Atlanta, Georgia, recognizes the platform’s advantages in terms of an increased social media presence. She admits that currently, “I believe it is dismissed as a viable social sharing and engagement method”, but sees use in her company for “stock photography for internal presentations.”
Vandroff suggests companies should use the site, adding, “a brand could post and share pictures from promotional events using Flickr or share customer pictures with their community.” Finally, her overall view of the channel is that, “it is extremely useful in business for cost-effective stock photography.”
The cornerstone of social media is the ability for platforms to be webbed together to provide a comprehensive experience for consumers. Flickr allows for this intermingling to happen as it easily integrates with content management systems (CMS) such as Word Press or Drupal or shared on popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
In terms of monitoring performance on Flickr, free accounts can simply look at the bottom of a particular photo to see the total number of views, comments, or favorites. But, in order to truly gage how effective your brand is being on the site, the upgrade to Flickr Pro would need to be purchased, at a price of $49.99 per year.
With the upgrade comes the “Stats” feature that is a built-in analytics tool that can track the source of page views, daily and all time data, and an accumulative look at your lifetime activity. This data can be crucial in not only monitoring how much reach your content has, but is essential when trying to improve.
If you know which sites and what platforms are generating the most activity, you can better target your marketing efforts. In addition to the insightful “Stats” tool, the pro account comes with multiple other add-ons including ad free browsing and sharing, the “Auto-Uploadr” tool, a discount on products bought through Flickr, and a 20% discount on Adobe Photoshop programs.
For any business, the $50 a month price tag is a small amount to pay when considering the benefits to be attained from the pro service.
|· Image quality|
· Collaborative quality
· Flickr tools
· Ex: Organizer and Stats
· Channel integration
· Option for professional account upgrade
· Photo optimization
· Available in real-time
· Amount of storage
|· Brand awareness|
· Social media reach
· Current audience demographics
· Competition of other platforms
· Requires strategy for search optimization
· Need upgrade to avoid advertisements
Graco, a baby product brand, is an example of a company that has utilized Flickr to their advantage when marketing their merchandise. Product reviews and real customer testimonials can be crucial to profitability, so Graco used the Flickr to facilitate buzz.
A real community was cultivated through real moms sharing their experiences and tips through uploads of images and corresponding commentary. Along with their blog, the brand was successful in using a combination of media platforms that other brands should use as a reference.
There are not nearly as many companies on Flickr than on other prominent sites, which is a shame as it provides a real opportunity for growth. Not only can they use it for their own content, there is also the possibility of being able to market through advertisements that are shown for non-premium account users.
Our world has entered an age of social media and technology and businesses will continue to be faced with options of how they can use various platforms for their benefit. While Flickr may not be the first to come to people’s minds when they think of social media, and especially photo sharing, marketing on the site should not be overlooked. Remember, don’t click past Flickr!