In the latest of our blogs on using social media networks to transform your business online, we analyse photo-sharing behemoth Flickr and how best to take advantage of its 120 million users worldwide. While it shares some similarities with other platforms like Instagram, there are several significant differences to bear in mind when trying to use Flickr for business.
What is Flickr?
At its core, Flickr is a photo-archiving and sharing service – making it especially useful for photographers looking to store their work. Considering a free account gets a gigantic terabyte of storage space, there’s no reason to limit the scope of your presence. To put it in perspective, Google offers a similar service but charges around £50 a month for it. Although Instagram is the go-to for photo-sharing currently, Flickr’s app for mobile has drawn praise and its user-base may grow as a result.
One of Flickr’s major strengths is its brilliant sharing facility that lets you post to Facebook, Twitter and a host of other platforms – meaning you only need to post something once and it will appear across your other social media profiles. It can also cross-post to WordPress and other content management systems, meaning you can post to your dedicated blog or site from Flickr too.
Flickr is separated into groups, each with its own theme and content. Like the subreddits of Reddit, this means your content can be targeted to reach people with an assumed interest in your product or service. High quality, unique images are the most effective posts on Flickr – studies have shown users will engage more with your business this way. The fact that you can send and receive direct messages from users means engagement is high on Flickr in any case, for good or ill. Just like Reddit, Medium, and YouTube, authenticity is key to positive results on this platform. There’s no need to hide the fact you’re representing a business. Your challenge is to tell your story through great images. A brilliant post will not go unnoticed, since you can add tags to optimise search engine results. People can search for terms surrounding your business and be presented with your Flickr images, which in turn can be used to direct new customers to your dedicated site.
The kinds of posts that work well for businesses include profiles of your employees (if they’re willing, of course). According to small business expert Becky McCray, you should, “Show off your people. Profile… their experience and knowledge”, by adding text to your photos. This will generate goodwill towards your business because you’re no longer a faceless conglomerate, you’re a friend.
Although there are many social benefits to using Flickr, there is also a practical incentive. If your business is in the habit of producing a lot of images, using Flickr as cloud storage is cost-effective. The paid subscription service offers unlimited storage, and you can define which images are made public and which are kept out of view. Another bonus is that the network is a profoundly useful source of stock photography for blogs and your site, since many photographers post to Flickr and label their photos as acceptable for commercial re-use.