Photos are a critical promotion tool for your small business, and visuals remain a top trend in tourism. If you’ve been scattering your online photos from Facebook to TwitPic to Instagram, now is a good time to look at what has changed with Flickr.
With 1TB of storage space for your photos, Flickr now gives you 200 times more storage space than either Dropbox or Google Drive. So it’s a good place just to store all your photos as a backup. You can even set photos to private, or only share them with selected friends or coworkers via a link.
But Flickr can do much more than that. It makes it easy to embed those photos into another website or blog, and it gives you a direct link that you can share on any social network like Facebook or Twitter. Flickr also has big SEO benefits. (That is, it makes it easier for search engines to find you.) Flickr allows you to put a complete description of the photo with no character limit and makes that description available to search engines. You can include links inside the description, including for your business website. While search engines won’t follow those links, human beings will.
It’s easy to post photos to Flickr from your smartphone using apps for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. Of course, the apps include filters and other features to dress up your photos. They will also upload any photos saved from other apps. No smartphone? Any phone that can email a photo can post to Flickr, or you can upload from your tablet, laptop or desktop computer.
Here are a dozen ideas for what photos to post.
- Retail: post photos of products in other local stores that make a good tie-in.
- Manufacturer: post photos of your product in process. Show off your safety procedure.
- Service: post photos of your customers. Show off what they do.
- Anyone: post photos of happy customers. Make photos into testimonials by adding their comments in the description.
- Anyone: answer customer questions with photos and instructions in the description. Create a set of photos that form a complete tutorial.
- Bricks and Mortar: show the outside of your building so customers will recognize your location when they arrive.
- Local businesses: show off local attractions and events. Promote your local culture.
- Anyone: show off your people. Profile the people who work for you and their experience and knowledge.
- Tourism: put together a set of photos to be a local tour. Include detailed driving directions and addresses for each stop. Place the photos on the map in Flickr, too.
- Restaurant: show off your clean prep spaces and fresh local ingredients.
- Anyone: show you connection to your suppliers. Post photos of their locations, their people, their safety.
- Economic Development: put photos of available buildings on the map for an instant virtual tour that is easy to keep up to date.
Basically, anything you want customers to be able to find you for, post a photo of it, and include a complete and meaningful description.
With the current craze for short video (especially Vine and Instagram Video), it makes sense to backup those videos to Flickr. Flickr accepts short videos up to 3 minutes, so 6 second Vines and 15 second Instagram videos are no problem. Plus with Flickr you can add the full description and captions, all in a search-engine friendly way. (On YouTube, such short videos would seem out of place. But they fit better in the photo-oriented world of Flickr.)
Create and share the video in either Vine or Instagram Video, save it to your smartphone, and then upload it to Flickr. Then you can embed and share those videos to people who don’t use either social network.
How do you use Flickr for business, economic development or tourism? Share your ideas below.
- Move Your Money and Bank Local - March 22, 2023
- Using a building as a warehouse or storage in a small town? Put up a sign - March 13, 2023
- How to get customers in the door of small town and rural retail stores - February 19, 2023
- Check your small business website for outdated pandemic changes, missing info - January 31, 2023
- Rural Tourism Trend: electric vehicle chargers can drive visitors - January 15, 2023
- 2023 trends for rural and small town businesses - December 26, 2022
- Local reviews on Google Maps drive enduring value - December 17, 2022
- Extra agritourism revenue from camping, cabins and RVs with HipCamp - December 12, 2022
- Harvest Hosts attract vanlifers and RV tourists, Boondockers Welcome - December 2, 2022
- Holiday 2022 marketing: Tell your founding story - December 1, 2022
You say that you can put a link to your website in your photo desc. on Flickr, but Flickr’s community guidelines state that you cannot:
Don’t use Flickr to sell.
If we find you engaging in commercial activity, we will warn you or delete your account. Some examples include selling products, services, or yourself through your photostream or in a group, using your account solely as a product catalog, or linking to commercial sites in your photostream. If you engage in commercial activity elsewhere on the internets or in the real world, you’re still welcome on Flickr—in fact, we’ve even set up some best practices especially for you.
Becky McCray says
Sarah, thanks for sharing that section of the community guidelines, referring to their Best Practices. For small businesses looking to use Flickr, they’ve helpfully provided a full page of Best Practices that they happily endorse for business use. You’ll find those here: Flickr Best Practices for Organizations.
Specifically talking about photo descriptions, the Best Practices encourage:
“Add meaningful titles and descriptions (but no price information or sales-y verbiage) to your content.”
So don’t ignore Flickr. Just don’t spam it. Use it wisely to share the best of your business through photos.
The guidelines you link to in your reply to Sarah specifically say:
“Familiarize yourself with the Flickr Community Guidelines
It’s not just you—all members on Flickr, whether they are an organization or a person—have to abide by the Community Guidelines.”
So what Sarah posted does apply to businesses too.
Becky McCray says
That’s right, Tracy. The guidelines definitely apply to business.
I still strongly recommend every business use Flickr, and that they read and understand the Flickr Best Practices for Organizations which give great, easy to understand examples of how businesses can use Flickr appropriately.