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In the last two articles on Memeburn, I covered the basics of how to set up and how to use a Flickr account to grow your brand online. Once you’ve set up your account though, like any other web presence, you need to allocate time resources to promoting it – both inside and outside of Flickr.
If you’re spending a large amount of time and effort uploading photos to your Flickr account as a business owner and/or entrepreneur, it’s prudent to spend time promoting your account too, so that you’re getting a good number of potential customers actually seeing and engaging with your content. Before you start, it’s a good idea to upload a fair amount of photos and/or videos to your account first, and to already be participating in groups (or creating your own). Once you’re doing this, promote your account in the following ways:
Think about your privacy settings
Whether it’s a group you’ve created, a group you’re participating in, or a photoset you’ve created, use Flickr’s most public settings to assign to your content, so that it’s accessible to anyone who’s actively looking for it. For example, when you create a group, you can choose “Public”, “Invite Only” or “Private” to choose who you want to be able to see the group. If you’re using your Flickr account for business reasons, your group should always be set to public.
Link to your account
A simple but effective way of driving traffic to your account is to reroute existing traffic from elsewhere. In other words, link to your Flickr account from where people are already viewing your other content, such as the home page of your website, the side bar of your blog home page, or the Info tab of your Facebook Page. You can also tweet links to specific photos or photosets, but don’t overuse Twitter for this as you risk annoying your followers if you overdo the self-promotion.
Add a Flickr Badge
A specialised way to link to your Flickr account is by installing the Flickr Badge on your blog or website, which lets you embed photos from selected Flickr sets directly onto the page. Not only are you driving traffic to Flickr, but you’re also enriching the existing content on your other web channels. To install the badge, go to www.flickr.com/badge.gne. You’ll be given various options for the badge layout, after which you’ll receive a snippet of code to copy and paste into the page on which you want the badge to appear.
Using images from your Flickr photosets as images for individual blog posts is another good way of increasing your Flickr account’s exposure to your blog audience. In the reverse direction, Flickr also lets you interface directly with sites like Twitter and Facebook, as well as social bookmarking sites like Digg and Delicious. Once you’ve set up these connections, you can share a photo while you’re in your Flickr account to any one of those services for instant exposure. Of course the traction you’ll gain depends on how interesting, relevant and/or useful your photo is to the audience who’s viewing it.
Consider search engines
In order to make your Flickr content visible on external search engines and internal Flickr search results, focus on two main areas:
- Linking: When it comes to gaining inbound links to your Flickr account, note that most social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have a “no follow” attribute attached to links pointing out, which instructs search engines not to assign value to that outgoing link. For search engine benefit then, rather place links to your account on your blog or website in order to increase credibility and therefore rankings for your Flickr content. While it’s fine to link back to your main Flickr account URL, try also to link back to specific photosets and images, so that you spread the link value throughout your account.
- Keywords: Write keyword-rich descriptions and titles for your photosets and individual photos, while still keeping them readable. Include targeted keywords in the tags for your images, as well as in the anchor text of links you have pointing to your account and to individual photosets or images. When you’re creating inbound links, include keyword-rich anchor text in your URL so that search engines have a thematic context for the link destination.
Promote your group
If you’ve created your own Flickr group, promoting it within Flickr is a way of exposing your knowledge to a broader audience than just your group members. One way to do this is to find groups related to yours using using Flickr’s group search function. Once you’ve found related groups, participate in discussions there and then link back to your own group. If you do this, make sure you’re providing the link to your group as a helpful resource and not a shameless plug. As a group creator, you can also think of an overall tag related to the group and ask members to tag their photos with it, which increases the likelihood of those photos (and therefore your group) appearing on internal and external search results.