Flickr strategy 101

Another web 2.0 application generating a good deal of buzz is Flickr.com. Flickr (pronounced flicker...it's just cooler without that needless little "e") is a photo sharing website that allows anyone to post their own pictures to the site and "tag" their images with words that apply to the image.

This is how Flickr works in a nutshell...let's say I had a picnic for the people who read MicroExplosion and put the pictures on Flickr (which I would certainly do) and tagged them with the following: MicroExplosion, Bill Seaver, Nashville, Tennessee, picnic, food, friends, blogs, Christians, marketing, web 2.0, and technology. Anyone searching or browsing Flickr on any one of these tags will come across our picnic pictures.

Here's where the strategy comes into play: at first glance these tags are seemingly unrelated unless you happen to know we had a MicroExplosion picnic in Nashville, in which case these all make sense. The catch here is that once your pictures are on Flickr someone who is looking through, say, the images with technology tags, would come across our picnic pictures (because one of our tags is technology). Once they see a picnic picture they would see some of our other tags. So, let's say this person sees the "Christians" and "marketing" tags and this piques his or her interest. The person then clicks on the image and can see all of our picnic pictures and also read any information that I might have included with the images (which I would have certainly done). In that information I would write about this blog (with a link to the blog of course) and with just a click of the mouse the person (if he or she is still interested in what they see and read) is on my blog...and maybe joining us for a future picnic.

The point here is that Flickr allows you to visually represent yourself on a platform where people might not otherwise expect to find you. What happens if you search for your church, ministry, or business name or even your city in Flickr? I searched my hometown and actually found a church that appears to be using Flickr quite extensively. Good for them. I wonder how many people will do the same thing and discover a little about a church they would not otherwise not know about and think, "You know I need to get in church somewhere, these people seem normal...let me check out their website." Boom! Their presence on Flickr with someone browsing images on the community may have just turned into a visitor this Sunday. Not too bad for something that won't cost you any money.

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