4 Ways to Market Your SMB With Flickr

When we hear about social media and how we can use it to increase our marketing, too many times we pigeonhole ourselves into talking about the same sites. We think about using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. But what about some of the other niche sites? What about Flickr? As a small business owner, is there a way to use an image-based social network to market yourself and your business?

You bet there is!

Below are just a few ways that small business owners can market their businesses with the help of Flickr.

1. Earn Additional Rankings for Targeted Terms

Sometimes when the front door is locked, it’s an opportunity to use the less-crowded side door, the one everyone else has been neglecting. If you’ve been having difficulty ranking for specific search terms using traditional on-page SEO and link-building efforts, you may want to start experimenting with image optimization and pick up additional rankings.

By taking photos of things related to your corner of the world and then being diligent about optimizing associated titles, descriptions, photo sets and tags, you can help your image to appear in the Google Search results for the associated terms. This can help that image to rank above a traditional big brand search result or increase the amount of SERP space your brand takes up.

2. Drive Traffic to Your Website

When you’re taking time to optimize your photo for Flickr, don’t forget to place a link to your website in the description. Sure, Flickr “nofollows” the links, which means no juice will pass from Flickr over to your site, but some of Flickr’s 30 million-plus users may click and head over to your site to see if there are additional images, or to learn more about what you do. Google may not be interested in your site link, but Flickr users are. Don’t leave them without a path to your site.

3. Build Photo Testimonials

What’s a better testimonial for your website than a smiling customer using your product, a fan wearing your company’s T-shirt, or a picture of what someone was able to construct with your tool? I’d argue there isn’t one. Encourage your customers to upload photos of themselves using your product and to tag your company so that others can find the photos. Do a search for your business on the image site and find people who have already uploaded photos of your products. Email them to say thank you (members with a PRO account can send unlimited emails) and ask if you can put that photo on your testimonials or Caught in the Act page, with a link back to their image.

4. Find Content for Your Site

Stock photography sites can be a great place to find content; however, they’re getting increasingly expensive. Instead of spending your time constantly filling up on credits, why not use Flickr’s Creative Commons search to find images for content and linkbait pieces instead? By using Flickr’s Advanced Search options, small business owners can browse through photos that have been OK’d for commercial use. Depending on your topic, you may find hundreds of photos to choose from. If you want to use this as a networking tool, you can then reach out to the owner of the photo you want to use, let them know you put it on your site and encourage them to show it off. Now you get a free photo, plus some free promotion when that person tells all their friends that you deemed his/her photo cool enough to put on your website.

Those are just a few ways that small business owners can use Flickr to market their business online? What’d I miss? How have you taken advantage of Flickr to promote your business?


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

15 Reactions
  1. Great idea, Lisa!

    I have a fair amount of photos that I can add to Flickr.

    need to find the time to do so!

    Thanks for this cool idea, Lisa.

    The Franchise King®

  2. Some nice tips here. I like the last one the most because this can be applied by small business owners that are not photography-savvy. I bet most small business owners will think that Flickr is not the social media site that they should pay attention to unless they are taking photos and pictures that relate to their business.

    If a small business constantly produces content to promote their business, Flickr will become an essential resource for them to find free and awesome photos.

  3. I agree that stock photography is getting more and more expensive so that taking your own images is a cost saving measure as well as the increase it gives your online marketing. That’s what I call two birds with one stone.

  4. To get more traffic to your Flickr account, create Collections (ie group of photos) around your core topic and tag correctly.

  5. Having the pictures in a group is a good idea. Also make mini sets within your account to separate the pics.

  6. This is really smart because I totally get trapped with FB and Twitter, often neglecting great possibilities. Plus pictures say so much more than words. Good reminder!

  7. Ideas are the wings.Whether you are publicized through Facebook or Flickr. AT the end of the day what matters is your customers, your sales,…What else you want to earn from a social media..?
    Flickr is also neat but visitors matters more for gaining popularity.