FLICKR MAKES YOU THINK ALL THE WORLD'S A SUNNY DAY

Flickr provides interior designers, architects and design-build contractors a way of promoting your work with the photography you probably already have 

Flickr provides interior designers, architects and design-build contractors a way of promoting your work with the photography you probably already have 

Maybe you already know all about the innumerable advantages of using Flickr as an Internet marketing platform. Maybe you’ve been an avid user of the site since it started back in 2004, and, long been reaping the benefits of its many social sharing tools. Or, maybe, like me, you only came to understand it were enormous potential for impact when your job demanded it of you.

Last year, I worked on the Internal Communications team in the Chicago office of a global digital advertising firm. Apart from producing a weekly internal newsletter (which generated very little interest, as those things usually do) part of my job was to create campaigns that got employees energized around our internal goings on new client wins, project launches, company-sponsored charity events, celebrations, etc.  An easy job this was not, especially considering that the company’s 9,500 employees were dispersed across 35 different cities and several different time zones around the world.  

There is a long-standing challenge in a position like this, and it comes in trying foster a sense of community and interconnectedness among employees who wake up, take their coffee, and put in a full work day all at different points within a 24 hour period.  This distance from one another can test any company’s ambition to live out a commitment to employee morale, and standard methods of written communication, be it through a mobile phone, iPad or a computer can only go so far in reminding us that we all, at some point or another, work within team whose members invest themselves in equal measure toward an often arduous trek up the same mountain.

Visual Marketing Using Flickr and Ping Pong Diplomacy

Visual Marketing Using Flickr and Ping Pong Diplomacy

Ping Pong Diplomacy via Flickr

A unique opportunity to address this gap presented itself at my place of employment in the months leading up to the 20th anniversary of the company’s founding. Since every office from Dusseldorf to Dubai was going to hold an event, we called upon each office to photograph themselves in various phases of planning. China sent photos of in-office ping-pong matches while Germany and London held ‘cake-offs’ and on the day of the celebration, every single office was snapping photos of artfully displayed champagne. These visual ‘diaries’ were shared on Flickr and Facebook shortly before and for months after the big occasion. Flickr was a marketing success. The social media response was tremendous and gave each member of our global community the chance to recognize the pride and common thread we all shared with one another. Months later, some of these same photos were used to create an audiovisual history series that is now used in the new hire program to illustrate our corporate culture, and helps to boost new employee morale.

Of course there are millions of ways in which to use a site like Flickr for marketing, and if you are a small business owner who works within the spheres of design or visual media, I probably don’t have to tell you what they are. The social media component of Flickr is, of course, one of the most powerful tools that the site affords you, and with an audience of over 52 million registered users and nearly 80 million visitors worldwide why wouldn’t you use Flickr to host and share visual testimonials of your products, convey the best aspects of your corporate culture or let your audience in on a new project by documenting its evolution through a series of colorful and eye-catching pictures? In the world that relies increasingly on visual messaging, we are constantly being called upon to innovate the ways in which we are reaching consumers, or even potential new hires through visual means.

You know you’re a great company, and certainly one that’s worth working for, but who else knows that. And how? Why should anyone set his or her sights on using your services? One of the things we rarely consider are the ways in which picture sharing sites, particularly Flickr, can be used as a marketing strategy and part of your lead generation best practice. This line of thinking is especially important when targeting younger generations who now demand in nearly every instance of communication: Don’t tell me, show me. 

Flickr images from the Means-of-Production Photography Portfolio.