5 Ways Flickr Can Serve as a Marketer's Best Friend

Marketers often overlook Flickr as a pivotal resource in the social media space, when in reality the photo-sharing platform is a valuable resource to access millions of consumer viewpoints from all across the globe.

Flickr certainly has its critics, as well as hefty competition in the photo management and sharing space (including the likes of Facebook, Google+ and Instagram), but the site is still considered an industry leader due to its simplicity, speed, search functionality, high-quality visuals and seamless social media integration capabilities. Flickr currently has 40 million active users, hosts 6 billion images, and has increased user uploads 20% year-over-year for the past five years.

Flickr can be a marketer’s dream as long as you know the five points of value that it can deliver.

No. 1 Gaining Insight

One of Flickr’s greatest advantages is that it has a large International user base, which allows marketers to gain industry, competitive and consumer insights from across the globe. Marketers can search within this database of photos in English and other foreign languages to access photos pertaining to their brand, target market and industry.

For example, shoe industry executives looking to gain insights on consumer behavioral habits in Beijing can use search for “Nike” “Beijing” to access thousands of photos of consumers wearing, engaging and demonstrating interest in the brand. Marketers can even specify whether they would like to see recent, interesting, or relevant photos to narrow their search.

No. 2 Unique Consumer Viewpoints

Consumers use Flickr as a social medium to post and share photos of people, places and things that are of interest them. As a result, marketers can rely on Flickr to serve as a reliable resource to get insights on consumer experiences, interests, styles and reactions in relation to sports, music, events, lifestyles, brands, campaigns, etc. By simply searching for names of specific brands or events using Flickr’s recent search functionality, marketers will discover a firsthand perspective of how consumers interact.

No. 3 Social Media Marketing and Integration

As a service platform, Flickr offers a simple, well-tooled interface that allows consumers to seamlessly tag, group, link and share their photos. As a result, it serves as a powerful SEO platform for marketers because the posted photos, videos and related content are heavily indexed by search engines and often surpass non-image links. While marketers may find that it takes time to tag, group and share their photos and videos, they can deliver considerable value from an SEO standpoint as it allows users to include links, descriptions and comments with their posted content and provides the ability to syndicate photos across other websites and channels.

Flickr also serves as an incredible resource for supporting social media efforts. The site allows consumers to seamlessly integrate their photos into their preferred social media and online channels, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and blogs. Marketers can use Flickr as a one-stop shop to post photos and videos from their campaigns and use URL shorteners (bit.ly, is.gd) to easily disseminate the content through their social media channels.

No. 4 A Brainstorming Mecca

With clients constantly looking for fresh ideas, insights, and perspectives on how to incorporate new technologies, marketers can turn to Flickr to get their creative juices flowing prior to a major brainstorm. Flickr hosts thousands of photos showcasing new services and technologies (QR codes, augmented reality), examples of guerrilla and ambush marketing tactics, creative billboard displays, mesmerizing product launches, creative activation tactics and content. By simply setting aside 15 to 20 minutes to scroll through several hundred photos during a quick lunch break, marketers can walk into a brainstorm or client work session with a fresh state of mind and a slew of new ideas.

No. 5 Quality Photos for Recap Purposes

Marketers can tap Flickr as a resource to find high-quality photos that can be included in status updates, program recaps and end-of-the-year reports. With consumers in every corner of the globe taking photos of their experiences and posting them online, brand marketers now have thousands of eyeballs on the ground sharing high-quality visuals … use these to your advantage!

This article, written by Brian Gainor of GMR Marketing and Partnership Activation, was featured in PromoMagazine.com. Check it out HERE

Guest Editorial - LinkedIn: How #SportsBiz Approaches the Channel

Jonathan Norman is a sports sponsorship strategist for GMR Marketing, a major U.S. sports and event marketing firm. Jonathan has been in sports marketing and media for more than 10 years, and has worked on several major corporate branding campaigns around sports. His expertise resides in how brands reach consumers through sponsorship and activation of sports properties. Follow Jonathan on Twitter at @Jonathan_Norman and his official blog here.

I’m going to start today’s blog post with a little trivia. How many LinkedIn users list the key term “sports” on their profile? Any guesses? Would you say nearly 1,000,000 of us? 924,329 to be exact (well, as of this moment). This is roughly 2% of the estimated 50,000,000 users globally.

With nearly 1MM users mentioning sports in their profile, it got me thinking. I think it’s funny just how many @sportsbiz folks I’m not linked to on the LinkedIn platform. Does it seem like a larger commitment than just a follow on Twitter? I think so. When we connect on LinkedIn, we’re looking to establish a deeper (if that can even be said) relationship with a colleague, sharing more personal information. I think that the LinkedIn search has even replaced the Google search for those we’re looking to learn more about. I know I certainly do.

The interesting thing to me about #sportsbiz on LinkedIn is just how disjointed we seem without the organizing concept of hashtags. It’s like we’re lost sheep continually looking for a shepherd! The sheer number of groups related to sports marketing is astounding. Take that key word alone, and we’re looking at 247 groups just in that universe. Expand the term to sports alone, and it’s almost 4,500. I know we’re talking in hyperbole here, but it begs the question: how do we use LinkedIn as an industry?

For me it’s all about making new connections and maximizing existing ones, all in the hopes of creating opportunities by driving value out of the relationship. Yes, that’s a mouthful, but really … it’s what it’s all about. How can what I do on a daily basis, help you and your needs, and can we find a reason to work together? The concept doesn’t seem all that much different than Twitter, and LinkedIn has taken a major step forward in the status and following additions on the site.

But I would challenge #sportsbiz to think about how we can connect on LinkedIn. How can we work together to create opportunities, bridge challenges, and build solutions? I would guess that this is a rhetorical question, but I do think there’s real application there. Here’s five ways I think we can maximize the value of our network:

1. Learn more about each other. Get to know your connections’ backgrounds. See where there are commonalities that might be able to help drive value.

2. Take advantage of longer interaction. We have more than 140 characters to communicate with each other. We need to lever this opportunity and maximize it.

3. Don’t just join a group; contribute to a community. I believe this is one of the major opportunities for us. We all have 20 to 30, perhaps even more, groups we’re a part of. Pick one or two that are particularly a good fit and make your communication useful

4. Think about the mentoring opportunities. I still believe that one of the biggest issues we have in @sportsbiz today is the development and cultivation of solid, young talent. We need to commit to doing more to develop it.

5. Lead by example. There many be other ideas you have on how to maximize your value on LinkedIn. Tell us, and then show us. It’s all about sharing and creating best practices.

One last thing. Are we connected? If not, let's get connected:


Fresh Ideas, Trends, and Perspectives for 2010

Are you looking for the latest trends in sports and social media? After realizing that 2009 wasn't actually so bad, are you looking to have a new outlook on life heading into 2010?

We wanted to share two (2) tremendous e-books that were released today. Both are excellent reads, so please be sure to check them out and pass them (or the link to this article) along to all of your colleagues and friends in the industry who also may be interested.

The first e-book we would like to highlight is a compilation of the top sports and social media trends to follow in 2010. Social media enthusiast Jason Peck did a terrific job bringing the thoughts of 16 sharp individuals together with this piece. Check it out below:

Sports Social Media Predictions 2010


The second e-book we would like to profile was created by marketing guru Seth Godin and 69 of the brightest minds around the globe... This is a tremendous read that will give you a new perspective on life and business heading into 2010 (it is best to view the e-book in full-screen mode; scroll through the document by clicking your mouse on the right page). Enjoy!

What Matters Now

Fresh Start... Fresh Ideas

1947375-1362570-thumbnail.jpgWelcome to PartnershipActivation.com, my first foray into the world of Sports Partnership Activation (SPA) Consulting. The underlying premise of PartnershipActivation.com is to provide sports business professionals with "industry best practices" - ideas that are bold, creative, and provide incremental opportunities to generate revenue. The website was created to satisfy existing demand for sports business websites that offer innovative ideas and thinking.


Background on the Editor:

Brian Gainor is a 24-year old sports marketer with experience working in the agency world, the NFL, NFL Europe, and collegiate athletics. Brian did MBA/MSA graduate work at Ohio University (Athens, OH) and currently resides in Charlotte, NC.