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Flickr A Good Marketing Tool?

Posted by: Lara Ellis on 04/21/2013 - 1:45 PM

I've been on Flickr for a very long time but nothing has really come from it as far as marketing. I was just wondering if anyone else has had any luck using it as a marketing tool? I don't post all the time and go for a long time without participating at all. I also just have the free account. When I do participate I put my photos in groups that are like mini competitions where you move on to the next group if you get enough comments. Am I wasting time posting in Flickr?


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Mark Tisdale on 04/21/2013 - 2:05 PM

From my personal experience, not any more. A few years ago, I had frequent experience with people finding me through Flickr and contacting me about prints/licensing. These days, I question paying for another year every time the bill comes due. Interested in hearing if others have seen the same drop or if it's just me.


Posted by: Rona Black on 04/21/2013 - 2:10 PM

Flickr can be considered a marketing tool in the sense that it gives you exposure. I started on Flickr a few years ago, long before thinking about selling, because I was looking for a site to share photos with family and friends. Since then, my first FAA sale was a result of having had an image appear as the first image on Explore. (And there were additional sales of that image when Flickr put it on the front page again, one year later.) From my tags, the website for the state of Utah found one of my images to license for its homepage. A Danish poet found an image to license for a book cover, again through tags. There's no such thing as too much exposure and Flickr provides an easy way to get it.


Posted by: Wendy J St Christopher on 04/21/2013 - 5:29 PM

I'm with Rona. Exposure -- especially free exposure -- can only be a good thing. :-)

I've been on Flickr forever, mostly ignoring it for the last several years. There's no way to know whether any of my online sales came from Flickr. No buyer has ever contacted me to say they saw my work there -- which doesn't mean it hasn't happened.


Posted by: Greg Jackson on 04/21/2013 - 6:18 PM

I used to be fairly active on Flickr, posting images and commenting on others work, plus belonged to a few groups. I dropped most of the groups. Haven't been real busy on there in the past year I guess, but have randomly started posting some of my recent stuff there. I never did opt for the paid membership.


Posted by: Lara Ellis on 04/21/2013 - 6:40 PM

Thanks for the input everyone. :) I probably need to work on my keywords on there...sometimes I'm a bit lazy about that on Flickr


Posted by: Mark Tisdale on 04/21/2013 - 8:03 PM

It's always interesting to see when one person reports X doesn't work for me and another turns around and says it works for them. Proves there's no one size fits all shoe. If it works, keep going! If you're curious, give it a try!

For me, I joined flickr because at the time I lived in a city where there was a very active Flickr community that met up and had photo walks and later part of that group even did art shows together and such. It was more than flickr for me it was the community. Even before I left that city, the Flickr aspect of that community had shifted to Facebook to some degree. I've never been active community wise since then on flickr.

My impression still seems that Flickr was previously either easier found in the search engines OR there were people going straight to Flickr and searching? I wasn't placing in Explore or any of that and people would still (with some frequency) send me messages about prints, about chances to license work, etc. And that well dried up in my experience. I still get inquiries but I never hear "I found you on Flickr" anymore. One person's experience is not a statistical story, though. :-)


Posted by: Victor Montgomery on 04/21/2013 - 8:47 PM

Big fan of flickr...anytime I post a picture of flickr that I have listed here, I always attach a link to my site, seems to work well for me, been contacted a few times about my work.


Posted by: Brian Wallace on 04/21/2013 - 9:16 PM

Several things here...

1. Flickr has been kind of a "backup" for my images.
2. The free account only allows up to 200 pictures at a time so I spend the $24 for an annual subscription. I get a little break if I subscribe for two years together.
3. I answered someone's questions on there and they surprised me by paying my subscription for a year!
4. I've gotten several opportunities for work because of exposure for my images there.
5. I've gotten even more opportunities for exposure through people asking to use my images in their thesis, in magazines, and books.
6. For the second year in a row, I've had an image from Flickr selected to be the cover photo of the local Phone Directory where I live. They give you credit on the first page and you can include a link to your work there. They also paid me the largest sum for an image I've ever gotten. This has more than paid for my subscription for 12 years if you want to look at it that way.
7. Just like with any site where you want people to find your images, you must use search tags effectively. You may look at it as a hassle but it's what makes the difference since your image is found by internet searches.
8. There are many groups and some can be quite informative and beneficial.
9. Exposure is the main thing you're looking for, especially if you're unknown.
10. If you like or enjoy looking at images, you may be inspired and get ideas for your own projects.
11. I enjoy some of the groups that offer contests. They get you additional exposure, help you to improve in your work, and don't hurt you're reputation. When I have "placed" in a contest, I always make note of it in my FAA blog, on social media sites such as FaceBook so people know you're accomplishments. I include a link for them to click.
12. Flickr gives you quite a bit of control through options if you want to be selective.
13. If you have a specialty (mine is 3D stereo photography), I find there is a much wider audience to be found on Flickr for it including Flickr members. Ex: My niche' is 3D stereo images and I have found many groups on Flickr that cater to this subject. FAA had NONE and did not respond to several inquiries I gave to them. Even another FAA member who became interested in 3D stereo inquired about an issue I have with how anaglyphs display on FAA and was never responded to.
14. Now that I'm on FAA and offering images for purchase, I don't usually include the full resolution version of the same image on Flickr. The more busy I become on FAA and some other sites, the less attention I'm giving to Flickr.
15. My Flickr Profile...


Posted by: Alfred Ng on 04/21/2013 - 10:03 PM

I am a big fan of flickr. I use flickr as backup for my best images as well. It is a great site to get exposure and be discovered. Although I don't use it to marketing but I had my images featured in few international magazines and a Canadian Government report. One year, one of my photo was chosen as Toronto official Christmas card. I also got many requests to buy my paintings from it. I actually made more money from that site than here.( I think some of my sale here might came form there as well.) Many art directors from ad agency use flickr to look for original images. A few years ago an ad agency from Holland contacted me and asked to buy the right for a single use of one of my photos. I post there daily and have a group of royal followers there and this month my view counts have reached over a million.


Posted by: Greg Jackson on 04/21/2013 - 11:52 PM

@Brian: "...Now that I'm on FAA and offering images for purchase, I don't usually include the full resolution version of the same image on Flickr. ..."

I've always tried to stay with 800x600 size when posting images at Flickr. There might a few random ones where I posted something a bit larger, but none were hi-res.


Posted by: Janine Riley on 04/21/2013 - 11:58 PM

Wow, really great information here guys.

(Sorry for jumping in Lara, but I couldn't help overhearing). Sounds like the place to be seen.


Posted by: Brian Wallace on 04/22/2013 - 12:45 AM

@Greg:... Before I became a member on FAA, most of my images were created in low resolution and dimensions because of several other international "3D Stereo" groups I belonged to. They were concerned that some areas of the world were still using "dial-up" and large files would be difficult or time consuming for uploading and viewing. Also back then, I didn't have a lot of space for storing files on my hard drive. Had I known then that I would one day be offering images for sale, I would have tried to capture and save them with the largest resolution possible for printing purposes.

Generally when viewing 3D stereos, we look at them on our monitors and there's not much of a need for printing them. Ironically, half of my first few images sold on FAA were 3D stereo images. There is a 3D stereo community outside of FAA. I had hopes of creating a link to that community from FAA.

I was going to see what Sean thought of the idea of offering Red/Cyan 3D glasses along with purchases of anaglyphs. The problem was that a short time after uploading some anaglyphs on FAA, I noticed they did not view as well as they did on other sites including Flickr, Facebook, and the like. Beth passed on my question to Sean about the colorspace used on FAA and the viewing concern for anaglyphs but no one else was uploading anaglyphs to FAA and my inquiry was never been addressed. What a shame for me since 3D stereo is my niche' and I'm now pretty certain they would have sold fairly well from here. It may have opened a whole new category/genre to the outside that FAA could have been a top viable source for penetrating.

Since the 3D stereo media is apparently so outside the realm of thinking for most who are used to the "normal" 2D concept, I have to assume no interest or consideration is held for those without knowledge or experience in sites like FAA. Meanwhile 3D in Theaters, 3D TV, cell phones, and apps is increasingly expanding in the mainstream consumer world.


Posted by: Lara Ellis on 04/22/2013 - 10:16 AM

Thanks guys for all the info :) And Janie feel free to jump in! @ Brian can you put a link to your site in the comments on Flickr? Are there groups on Flickr you would recommend participating in for exposure? Sometimes I feel like my photos are just lost in a sea of other photos on Flickr. I'm Mountaingirl7869 on flickr if anyone wants to know . I just do the free account so I'm wondering if it makes a difference for being found in searches on the free vs. paid?


Posted by: Danny Smythe on 04/22/2013 - 12:15 PM

I use Flickr to advertise and post a link back to my favorite stock site, for downloads. By the way, it is forbidden to link each photo, but you can post one link, on your profile page. Just direct viewers to your profile page for download info, or to sell prints on FAA. I post images large enough to see some detail, but they are heavily watermarked.
Once you post there, it's fun to go to Google Images, and type in your name, in the search field, and see what pops up from Flickr.


Posted by: Brian Wallace on 04/22/2013 - 12:15 PM


Here is an example where I linked to FAA and Flickr group contest results in the description area of my Flickr image...

Here are some groups that have monthly contests through Flickr.

Because of my Flickr images and included search tags, when I do a search for some subjects, my own images many times appear in the search results.

I'm not saying you will see some kind of marked exposure that will be noticeable in FAA sales. What I say is that any exposure holds unmeasured possibilities. Think of the ripple effect. Flickr is a very large and popular image sharing international web site. You do the math! When I first joined, I debated whether I should stay with the free account or go "Pro". For me, the pro account is well worth it. For others, who knows?


Posted by: Rona Black on 04/22/2013 - 2:43 PM

Here's a recent article about Flickr from Wired which may be of interest:


Posted by: Brian Wallace on 04/22/2013 - 4:52 PM

Thanks Rona!


Posted by: Rona Black on 04/22/2013 - 5:27 PM

You're welcome, Brian. (I started on Twitter a few days ago and found it in my stream this morning.)


Posted by: DANCE with NATURE on 04/22/2013 - 8:26 PM

It's like any other site,
If you just upload images
And don't get engage, which I call storage
It will not do anything for you on it's own....
Every time u select site, get active, be seen


This discussion is closed.