Flickr Can Be a Great Marketing Tool

flickr-screenshot[tweetmeme source=”pagetx”]Is anyone using Flickr to promote their destination or attraction?  If you’re not, wake up and smell the photography!  Flickr can be used in several different ways to help promote tourism locales.  I’ll talk about just two of them in this post.

Search for Photos of Your Destination
The first way is the simplest.  Flickr makes it very easy to search for photos using various keywords.  Pick any keyword that represents your destination: city name, attraction name, a natural resource, etc.  The sky’s the limit here.  You’ll be surprised at how many really great photos are returned to you in the results of your search.

If you plan to use any of these photos in marketing your destination, it is important to get permission from the photographer first.  Some professional photographers post their work on Flickr and much of it is copyrighted material.  Be very careful here.

If you see a photo you like, simple send a message to the owner and request permission to use it on your website or blog.  Nine times out of ten, they’ll say yes as long as you credit the photo appropriately.  Some also like it if you hyperlink the photo back to their Flickr photostream or to their own blog.  It’s a fair request and a very simple thing to do on your end.  Always give credit where credit is due.

Another way to do this is to use Flickr’s Creative Commons area of their website.  People post photos to the Creative Commons with the hope that you will use it.  There are no license issues – just the common courtesy of crediting the photographer.  Your choices here will be a bit more limited, but there are often some real gems here.  Under the advanced search link next to the search window, click on Creative Commons, and enter your keywords.  It’s as easy as that.

flickr-screenshot-2Create a Group
Another great way to obtain photos of your area is to create a group on Flickr.  Click on “Groups” from the menu at the top of the Flickr homepage.  Once on the Groups page, you’re presented with the option to create your own group.  I have a growing little group for the region that I represent – the Colorado River Trail in Texas.

I started by uploading a handful of shots I had from my area.  I then began a search on keywords related to my region.  I did not use Creative Commons here because I wanted my options to be wide open.  When I saw a photo I liked, I messaged the owner and invited him/her to join my group.  At the same time, I asked permission to use this and other photos they submit on a blog I write about the same region.  I also use this opportunity to ask how they’d like me to credit their photos.  In just a few weeks, I have over 120 photos as my disposal.

I now have several amateur and professional photographers as members of my groups – many of whom submit photos to me on a regular basis.  This frees up my time for other things, as I don’t have to go out and search for great photography as often.

Best of all, it’s free!
How much does all this great photography cost?  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.  In other words, not one shiny dime!  I have the use of professional photography – with the permission of the photographer – for absolutely nothing.

Sold yet?  When was the last time you priced a professional photo shoot?

Better yet, many of the photos in my group are candid shots.  They’re of people.  On vacation.  Enjoying my region.  What better way to market a tourism destination?

What are some other creative uses of Flickr for marketing tourism destinations?

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3 Responses

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