How to Use Flickr to Grow Your Brand – Part 1

(First published on Memeburn)

Besides the usual social media suspects like Facebook and Twitter, there are many other tools worth considering when it comes to promoting your business online. One of these is Flickr, the Yahoo!-owned photography sharing site. When used correctly, Flickr is an extremely effective way of engaging with your target market — provided they use the site, and provided your business lends itself to having photographs uploaded and shared with the Flickr community.

In my next three posts, I’ll talk about 1) how to set up your Flickr account, 2) how to use it to increase your brand’s exposure through participation in the Flickr community and 3) how to promote your account outside of the site.

Before starting with Flickr, it’s a good idea to know a bit more about the tool and how it’s best used, so that you can see whether it’s a natural fit for your business or not. Thinking about this properly beforehand means that any time investment you make with it will be worth your while in the long run.

Continue reading “How to Use Flickr to Grow Your Brand – Part 1”


Realising the power of Twitter

Replyz is a new add-on service to Twitter that allows you to quickly ask and get answers from Twitter users, and answer questions others are asking. Replyz does this by pulling out the tweets it thinks are questions into its interface that you then sign into using your Twitter login details.

For businesses, Replyz offers a convenient way to keep track of your reputation online and establish yourself as an expert in a particular industry. For example, you can do searches on your brand name or on words relating to your industry and quickly answer questions that you have the knowledge and expertise to answer. You can also get widespread feedback on a product, service or idea from people beyond your immediate sphere of influence, since you’re asking and answering questions to people beyond your followers and those on your lists. Finally, you can quickly pinpoint customer complaints, answer queries from your existing customers, and find opportunities for new service offerings based on what people are asking for.

Overall, I think Replyz represents a significant milestone in Twitter’s perceived value. More and more, people (and businesses) are seeing the microblogging giant less as a way to broadcast narcissistic bleats about your personal life or brand, and more as a way to extract real value from a critical mass of people in real time.

AT&T vs Georgio and the power of social media

An interesting case study in both the power of social media and how companies are taking it seriously comes from disgruntled AT&T customer Georgio Galante. Galante was upset with his data plan on AT&T, and wrote two emails of complaint to AT&T’s CEO. Shortly afterwards, he got a call from an AT&T Executive Response rep telling him that if he personally emailed the CEO again, they’d issue him with a cease and desist letter. In the old days, Georgio would probably walk away with his tail in between his legs. Nowadays, thanks to social media, the power between business and customer is levelling. Through Twitter and his blog, Georgio’s story went viral (it was featured on Engadget among a host of other tech and general news sites), with the end result being that AT&T apologized personally to Galante for what had happened.

Three observations here:

  1. US businesses like AT&T are quickly realising the potential damage a customer can do if they are a) disgruntled and b) are blogging and/or on Twitter.
  2. AT&T’s response time was extremely fast and that’s why damage was relatively contained – it took only a single day from when Georgio’s story went viral to when AT&T apologised to him.
  3. A cease and desist letter for emailing the CEO? Overreaction, much? Can just imagine the bollocking that the AT&T rep who made the call must have got.