Monday, March 4, 2013

Driving Hospitality Revenue With Social Media - Part 9 - Flickr

The photo sharing website, Flickr, is another social media website that can be successfully leveraged by hotels. Once again, the highly visual nature of the hospitality industry easily lends itself to social media marketing via Flickr. Blatant and direct marketing is strictly forbidden on the website and its most active users are photographers, both professional and amateur. However, Flickr is a powerful tool to gain global exposure for images shared on the network. Being a part of the Yahoo network affords Flickr a considerable web presence, resulting in greater search engine optimization (SEO) attention by Google.

Images may be shared in a “slide show” format and link back to the hotel’s website, which helps SEO rankings as well. Hotels could include high quality images taken of their location and showcase what makes their destination unique and desirable. A few images may be included of the hotel property in a classy way, without the slideshow becoming a direct marketing message.

A definite advantage to the Flickr platform is its low cost. Basic accounts are free and upgrades are nominal. Flickr shares its images with other websites also, therefore spreading your hotel’s visual message even further. The artistic emphasis of Flickr has resulted in the network having a truly international audience that transcends language.

Interaction with the audience takes place most effectively in two ways. Commenting on photos shared by others results in exposure for your account username and associated links to your images and information. The second way is through Flickr Groups. These groups are a collection of people interested in a particular subject or topic. The members of the group share relevant images with the rest of the membership and discuss them. For example, a hotel could join a group related to their city and find plenty of opportunity for engagement and sharing with other members of the group, who can then share the hotel’s uploaded images outside the group. Flickr Groups can provide a powerfully viral element to a hotel’s photographic efforts.

As with other visually oriented social media websites, the images shared should be of the highest quality and resolution possible. Your hotel’s Flickr images will become a reflection of your hotel and should always be complementary to your reputation. In the last part in this social media series, we will see how the hospitality industry can benefit from the social network LinkedIn.

Written and produced in beautiful Naples, Florida by Visit today to get your free trial subscription to our Social Media Marketing Service.

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