As many of us already know, a photo sharing site allows users to upload photos and images for public and private consumption, letting people comment, rate, and tag the pictures. Online photo sharing is experiencing an unprecedented growth surge, in large part due to the capabilities and popularity of smart phones. Photo sharing is a unique social experience, so what does this mean for social media marketing?
Let’s begin with a little background on photo sharing. Webshots was one of the first photo sharing sites introduced in 1995. Similar sites were launched throughout the 1990s, but the early 2000s proved to introduce some of the most dominating photo sites to date. These sites were Photobucket and Flickr. We now enjoy sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter. Most social media sites today offer an option to share photos in posts or on your page.
For marketing, there are several advantages to photo sharing online. Images create interest and buzz, leading to sales. Photos can be used to showcase a product, document offers, and influence buyer mood. Pictures can be highly persuasive for buyers, whether directly or indirectly including the product in the picture. The most important step in creating a brand’s photo sharing website is, as always, identifying the target market. Next is considering what kinds of photos will be shared, whether humorous or emotional or fun, it is important to posts consistent with the brand identity. Finally, brands need to simply upload the photos, and remember that they can re-post and shout-out followers to increase engagement with their audience!
Starbucks is one my favorite brands on Instagram, an incredibly popular photo sharing website. The posts include pictures of a variety of Starbucks products, but often the pictures convey a very relaxing feeling, something light and fun, and the audience may forget that in looking at the picture they are, in reality, looking at an ad for the product. Take a look at a few screenshots of their account!
The future for online photo sharing is full of opportunities. Using this tool in the future will depend on continuing to innovate the content and remaining unique. The rewards of including photo sharing into a marketing campaign are highly attractive!