The second angle involves image distribution to connect with your audience, which is what Flickr, Picasa and the like are all about. People join photo networks because they have some sort of interest in images, so simple product shots probably won’t do you any good on such networks, according to Odden. He says it’s crucial to provide images that interest your audience, things like head shots, event photos and unique images of products—more action-oriented images. Basically, images that are relevant to the group you are targeting.
That’s the great thing about photo networks—they offer many niche audiences. By joining or creating groups, you’re already segmenting your potential customers, which in turn allows you to provide targeted images to pique their interest. “When you look at Flickr or some of the other image-sharing sites, it’s amazing how niche people’s interests are. So the benefit would be to create awareness. In a social context, interruptive or push efforts don’t tend to work very well. What does work is being at the right place at the right time,” says Odden. “… Someone’s searching and they find an image, and that image could be the proxy that connects the consumer ultimately with something that can be bought. If it’s socially optimized, in that attention is paid to audiences that have common interests, there is an effort to participate with those audiences where it makes sense, to share images as a resource, those situations are identified by the directed marketer and then provided as a service as being helpful, and then again that image or that sharing of a resource can be a proxy to a commercial sort of relationship.”
Odden offers the example of a fabric retailer TopRank works with that shared images of its fabrics featuring Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers logos in a sports group the week the two NFL teams were playing each other, engaging those group members and linking them back to its site.