Add Flickr to the Mix

With past social media stories on we have focused on the more commonly used social media tools. This article will focus on a more often-overlooked outlet that fishing tackle retailers should incorporate into their marketing plan this summer. Anglers are incorporating a digital camera of some sort into their fishing gear now more than ever. With an increased interest in catch-and-release, whether it is mandatory or self-imposed, it is hard for an angler to prove how great the fishing was without a camera. With all of these anglers taking photos of their great days on the water, there comes an opportunity for you to be a part of this.

While you could invest in a side business of photography, it may be best to leave that to the experts and instead try to have your anglers share their photos with you on Flickr.

Flickr started in 2004 and within a year was bought by Yahoo due to their high traffic and simplistic social sharing aspects. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which lets you express yourself through words, Flickr focuses on photos. A picture is worth a thousand words; Flickr is cashing in on this fact, and so should you.

When you set up your Flickr account you should realize that you are not using it to sell products, but rather you are selling an experience or a moment that was captured because that person shopped at your store. Many fishing tackle retailers have a bragging board in their store where their customers’ photos are posted with big fish. Flickr takes that bragging board to the digital world and gives others from your community, state and around the world a chance to see the results your customers are experiencing.

Here are 5 Tips on getting Flickr to help your store

Tell a story
Flickr is photo-based, and photos tell a story many times that words cannot. You can resurrect old photos and post them to your Flickr account to help tell your storied past. Show your store through the years and the changes that have taken place to the building and your staff. If you have had your children grow up working in the store, or maybe you yourself grew up in the store, share some of those photos. Do you have a few trophy photos from over the years your customers have left hanging on the bragging board? Include these as well, especially if they are able to showcase some of the clothing and equipment changes over the years.

Involve your customers
Ask your customers for their input as well. Surely a few have photos from years gone by they wouldn’t mind letting you scan and post on their behalf to your Flickr account. It allows them to relive the great memory of that big catch, and it will give you more photos for your Flickr account. If you do an annual weigh-in or big fish contest, this is a great time to dig those photos out as well. You could even have all contestants’ photos from this year’s tournament posted on your Flickr account for live updating.

You could also use Flickr to show off new lures that have either just arrived in your store or will be arriving in your store soon. With ICAST just around the corner, how great would it be for your Flickr account to be where your local anglers see a new lure, rod or reel for the first time?

Learn to share
Like other social media sites, Flickr is about networking and sharing. Unless you or one of your customers is a professional photographer who makes a living from taking pictures, allow others to share and use your photos. This will help with interaction on a community level and get more eyes on photos you have posted. The more people who see your photos, the more your store’s name will be circulated and the more your store will be thought of as a place to shop. You never know when that person online will be coming through your area and need fishing gear.

Join the community
Flickr has communities much like LinkedIn and other social networks – become a part of at least one. Flickr has communities based on almost every topic. If you do not find one that relates to you enough, create a new one and get your customers to join it as well. Even if you join communities where photos are posted from a different part of the country, you should still comment and share it to your favorites stream. Maybe someone caught a lunker on a new lure, showcase that photo on your favorites, it may get some local anglers thinking they need a few of those lures in their tackle box.

Flickr isn’t for selling
The last tip for Flickr is to remember that Flickr is not a way for you to sell your products. You can showcase a new lure, and the fish it is catching, but you shouldn’t use Flickr to post pricing of the lure. Flickr is not for the hard sell, but rather the soft sell. A photo of a new rod and reel will bring in customers, as will a photo of your store with a comment stating all set up for our big weekend sale. When you do this you are not telling people what is on sale, or the price of the rod or reel. You are sharing a photo of the new rod and reel and letting people know you have them in stock, and you are telling them you have a sale this weekend. What the price of the rod or reel is should never be posted or advertised, nor should you advertise what is on sale this weekend. This is where your website will come into play and you can direct any questions back to your site where all the information is posted.

By redirecting customers from Flickr to your site you are gaining more traffic, but also pre-qualifying these visitors as buyers. They are coming from Flickr to your site because they saw something they want, but need the rest of the story that isn’t being told on Flickr. Make sure your site is updated and a link to your Flickr account is easily found. Share a few photos from your Flickr account as well on your site, the cross promotion can only help.

These five basic tips to get Flickr in your marketing plan this summer should be easy to master in just an hour or two every night, or during a lull in customer traffic in your store. Who knows, you may even see how another fishing tackle retailer is displaying products in their store and borrow their idea for yourself. If you already are using Flickr in your social media plan, let us all know how it is going. We love to hear success stories and lessons learned from venturing into the world of social media. Share your experiences with us all on our Facebook page and on our LinkedIn group.