There are a growing number of websites and social media channels that focus on multimedia. Specifically, these sites specialize in images and videos that people continually crave. Using pictures is one of the best ways to grab an audience’s attention and draw them into an image that depicts a theme or message. Marketing agencies have used this technique for years by replacing words with images, heightening emotion and prompting viewers with feelings and desires. The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is indeed true.

People spend countless hours perusing online galleries and category groupings for sheer entertainment as well as to get makeup ideas, travel plans, restaurant reviews, or information on businesses through graphs/charts…and pictures. Companies like Flickr, Photobucket, Pinterest, Instagram, deviantART, Fotki, PBase, photo.net and SmugMug have acknowledged and enabled individuals to communicate, organize and optimize media on the web.

Remember, pictures and videos are types of content that should be incorporated into your content marketing campaign. Given the fact that videos and images are high interest items, don’t take shots in the dark with a random marketing plan. Find the best type of channel where your multimedia can reach your target audience. Furthermore, the selected channel needs to be able to track the KPIs that are important to your goals. No activity should be done without a goal and you’ll want to be able to measure the effectiveness of you efforts. Decide what matters to your viewers and create content to satisfy their interests so that your company can benefit.

Below are the lists of metrics for Flickr, the largest photo management/sharing community, and Photobucket, a close competitor.

Flickr KPIsFlickr – Statistics on Flickr are designed to give you insight into the ways that people are finding your photos (statistics are only available to pro account holders).
  • Comments
  • Tags
  • Notes
  • Favorites
  • Added to gallery
  • People
  • Replies to your comments
  • Adds you as a contact or to a photo
  • Writes a testimonial
  • Shares
  • Keywords used on search engines when your photos come up
  • Referrer
The statistic, “referrer,” can be a little confusing. To gain a better understanding, Flickr explains it as, “A referrer is another website that has linked to one of your Flickr pages. For example, if someone does a search for something on yahoo.com and one of your photos comes up, their click through from the Yahoo! search results page will count as a referrer. You’ll also be able to see what they searched for in the stat about that referrer. When you look at your referrers, you can click through the link to visit the site itself to see where the link came from, and how your content is represented there. If that link doesn’t work, you can also go to the base domain name and see what that site is about.”

When looking at your site, keep in mind that:
  • Your own views of your own photos are not counted
  • Flickr tracks views and referrers when a page on flickr.com is loaded. They are unable to count views of your photos on external sites (like your blog)
  • The “Search Engines” group of referrers counts traffic from most of the major search engines online, including Yahoo!, Google, AOL, MSN, Ask.com, and live.com
    • When reading search engine results, we are able to show what people searched for to find your content
  • We don’t display links to individual Flickr members as referrers
Photobucket – This social media channel does not offer as many features to help manage with profile activities.
  • Views
  • Likes
  • Followers
Cadene9_PhotoBucket_KPIYou are given the ability to store and share your images by either uploading your pictures and videos from your desktop, mobile device or Facebook. Even though Photobucket provides a lot of useful features, they lack the ability to let users view multiple types of metrics. The designs of their metrics were not made for companies to track the different types of KPIs that should be watched when managing a marketing campaign. However, sometimes simpler is easier.

The best way to decide on how to spend your time and resources begins with your goals. What are you trying to achieve by sharing pictures and videos, and do these goals line up with your other objectives? You want to have a unified message across your social networks with content fidelity that can drive traffic, engagement and, ultimately, leads.

This is the fourth piece of the Measurable KPIs for Social Media series.

*Originally published on June 20, 2013 in the Content Marketing Examiner, sponsored by Cadence9®.