A great photo sharing site has a few characteristics. First, the interface needs to look great, so that your photo feed looks as appealing and professional as possible. The site should also have a large audience, so your photos can get new viewers. The site should regularly get ranked in the search engines, to bring you more traffic. Most importantly, the site should support a range of social functions so that people can share and discuss your work.
If you’re using photo sharing sites specifically for a business purpose, then these are the five top sites you’ll want to use. These sites have the best of all worlds when it comes to gaining influence.
Site #1: Flickr
Flickr is one of the original photo sharing sites on the internet. It was acquired by Yahoo in 2005 and currently hosts over 6 billion images. According to data released by Yahoo in June 2011, Flicker gets over 80 million unique visitors each month. According to Alexa, it’s the 47th most highly trafficked website on the internet.
Flickr has a number of different features that help business owners increase their influence.
First of all, users have the ability to comment on photos. Sometimes photos can actually garner discussions. This all helps increase user engagement with your photos.
Images are generally organized into “Photo Streams,” which are basically albums. Flickr supports RSS, so your fans can easily receive future photos in their RSS readers.
Each image can be tagged. Tagging makes it easy for people who’re searching for photos to find your photos. It also helps you get ranked in the search engines. In addition to keyword tagging, Flickr also supports Geoformatting, which means location data can be saved onto photos.
Social media tags are embedded next to each photo to encourage people to share the photo among their social network as you can see below.
Flickr has a number of “groups.” People discuss and share photos in these groups. These groups can be a great way for you to reach more people who are interested in your specialty.
Adding photos to Flickr is easy. Just click the “Upload” button along the top navigation bar.
Site #2: Pinterest
Pinterest is one of the most unique social photo sharing sites to pop up. They’ve taken the “tagging” phenomenon to the next level.
Users of Pinterest can “pin” any image they see to their Pinterest board. This works much like cutting out images from a magazine and sticking it on a corkboard. Once you’ve pinned a bunch of images, you’ll have a montage of images all pertaining to a certain topic. I already talked about Pinterest in this article.
In addition to pinning images found on the internet, you can also pin images taken on any smartphone. So you can easily show up to an event or a conference, take photos and create a collage of those photos on the fly.
The site launched in March 2010 and quickly became one of the fastest growing websites on the internet. As for January 2012, the site was receiving over 11.7 million visitors a month, according to the internet statistics company ComScore.
One interesting thing to note is that the vast majority – 83% – of the website’s user base is women in the United States. In the United Kingdom, this number is more balanced, coming in at 56%.
Every image on Pinterest has several integrated social features. Each has a comment box and you’re automatically logged in via Facebook. You can also retweet, email or share all on the same screen.
Pinning up a new image is easy. All you need to do is click “Pin” and you’ll be given a number of different options to choose from to do your pinning.
In addition to pinning images from the web or from your computer, you can also pin using a bookmark. This allows you to pin any images you come across on the internet in one simple click.
Users who like your images can follow your pins. Through uploading great photos, you can build up a user base and increase your influence.
Site #3: Facebook
Facebook is by far the world’s largest photo storage website. It has over 50 billion photos stored on its servers all around the world. As the world’s largest social networking website with more than 900 million members as of April 2012, it’s definitely a photo storage platform you don’t want to ignore.
Using Facebook as a photo sharing application is quite different than using it just as a social networking website. The best way to use Facebook to spread your influence is to create a Facebook group or page.
A Facebook group or page will allow you to garner fans and likes. Whenever you post a new image, anyone who’s liked your page will have the potential to see your image on their feed (depending on Facebook’s algorithm.)
Once someone sees your photo, there are a number of different ways they can interact with it. They can comment on it, they can like it or they can share it. All of these options will result in some of their friends seeing the image on their feed as well. In this manner, your images can spread virally.
Uploading an image to a group of page is relatively simple. Just head over to your page, click “Photo / Video” and hit “Upload Photo / Video.” Then select the photo from your computer.
Site #4: Twitpic
Twitpic is the largest photo sharing utility used by Twitter users. Every day, approximately 2.25 million pictures are uploaded and shared via Twitter and over 45% of that image share volume is handled by Twitpic.
One thing that makes Twitpic unique is that you use the same login IDs as your Twitter account. You simply “authorize” Twitpic to use your Twitter account and you don’t need to deal with any other account information.
Twitpic encodes all their URL data into a very short code. That allows people to easily share Twitpic URLs in the 140 character space that Twitter allows.
Every picture you upload is saved under your username. People can view all the photos you’ve uploaded in the past by clicking on your name. Each and every photo has a comment section underneath it, so people can discuss your photographs.
To upload to Twitpic, just login with your Twitter account and click “Upload.” Twitpic will automatically pop up a box that you can type your Twitter message into, along with a character count feature. You can also choose to use location tagging with your image uploads.
Site #5: Picasa Web Album
Picasa was created in 2002 by Lifescape and acquired by Google in 2004. It supports both an online interface as well as a downloadable desktop interface. Though Google hasn’t released public data about traffic or number of images stored, limited data from Quantcast puts Picasa’s monthly unique visitors at about 5.1 million users a month.
Since Google released Google+, Picasa has more or less integrated completely with the social network. Unlike other photo sharing sites that comment using Facebook accounts, with Picasa your comments come from your Google+ account.
Albums that you upload to Picasa can now be tagged and shared by other Google+ users. You can also tag other people in your images. If you tag them, they’ll receive a notification that they’ve been tagged.
Here’s what a Picasa photo looks like:
To upload an image, just click the “upload” button.
Picasa has a number of unique features. First of all, you can order prints right from the interface itself. You can also create an RSS feed of any album you create. You can also “Share” on Google+.
Google Plus is today integrated with Google Search Plus, which uses Google+ likes to influence search rankings. Picasa’s integration with Google Plus makes it easy for you to take advantage of this.
If you upload a photograph of fish and share it among your Google+ network, people who’ve liked it and friends of people who’ve liked it are going to see your content much higher in Google+.
This alone is a powerful enough reason to take advantage of Picasa’s many features.
These are five of the most powerful websites for gaining influence on the web. Are you ready to take your influence to the next level?