Wednesday, November 28, 2007

flickr: org integration proposal

For the social media organizational integration proposal, student Ashley Beebe suggested that the Food Network adopt Flickr. This would be a great way to get Food TV viewers involved in a community of cooks as they share pictures of their interpretations of a recipe & maybe their own concoctions. I really liked how Ashley suggested that people at Food TV actually go out in search of pictures then invite people to share the pic with the special Food group (no pun intended). This focus on community - the heart of what social media is to me - & the ability to showcase one's contribution to the community are among the things that made this Flickr proposal stand out.

The proposal she turned in follows.

Food Network Flickr account proposal

Ref: [1]

1. Purpose: This document outlines the addition of a Flickr [1] account to the Food Network online community to increase feeling of community and interactivity within the Food Network online community. Food Network already has a fairly well-established online presence within its Web site [2]; the addition of a Flickr account would allow the Food Network to reach outside of its own online neighborhood and participate in other communities. Participation in other communities would increase traffic to the Web site as well as brand loyalty; use of a photo pool, standardized tags and discussion postings would also give Food Network the ability to better track and gauge discussion about the Food Network through blog, recipe and photo posts.

2. Background: Flickr is a photo-hosting network under the Yahoo [3] umbrella, meant to encourage storing and sharing photos online. As of May 2007 Flickr had more than 8.5 million members and members upload as many as 2 million new pictures per day [4]. Flickr is a social medium; there are multiple devices built into the Flickr framework to make it easier to find and share photographs and thus experiences. Each member has his or her own “photostream” and can organize the photos into sets, add descriptions and titles, tag each photo with key phrases, mark other Flickr members as contacts, mark other Flickr members’ photos as their favorites, add photos to group photo pools, add notes on top of photos and comment on each other's photos. Flickr members are given information on how many times their photos and the photos of others have been viewed, they’re shown their most popular photos by number of comments, number of times a photo has been added as a favorite as well as number of views.
Flickr members can also explore other photos by searching tags, search groups, or using the explore page to find interesting photos.

Tags help organize photos and make them easier to find – tags can be searched and added to photos by friends and family who view the photos. Groups pool photos of similar origin and nature – members join a group and can add their photos to the pool; those photos’ pages then show that they are a part of the designated group. Group members are often asked to tag their photos with a common tag in order to make the photos easier to find, members can also
discuss topics relating to their group in the discussion section of the group page. Groups serve to bring together people who have similar interests and photographs and to share those photographs with each other.

3. Implementation Process: Adding a Food Network account and Food Network group would increase Food Network outreach and promotion as well as allow Food Network to follow online discussion of relevant Food Network references, with little increased work by Food Network staffers.
  • a. Create a Flickr account for Food Network: The process is simple and costs $24.95 for a Pro account, allowing unlimited space for uploading.
  • b. Upload, title, describe and tag photos from the Food Network studios: Uploading pictures can be done using the Flickr site or by downloading one of the free Flickr uploading tools [5]. Tags can be added by clicking “add a tag” on the photo’s page once the photo has been uploaded or before it has been uploaded via the Flickr Uploadr tool. Uploading pictures from the Food Network studios allows Flickr users to have an insider’s perspective into the behind- the-scenes life of Food Network. Adding pictures of some of the dishes created, along with a description featuring the recipe and a link to similar recipes on the Food Network site will increase traffic to the Food Network site.
  • c. Create a Food Network group on Flickr: Groups can be created quickly and easily by clicking the “groups” tab at the top of the Flickr account page followed by the “create your own group” link on the groups page. Food Network should create a public group over a invitation-only or private group.
  • d. List the purpose and guidelines of the Food Network group on the main group page: When creating the group, a description listing the group’s purpose and guidelines should be posted in the “what’s the group about?” box. Members of the groups should be encouraged to add the pictures they’ve taken of the recipes they’ve made, especially those recipes taken from the Food Network site. Members should also be encouraged to link to the recipe itself on the Food Network site and a link to any blog postings where they’ve written about the dish itself.
  • e. Create pre-set discussion topics: Food Network should create some discussion topics ahead of time such as: all-time favorite recipes, favorite quick-and-easy recipes, favorite dessert recipes, tips for food photography, etc. Pre-set discussion topics will encourage discussion and increase feelings of community among the members, making it a more active and thus a more successful community.

4. Marketing: Marketing for the Food Network Flickr photo group should include reaching out to Flickr members who have uploaded photos of dishes they’ve made, awards for best of the week and adding as contacts the Flickr members who Food Network invite to the group as well as daily update of the Food Network’s photostream with photos from behind-the-scenes of Food Network.
  • a. Search for and issue and group invitation to Flickr members: Food Network should search for photos of food using the search field to search for common tags such as: food, dessert, recipe, FoodNetwork, etcetera. Flickr members found in these searches should be sent a message with an invitation to join the Food Network group. The message should explain that Food Network has a group to spotlight food photographers and their favorite recipes and that Food Network would love for this member to join the Food Network community.
  • b. Award and feature on the main group site a weekly “Best Food Photo of the Week,” and “Best Food Network Recipe of the Week” : One person should be in charge of picking the best photo of food that has been added that week as well as the best photo based on a Food Network recipe. These Flickr members should be notified of their win through the comments on the page of the photo they’ve won for and the photos should be displayed on the main group page, similar to the Flickr Diamond group’s main page [6].
  • c. Add Flickr members invited to the Flickr group as contacts: Adding the Flickr members as contacts by clicking the “add ‘Flickr name’ as a contact” under their profile page will allow them to be updated when Food Network adds new photos to its stream, thereby increasing traffic to the site and to the Food Network Web site via links in the description sections of the photos linking back to the Food Network Web site.
  • d. Update Food Network’s photostream with photos from behind the scenes, with links back to the Food Network site: Adding photos every week will keep Flickr members returning to the Food Network account to see new photos. Links should be added to the description section of the photo, those links should take users to a relevant page on the Food Network site.
5. Measuring: The success of the Flickr group can be measured by the amount of the contacts added to Food Network’s Flickr account, the number of members added to the group, the number of photos added to the group, the number of times Food Network’s photo stream has been viewed, the number of comments on Food Network’s pictures, the number of times one of Food Network’s pictures has been added as a favorite, the number of discussion postings and finally, the increase in traffic to Food Network’s main Web site that can be traced back to
links from Flickr.

Food Network should expect to see a precipitous rise in the number of contacts and group members added to the Food Network Flickr group. Based on preliminary research, some numerical goals for the first month should include:
  • a. 300 new contacts added
  • b. 250 new members of the Food Network Flickr group
  • c. 500 photos added to the group
  • d. 1,000 views of the Food Network photostream
  • e. 100 comments on the Food Network photostream
  • f. 50 times Food Network’s photos should be added as a favorite
  • g. 150 discussion postings
  • h. 5% increase in traffic that can be traced back to the Flickr site

Note: this proposal was created for as a part of a student project in class (ADPR 5990) & is no way an indication of what the organization is planning on doing regarding social media. Students selected clients & social media tools on their own based on their personal interests.

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