Pictures. We all know they’re worth a thousand words, but despite this immense value, we still find ourselves trying to figure out how we can use pictures to further our digital promotional efforts more effectively. Tagging photos in Facebook and using social picture applications like Instagram
have brought us a long way in this regard, but the topic of this weeks post has launched us into a new world. When I first heard about and looked at Thinglink
, I didn’t really get it and quickly forgot about it. But so many people kept talking about it, I figured I’d better take another look and find out what I was missing.
Turns out Thinglink is actually quite incredible. Thinglink provides an interactive experience previously unheard of with pictures. The idea behind Thinglink is to connect ‘things’ in photos to ‘links’. At first, it may not sound that exciting, but this really does open a whole world of possibilities.
Let’s say your band just got done playing a great show for your CD release party, and as your walking off the stage the photographer snaps a killer group shot. You, of course, put this picture up on your website for all your fans too see and enjoy. But Thinglink allows you to take that experience even further.
To use Thinglink with this picture, you’ll first upload the image to your Thinglink account. Once uploaded, you select particular regions of the photo you want to tag. For example, can put a tag anywhere on the photo and link that tag to a video clip from the show. You can tag the broken sticks the drummer is holding in the picture to a video clip of him actually breaking the stick during the show. The brand new CD the singer is holding can be linked to iTunes so your fans can buy the new CD. The guitar player’s guitar can be linked to the blog post where he talks about how the guitar was handed down from his father, and this show just so happened to be on his dad’s birthday. You can go on and on until this one photo becomes a whole interactive experience that shares more insight and story than the photo could ever hope to on it’s own.
Thinglink has a number of integrations that really make it exciting. Thinglink has SoundCloud integration so you build links in to your photos to specific SoundCloud tracks. TopSpin integration allows you to put E4M (email for media) widgets in a tag. You can also collect email addresses with FanBridge and Mailchimp integration. You can even link to your songs on Spotify.
What makes these integrations even better is Thinglink has a ridiculously awesome help section. They explain (with very easy to understand step-by-step instructions) exactly how to integrate with your website and how to use each of the integrations. Some of them, like TopSpin, are slightly complicated, but Thinglink takes all the trouble out of the process. Well done, Thinglink.
As I said at the beginning, Thinglink opens a whole world of possibilities. Never have we been able to do so much with photos so easily. And Thinglink has not ignored the social aspect. These newly tagged photos are embedable and shareable so your fans can spread their favorite photos with all your tags included. Thinglink also tracks the analytics for your photos so you can see what pictures and tags are most effective.
The photos I’ve attached in this post are mostly of different ways others have started using Thinglink, and they’re some pretty cool and creative ideas. But I want to know how you would (or do) use Thinglink. The true power in Thinglink lies with the creativity of the user. If you haven’t already, sign up to Thinglink (they have a free version!) and share some of your tagged photos in the comment sections. How do you think artists can best use Thinglink? Do you find it valuable? What some creative ways you are using Thinglink pictures?
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