Is Pic2Go the Next Step in Social Media Marketing?
Posted by: Chris Aylott
Monday, July 9th, 2012
Technological innovations spread by making difficult tasks easy and convenient. The Walkman made it easy to carry your music around; the iPod made it easy to carry all your music. Facebook made it easy to keep up with your friends, and Pic2Go makes it easy to share what you did at events with them.
That innovation may not have the same reach as an iPod, but Pic2Go co-founder and CEO Eitan Hefetz has good reason to call his product a “revolution.” Speaking in a telephone interview from Israel, Hefetz was clear about how Pic2Go was designed to make “social media photo marketing” convenient for users and effective for advertisers.
“From day one,” Hefetz says, “we were focused on leveraging social media. We help guests at events get their photos directly into Facebook. Each of those guests has an average of 200 friends — younger people are more likely to have 400 friends — who will see the photos. This is the viral power of combining photo marketing with social media.”
How Pic2Go works
Pic2Go’s photo system links up event management, sponsors, and attendees in a way that provides benefits to all three. Event attendees receive a small card with a visual code known as a “pic tag” on it. The pic tag can be part of a convention badge, or appear on the numbered bib racers wear to identify themselves.
“We made it very practical,” Hefetz said. “The pic tag is a 2-D bar code that can be as small as 1.8 by 1.8 inches. It fits on a name card.” The pic tag is simpler and larger than a QR code, “which helps us to read them in a standard photo.”
Attendees can opt into the Pic2Go system and provide permission to post photos to their Facebook accounts. After that, all they have to do is wear the code or display it when photos are being taken. Photographers at the event take normal pictures with their usual camera equipment, then upload the pictures to the Pic2Go site. “They don’t need special photo equipment or scanners,” says Hefetz. “It’s simple, practical.”
After receiving the pictures, Pic2Go’s software then sorts through them and identifies the pic tags. If your pic tag appears in the picture and you’ve opted in, the picture is posted to an album on your Facebook account. By the time you get home from the convention — or the race, or the amusement park — you have an album of photos to show off to your friends.
Hefetz says the shared pictures add up quickly to a lot of ad impressions for the event and its sponsors. He cites a recent three-day convention with 4,000 attendees. Half the attendees opted into the Pic2Go program. “There were only three photographers,” he says, “but the sponsor received over a million impressions from the shared photos.”
How far can this go?
Pic2Go launched in September 2010, and has spread quickly in its native country of Israel. It has been used by museums, hotels, and Israel’s largest water park. It has also been playing a major role in Israeli athletic events. At the recent Tel Aviv marathon, all the runners received pic tags, and 26 photographers took 70,000 pictures. Sponsor Gillette recorded 2 million ad impressions from the shared photos.
The company began operations in the U.S. about a year ago. “It’s still very early,” Hefetz says. “Our clients need to sell the idea to their clients. For event managers it’s a very unique offering. The value is very clear.”
Pic2Go is also expanding internationally. “We are relatively young and small,” Hefetz says, “but our product enables us to scale by partnership. We just signed up some Dutch partners, and we have partners in the United Kingdom.” Pic2Go shares revenue with partners, and also has direct clients around the world.
Hefetz’s company may be young, but it has a service that can add excitement and sponsor revenue to many different kinds of events. As one event organizer commented in Pic2Go’s blog, “The gathering was alive last night, and now it’s live again, through Facebook. Cool! “