Tech Profile: iSnap Social
What is iSnap Social, and how did you and your team get started in this field?
iSnap Social is the creator of the social photo station and accompanying suite of social media marketing tools. Our team lives and breathes social media and has seen how social networking applications are becoming ingrained into our daily activities (check-ins, exercise tracking, photo sharing, etc). We were inspired to push social media applications beyond the limitations of laptops, tablets and mobile devices in order to deliver more authentic social networking interactions. By creating technology to incorporate social media applications into physical spaces, we believe we can deliver even more fluid and authentic social networking.
How should the marketing/advertising industry utilize iSnap Social to create better end-results for its clients’ social content and marketing strategies?
Social media marketing is about turning consumers into brand advocates. To accomplish that a brand has to do two things: first, build a compelling product that is worth talking about, and second, entice consumers to share their product experiences with their networks. Agencies can’t always influence product decisions, but they can activate influencers. iSnap Social is a turnkey way to add a social sharing element to brands, events and experiential marketing campaigns.
What trends and changes in the market led you to realize that iSnap would fill a void? Describe the void.
Over the past few years, social networking has become a huge channel in its own right. Social networking activities now account for more than 20 percent of consumer time spent online. At the same time, nearly three quarters of businesses still consider themselves experimenters trying to figure this new thing out. Activating influencers in a natural, authentic way is difficult to do with printed signage like buttons or contests, yet it’s the most critical activity for social media marketing success. This is the void we strive to fulfill. We want to bridge the gap between brands and potential brand advocates.
How do iSnap Social Photo Stations work?
An iSnap social photo station is installed at an event or venue where people are having positive brand experiences. The stature of the photo station, along with any accompanying signage or sets, entices customers to snap a photo with their friends, select a social network and share a story instantly with their online social circle. Beyond spawning brand advocacy, our social media marketing tools provide analytics and social engagement tools to the sponsoring companies.
How can iSnap Social Photo Stations provide a unique, social brand experience and help generate buzz around a brand?
The iSnap Social photo stations enable customers to create a branded picture that they can’t get from a cell phone or point-and-shoot camera. These messages are shared on a customer’s individual social feed or wall, where they’re viewed, “liked” and commented on by their social network. iSnap Social photos generate a significantly higher-than-average level of engagement on Facebook and other social networks.
How does the iSnap Cloud track and manage data in a way that helps advertisers increase consumer engagement and generate buzz across social platforms?
The primary method of buzz-generation is the social photo station, which allows customers to share experiences with their friends. The iSnap Cloud will track all the usage and analytics generated across a marketer’s network of social photo stations. Marketers use the iSnap Cloud in three major ways:
- To engage customers through social networks while they are still at the venue.
- To utilize the customer data in other marketing campaigns and tools.
- To utilize the consumer-generated content in creative ways like picture contests, picture of the week, rewards for most active picture taker, etc.
What are some examples of clients who have used iSnap Social in effective or interesting ways?
iSnap helps a wide array of customers. Our primary customers are large brands like MGM Resorts, IMAX, Live Nation and others who have purchased social photo stations to incorporate a social element into their venues. But the most interesting in my mind is the work we do with media networks such as CBS Television, CBS Radio, NBC Sports and others who are using iSnap Social solutions to bring an authentic social element to support their traditional broadcast mediums. Sponsors of radio stations and television shows are getting added social presence with iSnap Social by engaging studio audiences or having a presence at major events or community activities.
How do you see social sharing and location-centric technology evolving in the next three to five years?
Social technologies are starting to deliver on the promise of the web as an equalizing and democratizing force. Location and mobile technology is allowing the social web to become more integrated into our everyday lives and activities to provide more joyful and fulfilling experiences. We see this trend continuing more and more with sensor-driven devices, wearable computing and public computing devices. Driving this integration of online social networks into real-world activities is the guiding mission of iSnap Social. The social photo station is just the beginning!
Alexander Lowe is the CEO of iSnap Social. Alex’s experience with interactive kiosks began in 2000 as the CTO of WebRaiser technologies, a self-service software platform company that was acquired by Flextronics Intl. (FLEX) in 2006. Alex’s experience in digital interactive includes engineering and deploying 800 slot machines with Spectre Gaming and founding and exiting online ad technology company AdPropel. Alex studied under scholarship for dual Computer Science and Mathematics degrees at CSUS before joining the high-tech startup community.
Tarah Benner is the associate editor of The Agency Post, where she edits content, researches new technology and writes on industry trends. She's a runner, rower and avid blogger who enjoys curling up on the couch with good pizza and a movie. Her experience includes copywriting, content marketing, digital publishing and writing for the web. You can connect with her on Twitter @TarahBenner or on LinkedIn.