Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Consumers Help Brands Build Their Ads With SnapMyAd

Social apps like Instagram and Vine have inundated everyday life. Picture it: You go out to dinner, your plate arrives and before digging in, you stop to snap a picture and share it with your friends. If that doesn’t describe you, you could probably just as easily look around the restaurant and see others who are guilty of the habit. Such occurrences — which aren’t limited to pictures at restaurants, but rather all forms of commerce — have become so commonplace that it’s created new privacy issues in this era of ever-growing technology. Brands that have snagged photos posted on social networks like Instagram and Facebook and then used them without permission have subsequently sparked outrage amongst social media users. However, the new mobile app SnapMyAd wants to mediate these conflicts by connecting brands with consumers willing to give up their photos.

Josh and Yvette Lee stumbled upon the idea for SnapMyAd during a flight from Florida. Josh took a photo of the plane’s wing and added a caption praising the airline’s performance despite turbulence due to a tropical storm. He realized he had inadvertently created an ad for the airline, and he certainly wasn’t the first. He recognized the opportunity in connecting brands with customers and their photos, and thus he and his wife created SnapMyAd, which launched in May.

The app (presently only available for iOS devices) is a win-win for brands and consumers. The brands essentially receive tailor-made ads, while SnapMyAd users can win perks by handing over the rights to their photos to the brands.

Users can sign into SnapMyAd with their Instagram account, search participating brands, what perks they’re offering winners and post their relevant photos on the app. In the past, users have won rewards such as Amazon gift cards and magazine subscriptions. Like Instagram itself, users can like pictures posted on SnapMyAd, and these likes help determine the winning photos for various ad campaigns, however brands ultimately have the final say.

Brands can outline what they want for their ads, whether that is a photo of a specific product, event or otherwise. Once they do choose a winning photo, the brand and user swap prize for picture, and then SnapMyAd sends the brands the user’s email and home address so they can mail their winnings.

SnapMyAd offers an innovative use of social media for ad creation and connecting brands with their loyal customers. Granted, brands that use SnapMyAd pay a hefty sum (according to Mashable, anywhere from $500 to $2,500) per promotion in order to encourage users to submit their photos. So while this may not be feasible for your advertisers, there is a lesson to be learned: Every day, social media is playing a growing role in commerce.

Consider creating a contest that connects social media, your readers and your advertisers. For example, ask readers to post pictures of their favorite meals at a local restaurant (one of your participating advertisers, naturally). The best photo could become your client's next ad, and the photographer could win a gift card to that restaurant. Of course, this is just one suggestion. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to social media.