Frequently Asked Questions

What is Picstars?

Picstars is a Swiss startup. Its unique technology makes it possible for brands to utilise the personal reach of their ambassadors. Picstars offers a way for brands to be present on all of their brand ambassadors’ social media photos and videos in a manner that is targeted and measurable.

Who is behind Picstars?

The former CEO of JobCloud AG, Mark Sandmeier, will take over operational management of Picstars AG on November 1, 2016. The founder and current CEO, Henrik Kammermann, will move from the management to the board of directors and take over the chairmanship. Henrik Kammermann will in his new role as chairman of the board of directors concentrate on new applications and the further development of Picstars’ technology and launching abroad. Currently Picstars consists of two additional founders and three partners.

What is Picstars’ vision?

Picstars unites every brand with perfectly matched ambassadors – and vice versa. Picstars is the largest personal network marketing agency without a single agent.

Is Picstars an another photo app?

No. Thanks to the unique technology of the Picstars app, brands can more effectively and efficiently than ever before use and measure the reach of their ambassadors’ social media photos and videos. By using Picstars Cockpit, a brand manages its campaigns, selects its ambassadors and controls the reach of their photos and videos – live. Picstars is based on the most trusted media channel: the personal reach of a person.

What are the benefits of using Picstars?
  1. For brands:

Nowadays brands only use their existing network (e.g. fan pages) on social media. They have no way of communicating their product via the personal social media photos or videos of their fans and followers on their network. When using Picstars, brands are present on all of the photos and videos of their fans and followers and they are also visible on their networks in a manner that is controllable and measurable. By using Picstars Cockpit a brand manages its campaigns, selects its ambassadors and controls the reach of their photos and videos – live. At the same time, the brand sets the desired reach and pays only for effective performance.

  1. For ambassadors:

Ambassadors use Picstars for their photos and videos, and they receive live updates of any interaction with their posts. The greater the reach, the more they earn.

What does Picstars cost?

Picstars charges a fixed licence fee to set up Picstars Cockpit and the campaign’s upload possibilities. For additional services such as reach, statistics, talent and/or brand consulting, big data and matching, a mark-up of 20% will be charged based on the number/costs of likes, comments and shares.

Is Picstars only in Switzerland?

Picstars has launched its product in the Swiss market, and it will endeavour to enter the market in Germany, Austria and UK in 2017.

Where is Picstars used?

It is used in three cases:

  1. Stars & talents: In the fields of sport and music, stars & talents use Picstars and they are paid by their sponsor (brand) based on their reach and impact via Picstars.
  2. Events & locations: Event participants use Picstars or its functions to share their impressions and experiences with their network. The new event reach exceeds the previous event reach many times over.
  3. Company & product: Companies use Picstars in a targeted manner at events and thereby utilise the reach of their employees or customers, which had previously been completely unutilised even though it is worth its weight in gold – especially in terms of employer attractiveness.
Can Picstars also be integrated in an existing app?

Yes. All Picstars functions can be integrated in any app.

What is an overlay?

An Overlay is a transparent (png) graphic that includes a brand, a logo, and/or an advertising campaign. This Overlay is the one that gets ‘layed’ on top of photos and videos.

Can you help me with the design of my campaign?

Yes we can. We have graphic designer in-house who are specialized in CI and online advertising campaigns. At current stage you can send us a mail with a campaign briefing as detailed as possible. We then get back to you with an estimate.

If I am an event organizer, do you provide me with marketing material?

It’s a good idea to have marketing material in place to actually let your event guests know what they can expect or what prices they can win if using Picstars. We are happy to help you out or even have our graphic designers create something for you.

Do I have a chance to test Picstars before purchasing a product?

Yes. Just login to your (new) cockpit, upload an overlay, invite users to your campaign, and off you go. We will contact you during your ‘test-time’ and talk about possibilities, costs etc.

As a sponsor or brand manager, can I constantly monitor the performance of my photos/videos?

Sure. Each brand-manager has access to his/her own Picstars Cockpit. You will have full control of Campaign Overlays, Costs, Users, Photos/Videos, Reach, etc. You even send performance links to your colleagues.

Events & Locations. What is the difference between the two.

There is no difference. It just describes the event as a concert, competition, etc. taking place, and a location such as a ski resort that has ongoing happenings, news, ambassadors etc.

Can you help explain the difference between the Stars&Talents product and the Company, Employee etc. product? Not seeing much difference except that the cost per like and share is less for Company.

It’s pretty straight forward: As soon as you pay your ambassadors for their Social Media reach (sponsoring) then you will have to use Stars&Talents. In choosing our products such as Event or Employees etc. you will use the same functionalities except that you motivate your ambassadors ‘outside’ the app (example: Win tickets, meet & greet the star etc.)

What does a talent earn through Picstars?

Normally the earnings is something between the brand and their talent. However: The brand pays per reach, Picstars forwards 100% to the talent. The brand pays 20% of the volume as service and licence fees to Picstars.

If an Agency handles everything with a talent, what can the agency earn?

An agency earns a percentage of the additional Ambassador earnings (as agreed between agency and Ambassador). This might be mid-term thinking as most ambassadors already have an obligation to post photos/videos to Social Media with mentioning ‘their’ brand. However, as Social Media reach is purely performance based (content, timing, selected platform, fan base, etc.) the payment/the sponsoring will be so as well. A brand wants to have a controlling instrument such as Picstars’. For an agency it is important to jump on that bandwagon as soon as possible.

Why do I have to publish a photo again, when I want to post it on Instagram?

Instagram does not have an API in place that lets Apps post directly to Instagram nor to receive performance/reach updates per photo/video. Picstars has therefore included the ‘work-around’ as experienced in the App as well has developed a unique photo/video monitoring/measuring tool for Instagram. This is a market new innovation by Picstars. A competitive advantage for sure.

How much does a brand pay for a branded photo posted through an ambassador? What happens if a photo goes viral?

Picstars advises each and every brand to set a limit to each ambassador, photo/video, and/or month. If the limit is reached on a regular base, the limit (we call it ‘the cap’) can be adjusted in order to reach the maximum number of people.

Who owns the cockpit?

The Brand resp. the Picstars Client (in some cases this might be an agency, a re-seller, or an event promoter).

Who owns the photo with overlay? The brand or the talent or the channel?

The owner is always the ambassador who ‘took’ the photo/video. However, the user, when signing up to Picstars, gives Picstars the right to use the content in order to create a benefit for the ambassador (example Follow-X Network). If the brand may/can use the content needs to be agreed between Brand and Ambassador. As soon as posted to Social Media, the rights and policies of the Social Media Platform takes place, Picstars no longer is responsible for any actions related to the photo/video.

Why just the channels Facebook, Twitter and Instagram?

These are the most commonly used SoMe Platforms. Picstars however is flexible to include and integrate various new and upcoming platforms.

When will Video be integrated?

Video will be available November 2016.

How many overlays can I add in my cockpit?

As many as you like. You can even create various campaigns in which you then create fitting overlays per campaign. These can even be planned and timed.

How many people can I invite to a campaign?

You can invite endless of people in a Social Branding Case (Events, Employees, Company). Be aware however, that in case of Stars&Talents, only the selected Stars&Talents can be invited to use ‘their’ campaigns together with their sponsoring amounts/volume.

Is it possible to track likes and shares? To see where they are coming from?

At current stage: no. We are however working on it and will soon have the following in place: See who gets to see your brand, segmentation, location data etc.

Is it possible to ‘buy’ likes?

No, Picstars sees whether the likes are ‘real’ and of high quality or ‘bought’.

Does the brand also pay for likes that are coming from a segment that are not of value to the brand? Example: A photo branded with a Swiss Insurance Logo get likes from Asia?

This ‘spreading loss’ is considered in the pricing. However, we are working on only taking the ‘good’ likes into account.

What is the difference between Picstars and other influencer solutions/companies?

Picstars brings together brand and influencer (ambassador). Picstars with its technology ensures a perfect match between a brand, an ambassador, the instantly posted photo/video content together with the branding campaign. The goal is to get the highest quality ‘word-of-mouth’ on Social Media. Needless to mention that Picstars offers a tool (Cockpit for Brands, App for Ambassadors) and charges for effective reach and performance only.

What is the average income of a Talent per photo/video?

This varies on number of fans/friends and even more so on the quality of posts (photos/videos) the Ambassador posts to his network. That’s the interesting part of it: on Social Media an ambassador is only as good as his posts. With Picstars the brand as well as the ambassador see/learn which posts work well and which not so.

Is there not an overkill of branded photos on Social Media?

Advertising through Word-of-Mouth will always play a huge role, as long as the advertising message is trustworthy. Again, that’s why we put a lot of energy into ‘matching brand and ambassador’ as well as into instant photos/videos.

Can a brand react to a photo/video that is not matching their guidelines or likes?

A Brand has a live overview on what is posted to Social Media together with the ambassadors’ contact details. A brand has the possibility to remove the photo/video and/or to caution an ambassador. However, we have so far not come across any problems in this matter. As long as an ambassador posts with a purpose (to earn money, to win prizes etc.) an abuse is not expected.