In order to grow their social networking presence and strengthen their audience of potential customers, companies must know how to elicit the aid of internet users, believes Pixazza. The company is launching an online service t

hat crowdsources marketing. Their tool allows companies to renumerate “publishers” who tag photos of products on personal sites.

“With this tool, any internet user can transform static images into content that is useful for the brand, while at the same time profiting financially from the action,” the company says.

“The main goal is to put the consumer at the heart of the process,” web marketing consultant Laurent Dijoux told L’Atelier.

Having the consumer in this position allows brands to lessen marketing's intrusiveness, while at the same time entering the privileged space of the consumer. In this case, users sign up on Pixazza’s online platform, receiving a code that they embed on their own sites. The code allows them access to a widget with which they can tag their photos. The tag brings up a product page when users mouse over the image.

The publisher is paid according to the ranking of their tagged products.

“This tool can only be used in certain cases,” Dijoux said. “Especially in terms of social engagement: the brand needs to work with users and engage them in a conversation.”

Outside of legal considerations, which must be expressly stated, it is also important to track usage to see what objects are tagged, and to see if they fit well with the brand’s product needs.

This week, Pixazza announced that it had raised $12 million in Series B funding from Shasta Ventures, August Capital, CMEA Capital and Google Ventures.