Peer-endorsed social loyalty program Peer2 launches

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Peer-endorsed online marketing platform Peer Squared (Peer2) has launched in beta. Apparel companies Miss Sixty and Energie, motorcycle brand Ducati, nutritional product maker SuperFoodsRx and performance skin care product Brave Soldier are among the brands signed as clients.

The Peer2 program allows consumers to share branded content across 20 social media sites, including Facebook, My Space, Hi5, StumbleUpon and Reddit. Every time a consumer clicks on the branded content on one of those sites, the person who shared it receives points, which he or she can redeem for products like electronics, jewelry, music and toys.

“Ad inventory for ads, like banners on social networking sites, is way up, but engagement is still plummeting,” said Joey Caroni, co-founder of Peer2. “As the Web becomes increasingly more social, the highest [click rates] are coming from peer endorsements.”

The branded content from advertisers, in the form of games, widgets and online videos, can be shared in two ways. In one, the user is assigned a unique URL for the chosen branded program, which he or she can post on Facebook, blogs, or send to friends via e-mail, instant message or text. That method is designed for an active social networker, Caroni explained.

In another option, the user can embed a Peer2 player widget into a social network profile. Peer2 then randomly feeds one of the branded programs into that player. The second technique is for a passive networker.

For both of these options, users receive 10 points for each click he or she garners. Those clicks lead users to the brand's homepage or microsite, depending on the program. Users are regulated as to how many points they can receive by person, program, network and day.

“Social media is really hot right now, as we all know,” said Emily Liu, director of PR and marketing for Sixty USA, whose brands include Miss Sixty and Energie. “This is a really great way for our fans to become brand ambassadors and talk to their friends about the brand.”

She said Miss Sixty's program, set to launch next month, could include a promotional code to see a new collection, videos of fashion shows and general goings on with the brand and in-store promotions.

Caroni added that it is the job of digital marketers to “come up with ways to increase engagement levels.”

“Social networkers are more likely to be interested and click if the content comes from a trusted source — even if they weren't necessarily looking for it,” he said.

Peer2's partner for new content development is digital agency Creative Asylum. However, brands can use their own previously developed creative as well. Peer2 is working with Omniture to track clicks. The company is also working with Amazon Web Services for prize fulfillment.

Caroni said Peer2 is planning to roll out experiential rewards like red carpet premier tickets. It also hopes to form partnerships with charities so users can donate their points.

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