Peer Squared fast forwards the convergence of online marketing and social networks

Peer Squared is a new platform that allows people to share commercial messages with their online communities and earn points that are redeemable on Amazon.  It’s an interesting concept and the first one I’m aware of that actively encourages people to share brand messages on their personal social networks by offering tangible rewards for doing so.

Peer Squared Ducati

The motorcycle manufacturer Ducati just got on board, but I haven’t heard of any of the other four brands that so far have “programs” on the site.  So when Peer Squared calls itself “a peer-endorsed online marketing platform that rewards you for promoting the brands and products you love across the internet,” that’s only true if 1) a brand that you happen to love is there, 2) your motivation for promoting the brand is that you truly love it, vs. you’re only 1000 points away from that Sony speaker system you’ve been dying to get for free.

There’s the rub.  It’s one thing for brand enthusiasts to share messages and brand content out of their true love for the brand, with no motivation beyond the fact that when we find something we think is really good, there’s nothing more rewarding than being the source for others to discover and enjoy it for themselves.  And it’s perfectly legitimate for brands to help enable that, through widgets, links and sharable content.  That’s the beauty of social media marketing.  Your customers do the marketing, out of love for your brand, and that marketing achieves a new level of integrity and effectiveness.  But it’s quite another thing when someone’s motive for sharing information about the brand isn’t simply out of love, but out of a more self-serving objective — to get stuff in return.

And what does it say to our online social connections when we throw commercial messages in their faces, for products we in fact may not really believe in, for the sake of a few thousand Amazon reward points?  Is that what the social web is becoming?  A platform for shilling products to our friends?  “Hi friend, I interrupt my Facebook feed for this short commercial message.” With friends like that …, well, you know how the rest of the saying goes.

I’ve started a little experiment. I’ve signed up to Peer Squared and placed content on my Facebook page, Twitter and elsewhere.  I’m curious to see how fast I can accumulate points, and whether my social network notices, is indifferent or protests.

I’ll keep you posted.

16 Comments

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16 responses to “Peer Squared fast forwards the convergence of online marketing and social networks

  1. My understanding of this platform is that most of the sharing would have to be contextual for it to be successful. That is that you would only send a baby product bit to friends with babies or motorcycle quiz to a motorcycle enthusiast. The member chooses what to share and who to share it with…(for the most part)
    A member who sent the advertising to friends who weren’t interested would quickly “lose” those friends, and lose their source of point revenue, self-defeating the purpose. Spamming or tricking friends would be a short unsuccessful strategy, bad for the member, bad for the advertiser. If successful, it would seem to be a self correcting mechanism that would eliminate the less valuable impressions over time.

    • Stephen Rothman

      Thanks for the comment. It’s a good one, and portrays the ideal situation — the way we hope hope it would work. However, one can also place the messages among networks with which one is less personally connected, and so I think it potentially promotes behavior that can clutter social communities with disingenuous messaging. We’ll see.

  2. Danielle

    I have been using peer for a little over a month and have redeemed my points for “rewards” and I’m still waiting. I’m hoping I didn’t invest all this time I put in and not get what was promised. I have many pages on various social networks for means of promotion of various things, including Peer2. I’ll let you know if I ever get my Wii.

    • Stephen Rothman

      Boy, they better live up to that or they will die on the vine. How long have you been waiting? Have you had any feedback, good or bad, from your social networks?

      • Danielle

        Well….I redeemed my first set of points on 10-5. I have since redeemed more points in excess of 2M for various other things. Their FAQ’s state that “You should receive your reward fulfilled by Amazon Web Services within 3-4 weeks.” It was the 4 week limit just this week, so I’m hoping they just don’t count the weekends. But nonetheless, I have emailed them twice regarding this and have gotten no response. They also had the “Powered by Amazon” logo on site before. And now, it’s gone. So I’m getting nervous that I put in all this work for nothing. I have gotten a fairly good feedback. I have had several people sign up and make at the minimum, have had people make reference to the player. So it seems to be a great way to mass advertise. I just hope these people come through with their end of the deal.

    • Blade

      Danielle,

      I also just redeemed my points today so I was wondering how long it takes to get our reward. How long ago did you redeem your points?

      And one more question, what are the methods you use to get the points? Because racking up enough points for a Wii in a month is pretty good. I’m just curious what you have done.

      • Danielle

        I redeemed on 10-5. And it’s supposed to take 3-4 weeks. It’s been just over 4 weeks and I have yet to receive anything. Not even a response from my inquiries. I primarily use Myspace. I have a great number of promotional accounts that I use to promote musicians, etc and they have quite a bit of traffic. Mainly because I use them pretty much all day and comment people or message them with the player. On my best day, I got over 106,000 points. I have made my business using myspace and knowing how to network and promote. And this Peer2 company is an excellent idea for companies that want extensive advertising. I just get frustrated waiting for stuff to come in the mail and even more so when I get no response from emails.

  3. Danielle

    But even through my frustration, I continue to promote the programs and try to be optimistic….I really enjoy it.

  4. Blade

    Oh wow, so do you install the player on the actual websites? Because the only way I can seem to do it is to get profile views on my own profile. I may get 100 or so views per day. I’d like to figure out a way to either get more views, or use promotion like you have done. Do you have the link to one of your promotional websites? I would like to see how you have it set up. Plus it will get ya 10 points! haha

    Oh, and I got a message from Peer2 saying it takes 6-8 weeks to get your reward, I sure hope they decrease that wait time!

  5. Blade

    You get 500 friend requests? That’s insane haha.. I sent you a friend request too.

    I assume you probably get the majority of your traffic from your other promotion site right? How much time do you spend sending this type of stuff out? I spend roughly 10-15 mins a day

    • Danielle

      Mmmmm…..depends. I’m online most of the day because I work from home. But without even sending comments, I get over 50,000 points a day just from my sites.

      • Blade

        wow! It took me like over a month to get 30,000 points. How many sites are you on? And are your best ones promotional sites for musicians?

  6. Danielle

    I have over 15 Myspace pages and a friend adding site. My best sites are the ones with a lot of friends. 2 of my sites have over 50,000 friends.

  7. Danielle

    Did you notice they reconstructed their point system? People are going to stop promoting. I will be.

  8. Blade

    What did they do? Reduce it from 10 points to 1 point? If so, then it’s a complete waste of time

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