Brands Using Gannett's Ripple6 Social Media Platform To Reach Customers
"We're showing these brands how to effectively monetize social media," said Sang Kim, chief executive officer at Ripple6.
Grape-Nuts and Unilever, in particular, are attempting to form deeper relationships between its brands and moms on the Gannett Digital Media Network. For instance, Unilever is using Ripple6 Brand Communities to run the "Living Beautifully for Less" groups across MomsLikeMe.com's 80 local mom communities.
The groups focus on the Suave product line and how the current economy affects the way moms spend money. By posting tips, advice, questions, and mom makeover videos with Luke O'Connor, the Suave Celebrity Stylist, Unilever and Suave are attempting to form lasting relationships with moms.
Using Ripple6 Social Insights for social consumer research, Grape-Nuts also tapped into the MomsLikeMe.com audience to gather a deeper understanding of how specific groups of moms approach their choices of cereal.
Nearly 100 moms participated in a 4-week discussion that covered 70 topics initiated by a moderator and the participants themselves about the importance of breakfast in a family's life. While Kim said such engagement can cost marketers $20,000 to well over $100,000, such initiatives offer far greater bang-to-the-buck than any physical focus group.
To shore up its social networking capabilities and lure advertisers with greater reach, Gannett Co. formed a digital media network in late April. The Gannett Digital Media Network ties together roughly 100 digital communities with a combined reach of some 25 million people.
Beyond news and information, the network was designed to help marketers build relationships with audiences on a variety of niche sites -- MomsLikeMe.com, HighSchoolSports.net, local entertainment guide Metromix.com, and action sports destination BNQT.com -- as well as leverage in-house technologies from rich media unit PointRoll, retail specialist ShopLocal, and Ripple6.
Gannett presently has several more sites in development, according to Josh Resnik, vice president and general manager of the Gannett Digital Media Network.
"We're looking at valuable audiences, and thinking about the user first," he said. Baby boomers are an especially attractive demographic to Gannett, he added.
On MomsLikeMe.com, Ripple6 is seeing an average share of voice .15%, and average page-views of 7-to-10.
For Procter & Gamble's Rouge Magazine site, Ripple6 recently built a closed community dubbed "The Salon," where invitees from the P&G mailing list could converse about beauty regimens generally as well as a specific product P&G was promoting.
One of the aims of the project was to find advocates and activate them outside of this closed community. According to Ripple6 CEO Sang Kim, a number of analytic tools can be used to identify potential brand cheerleaders.
Along with social services and tools, Ripple6 offers analytics tools based on word-of-mouth measurement and mapping capabilities. Likewise, its social analytics engine applies many variables to conversations to identify key players in a community.
Gannett acquired Ripple6 last November for an undisclosed sum. At the time, Ripple6 was already powering MomsLikeMe.com sites, which had recently rolled out in 80 local markets across the country.
Based in New York, Ripple6 still operates as an independent company, in some cases even providing social media services and tools to Gannett rivals like Meredith Corp.