GaggleAMP is a message-amplification platform that allows clients to create a network of employees, customers, and partners to distribute content and messages through social media channels. A range of related analytics and ROI reporting tools that measure activity on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are included.
Starts at $300 per year for 50 message shares per month. Unlimited sharing plans are available starting at $150 per month for 25 members.
Jack Mason, strategic programs and social business lead for IBM Global Business Services, started using GaggleAMP in August 2012.
How do you use it?
GaggleAMP is different from anything I have seen before. In many businesses, people are constantly trying to encourage colleagues to share messages on social networks. Really, we are asking and encouraging people to help us paint the fence. GaggleAMP helps orchestrate and coordinate that and makes it a lot easier to get colleagues to share because it does much of the work for them.
It can be used by any network or group. We happen to use it amongst a range of people across IBM Global Business Services, including consultants, executives, members of our Consulting by Degrees program, who are new IBMers just out of graduate school, people in communications and marketing roles within Global Business Services, and colleagues in our software group. We started with about 12 members. We are now up to 30.
You invite members into a gaggle, which is similar to an online network. One of our best, most experienced writers and editors is the curator of the messages we create for our gaggle to share. She provides very specific, strategic messages that our members can quickly – in a couple of clicks – elect to share to their LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook pages.
We've been selective about the members in our gaggle. We want people who are interested in it, who will give us good feedback, who represent a broad spectrum within the company, and who have pretty good-sized social networks because part of this is about consolidating our shared networks.
It's simple for people to join and they can automate how GaggleAMP links to their LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook pages. They see messages available for sharing and click a button to share. They can elect what messages they want to share and where. They also have the option to click a ‘No, thanks' button and note why they didn't want to share a particular message. The service doesn't track who shares precisely what, so there's decent privacy on the individual level.
We haven't had any problems with the service not working. Should there be a problem, there's feedback button that provides feedback on the spot, or we can call or email our rep. The people who manage the gaggle internally will field some questions. Some people in our gaggle wanted to better understand the finer points of how it worked, and they came to us to ask how to do things. We've given a number of members a little demo and let them ask questions, but the tool is actually quite simple.
How does it serve your business needs?
GaggleAMP lowers the barrier for people to help carry key messages out to their networks by making the process systematic and simple, and it also becomes kind of second nature to people. It's a common channel for companies that want to be smart about how they embrace the social Web.
The service helps coordinate organizational sharing, and it also gives you a bit of quality control through the editor or curator of messages, which is important. We're not trying to get out as many messages as possible. We're trying to get a few very important messages shared as widely as possible through the participants. It provides an amplification effect through this cascading of messages in a coordinated way.
GaggleAMP offers a lot of reporting, metrics, and deep analytics about how messages got shared – down to every click, retweet, share, and more. Many times, people in companies are seeking to get all this social sharing but it may never get measured in any meaningful way. We've had a few dozen people sharing for us for about four months, and we've just passed a message reach of 2 million.
With 14 people sharing a post created by the leader of our retail practice about how millennials are the next big shopper, we got message reach of 12,600 and 54 clicks. That's just one of the hundreds of messages we're shared, but its a great example of the power of all of us compared to uncoordinated sharing.
GaggleAMP offers a calculator based on CPM and CPC, so it gives us a ballpark way of determining the value of that sharing. All the sharing is through free services, so you can't totally compare the value to paid advertising, but you can make the case that this coordinated social sharing has value.
The baseline is CPM and CPC combined (based on $10 for CPM and $2.50 for CPC), but you can also set your own. It suggests our sharing has been worth about $36,000 over four months, and that's for a service that costs $100 a month.
How does it integrate with your existing infrastructure from an IT standpoint?
It's Web-based. Email notifications spur people to go to the site. With a Chrome browser extension, there's also a nice, non-intrusive prompt that pops up when a new message is available.
What are the main benefits?
Some of our gaggle members have seen good follower growth since using GaggleAMP. It enables people to post more regularly, and the regularity of quality messages shared is an important way to gain credibility and followers.
So we've seen what we think is probably growth above the organic level people might get over time without using GaggleAMP.
It allows you to update your LinkedIn profile status, and that's a very good thing because most people aren't in the habit of updating LinkedIn as much as they do Facebook or Twitter. When people share posts in LinkedIn related to their job, I think that resonates well, and it's helping us build that channel.
There are cultural benefits as people are beginning to see that all of us and our combined networks can be much more powerful than each of us on our own.
We didn't necessarily expect our gaggle members to say they enjoyed it, but they do. It makes them feel like they can quickly share messages that are worth sharing, it doesn't take a lot of their time, and it's easy to use. There's even bit of a game like quality to it because you can have leader boards and get points for sharing. We're not really doing that right now, but I think people feel a sense of the fun of it and it is cost effective.
What are the main drawbacks?
Facebook is a challenge because we're sharing strategic messages about IBM and work. People are a little more protective of Facebook, and they may be less inclined to share work related things there. This isn't a drawback of the platform –it's just a function of how people behave with different networks.
I'd offer a caution about scale. Suppose you scale this to hundreds or thousands of gaggle members – you may get a lot of amplification and sharing, but you want to be careful that it doesn't become a new a kind of spam. There's no faking it in social. This has tremendous power but you have to use it judiciously.
What would you like to see improved/added?
I would like it to expand into other networks such as Google+ and Tumblr, and I know GaggleAMP is working on that.
I'd also like to see it enabled for mobile devices or so members can share through any device.
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