Empire Avenue, social capital and the value for brands

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Homepage logo for Empire AvenueRecently quite a few of the FreshNetworks team have started buying and selling each other on the internet.

…It’s not as bad as it sounds!

What’s happened is that Empire Avenue, a gamified approach to measuring social influence, has sparked off some friendly rivalry as we work out just how much social capital we hold.

So how does Empire Avenue work? Basically, it measures your activity on certain social networks, and is not dissimilar from other influencer measuring tools such as Klout and Peer Index.

Where Empire Avenue differs is that your value can effectively be peer-reviewed by others buying and selling shares in your score, giving you an incentive to remain a valuable commodity and remain active on your social networks.

What’s the value for brands?

While it can be a fun (and distracting) way for individual users to interact, the value of Empire Avenue for brands is especially interesting.

Xbox is currently the most valuable branded stock, but other businesses in the top 20 include Nokia, Audi, Toyota and Ford.

The early adoption of automotive brands is interesting, as one of the features of Empire Avenue is the option to buy “luxury items” – like a fancy badge that displays a manifestation of your virtual wealth. At present these are generic items – cars, boats, houses etc. but I expect we’ll soon see branded versions being offered by companies as aspirational items, or even rewards for loyal fans.

Brands will also be able to communicate with their users as the Empire Avenue platform offers real time chat and status updates. It also offers users the chance to  purchase in-game adverts to encourage visits to their profiles and, hopefully, investment in their stock. The relationship works both ways and brands can also invest in their fans, which is certainly a new type of engagement that goes beyond what we have seen before.

If you or your company are already active on social media, now may well be the time to think about “investing” in Empire Avenue.

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2 Responses
  • A slow rollout of a new look « Eaveness
    May 26, 2011

    [...] Empire Avenue, social capital and the value for brands (freshnetworks.com) [...]

    A slow rollout of a new look « Eaveness May 26, 2011
    Reply
  • 5 Things to Keep in Mind on Empire Avenue « The Social Media Philosophy Project
    May 30, 2011

    [...] Empire Avenue, social capital and the value for brands (freshnetworks.com) [...]

    5 Things to Keep in Mind on Empire Avenue « The Social Media Philosophy Project May 30, 2011
    Reply

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