You could argue that trading a focus on “infuence” for one on “engagement” is an exercise in semantics — I did — but Dups Wijayawardhana and Ric Williams, the guys behind social media stock market Empire Avenue, would tell you you’re wrong.
The startup, a virtual stock market for social media users, today relaunched with a focus on engagement as its metric for the performance of its users’ stocks. Influence, the company’s CEO told me, is impossible to measure.
“You can measure whether someone engages with a piece of content you shared, but you can’t measure the outcome of that engagement, which is what influence is,” Wijayawardhana said. “You can’t say that 70 times out of 100 a certain person can influence someone to do something. You can say that 70 percent of the time, they engage their followers and friends.”
So, influence measurement is a farce. Take that, Klout, Kred, PROskore, Twialyzer, Traackr, TwwetLevel, SocMetrics, and PeerIndex.
Engagement measurement is where it’s at. Empire Avenue’s site is its first revamp since its launch in 2010. It was already an incredibly detailed and slightly overwhelming interface with various stock trading functions, not to mention requests for reciprocal investment from anyone who’s bought your stock.
But it’s addicting and (naturally) engaging. The stock market adds game mechanics to social media, thus enticing you to be a more engaging user of these platforms. Success in engaging followers and friends on various social networks is tracked by Empire Avenue and that affects the users’ stock prices. Interactions with your shareholders increase your stock price, too, while also increasing and your engagement on social networks.
Now with the new version, Empire Avenue not only tracks a user’s activity, but Empire Avenue is now a social media dashboard. The site accommodates light social media interactions like tweeting, commenting and liking on Facebook, Youtube, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Flickr, WordPress or Instagram. And yes, even you, Google+.
Warning: If you haven’t tried the site yet, set aside a good 20 minutes to figure it all out, and then get ready for an email barrage of notifications for your investors. It is, after all, a game. But fortunately for us social media types, it’s a game where success there translates to real world success as an
influencer engager. Now, it’s the weekend, engage away.
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