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November 9, 2012
EDMONTON, AB, Nov. 9,2012/ Troy Media/ – Robert Lavigne is on a mission.
Lavigne, from Brantford, Ontario, operates The Digital Grapevine, which specializes in Social Business Mentoring, and TDGv Studios, where he creates videos and podcasts.
(e)RLavigne42, his ticker on social media network Empire Avenue, is a veteran of the platform which he uses as a Customer Relations Management (CRM) tool.
Empire Avenue, he says, is ‘a system that has metrics on every connected platform, something you can’t do with things like Klout.’
Lavigne utilizes Empire Avenue ‘missions’ to engage people and improve his brand. Offering incentives, he says, helps him to both filter through the noise and accomplish what he needs to.
Simply put, you create a mission to ask someone to carry out an assignment, rewarding him or her for its completion. Not only can they drive traffic, engage your online content and social profiles, missions also have the potential to yield incredible and often unexpected tangible results.
The key to creating a successful mission is simple: it mustn’t be impossible to accomplish. It should typically require very little time, effort or talent to complete. The quest might simply be to ‘Like’ a Facebook page, comment on a blog, tweet or re-tweet a post, watch or subscribe to a YouTube Video or to share some element within social media circles. Sometimes, missions don’t require you to do anything; it’s the mission holder’s way of saying ‘Thank You’.
Lavigne creates many types of missions, some of which include getting people interested in a page or blog, or just letting people know, who will in turn tell others, that he’s going live to air on his podcast. And it works. In fact, he’s built such a loyal following and trust he often doesn’t need to leave instructions. He simply points people to a page and lets them do what they will.
Missions can also be used to leverage other social media platforms.
‘When I go to an event’ he says, ‘I find out what the ‘hashtag’ is going to be. I’ll run a mission to tweet with that hashtag, I’ll get 50 re-tweets. I will be top tweet when everyone walks into the event the next day.’
And Lavigne is just one person.
“Active members of Empire Avenue have a reach of over 54 million people through their Twitter followers and Facebook friends alone, no overlaps, and these are first hand relationships not two or three times removed. Thus the potential reach is enormous and a great engagement platform,” says Ric Williams COO Empire Avenue.
Missions are catalysts and have a huge value.
Lavigne recently published an e-book on Slideshare and ran a mission looking for a proofreader. He was offering 10 opportunities of 25,000 eaves (Empire Avenue’s virtual currency – many missions run 1,000 to 2,500). The results were far beyond expectation.
In fact, one mission taker spent over two and a half hours on his e-book and, even though it had already been proofed by others; came back with a list of valuable edits. ‘Amazing that people will do things for virtual currency,’ Lavigne says.
Lavigne reserves special missions for those who have ‘invested’ in him on Empire Avenue. And it’s come back to him in spades. He’s generated a lot of goodwill and, he says, while he still does awareness campaigns the momentum created by Empire Avenue’s missions means he doesn’t have to actively pursue connections on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. ‘It does its own job; the heavy lifting is already done.’
Missions are not just for solo entrepreneurs, however. Big business has also jumped on the Empire Avenue bandwagon. Brands like Intel, eBay, Bridgestone, Ford, Nokia and even the Montreal Canadiens are finding themselves on Empire Avenue.
Nokia, based in Espoo Finland, is an active brand on Empire Avenue and ranks high on the leaderboard. Tim Gorree, a senior Systems analyst and part of Nokia’s groupware and social media team, manages its account. Although blessed by the company, Gorree took the initiate on his own as a pet project.
An early adopter of technology and instrumental in implementing Nokia’s presence on Second Life where it built and sold virtual phones, Gorree sees huge value in Empire Avenue’s mission and rewards system as a way to amplify Nokia’s presence.
He’s very well versed in virtual worlds and the value of virtual currency.
In fact his initiatives earned him the 2009 IMAGINA Intraverse Silver Award for best immersive corporate presence.
Gorree believes that Nokia is all about connecting people. ‘So it makes sense to go where the customers are. Empire Avenue facilitates that.’
He sees missions as the conduit to help spread Nokia’s message more broadly. They are, he believes, a great way to increase visibility, share news and reinforce Nokia as a global company active on social media.
Its latest mission will earn you 4,000 eaves to share and comment on an informative and education blog post on why Shanghai is perfect for everyday adventurers.
‘We match content with the audience and make sure it’s relevant,’ Gorree says, adding that it’s about the shareholders and not just the company.
It’s working. The missions have yielded positive and measurable results for the company, he says. ‘Just one blogger, for example, can generate 2,000 to 3,000 extra re-tweets and additional activity every month at virtually no cost and minimal effort.’
In fact, one Empire Avenue holder of Nokia’s virtual shares confessed that, after being exposed to their missions, he actually decided to purchase real Nokia shares.
‘Word is getting around,’ says Gorree.
Greg Gazin, known as The Gadget Guy, is a Tech Columnist, Small Business and Technology Speaker and Senior Editor at Troy Media. He can be reached at Gadgetguy.CA on Twitter @gadgetgreg or you can find him on Empire Avenue at (e)GADGET1.
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