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Social media ‘missions’ drive traffic and yield real business results

'Mission' Control

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.

Robert Lavigne

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’s Tim Gorree

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.

So far, Nokia, ticker symbol (e)NOKIA has run over 100 missions, mostly to drive traffic to the Nokia Connects blog.

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.

Read: Social media ‘missions’ extend reach for social causes

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.

This column is FREE to use on your websites or in your publications. However, Troy Media, with a link to its web site, MUST be credited.

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22 comments
mqtodd
mqtodd

This is a really great explanation of EA. It is also a lot about the community. After 18 months and more many of us are now supporting each other intuitively without need for reward. I am incredulous that anyone would not want to be part of this

DougWolfgram
DougWolfgram

I have had tremendous luck with 1000e missions as well. They are 'free eaves but link to someplace I need people to go. If they are interested, then they actually participate. I've encoded my links with tracking codes and can see that 30% of the links choose to participate with my content, even when I don't compel them to as part of the mission.

 

jimwirshing
jimwirshing

Great article. Thrilling to see that you mentioned me anonymously for my 2.5 hr proofreading mission. Ooops. Guess that I'm not so anonymous now... ;-)

david4ASEA
david4ASEA

Very well stated and It is working!

paulsteinbrueck
paulsteinbrueck

Excellent article. It's great to hear about the real world results some people & companies are having with EAv. I still believe in Empire Avenue's potential, but I also believe it has some serious issues that limit its effectiveness for many organizations. I blogged more about that here - http://ow.ly/fa6qX 

RLavigne42
RLavigne42

Thanks for the shout out Greg, and thank you to Harold for being one of those who helped with the proofreading.

haroldgardner
haroldgardner

Interesting to see EAv having impact IRL.  I often wonder about the reach and efficacy.

gadgetgreg
gadgetgreg

 @paulsteinbrueck Hi Paul, thanks for the vote of confidence  glad u enjoyed the article. It was fun writing and talking to EAVE peeps. I also hear what you are saying and thanks! I'm sure Dups and Ric are working on it. What amazes me is what they have accomplished with such a small group of people. @gadgetgreg @paulsteinbrueck 

gadgetgreg
gadgetgreg

 @haroldgardner Harold, these are only a few stories; I'm confident there are many more. I had a few who were simply too busy to talk to me. Some have a long reach, others not so much. But unlike other platforms, EAV seems to be a catalyst. I guess in Dups and Ric's words: Social Media Rocket Fuel. @gadgetgreg 

gadgetgreg
gadgetgreg

 @RLavigne42  @mqtodd Robert, that is so true! In fact, one of my future pieces will be on what/who I personally discovered through Empire Avenue that would not have been possible otherwise.

paulsteinbrueck
paulsteinbrueck

 @gadgetgreg Hey Greg, I hope so, but if you click the link in my last comment, read the post & follow the links to previous articles in which I've written about Empire Avenue's "pain points"and recommendations to address them, you'll see the EAv team has been silent on them.