#SuperEngager was a hashtag meme started in #SocialEmpire (an actual hashtag) that was coined by Shannon Morgan as a way to recognize or give a virtual “high-five” to those in the group whose actions and/or ideas brought new focus, new attention, or a mind-blowing concept that would stretch the paradigms of online relationship management, relationship building or social good. The Empire Avenue game became much more than a hub for a few of our favorite networks. Sure, buying and selling shares was fun at first, but the real value became apparent once we were enlightened by the presentation. Seeing each network score side by side showed us things that Klout, Peerindex, and the other “influence metrics” out there could not and still don’t.
Marketers and SEO “experts” will dispute this fact until they are blue in the face. The defacto real-estate agents of our age are driven by yesterday’s “LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION” mantra – a foundation that Google hopes to pull out from under them. With Panda and other changes to their search product they are quickly making this a reality. Don’t read too much into this – SEO is still a vital component that will always be necessary to some degree but ultimately your content is what counts. If you somehow manage to make it to the first page of any given Google search but users see garbage or recycled content what is the point? You will get a lot of clicks, sure, but as the value of page views diminishes and more emphasis is placed on how much time users spend on your page this will ultimately be a losing effort for the spammers, which should be the point, right? Do you want 5,000 people arriving at your site only to bail in under 10 seconds or would you rather have 500 people spend 2 minutes on your site, click the “like” button, share an article or even buy one of your “widgets”?
With all of this in mind I asked the Empire Avenue crew a few questions about Google+, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and the general philosophies behind how the networks are scored, what’s coming, and where they believe we should all be focusing our social media energies. Part one focused on Google+ and the final installment will reign it all in and hopefully make a pretty strong case for quality > quantity. Today we talk Facebook and future connections to the Ave.
Aaron K. White (e)BIGA
Director Design & Interactive Development
Brad Grier (e)BGRIER
Director of Social Media & Community Management
Dr. Michael Mannion (e)MIKEM
Co-Founder/VP Research and Analytics
Ric Williams (e)RICEAV
Chief Operating Officer
Duleepa “Dups” Wijayawardhana (e)DUPS
A great deal of new Facebook features released along with the Timeline beta in September 2011. Will Empire Avenue include sharing to the likes/comments that you have always captured?
Dups: I assume you mean deeper Timeline integration and integration of Shares into what we show about your Facebook activity. We are absolutely looking into deeper timeline integration. As for shares being shown in your activity stream on Empire Avenue, for sure we will be looking into that.
There has always been a lot of debate about the Empire Avenue “secret sauce” and what Facebook activity actually goes into a players scoring for that network. Some networks are very obvious, as an example everyone knows how many mentions or RT’s they receive, but in the case of Facebook it is unclear when “credit” is granted to the player because it is possible for people to click like or comment on things on a user’s Timeline that they did not post themselves. Could you shed a little light on your philosophy for what counts and what doesn’t?
Ric: Heh, this is our secret sauce! – We measure engagement – which is the most important part of the equation.
Dups: Adding to what Ric said — It is engagement with YOU and your content that counts.
Yesterday (3/13/12) users noticed a shiny new “Pin It” button on their profiles. Was this added simply to allow for greater networking opportunities or is a Pinterest network connection imminent?
Ric: Pinterest is a great network for sharing content, it would be remiss of us not to have that capability on Empire Avenue.
Aaron: We’re aware of the Interest the interwebs has in Pinterest and are eagerly awaiting their API
Mike: yes, please! Eagerly awaiting the API.
It is widely known and understood that Instagram is a massive “dividend farm” and there are even user groups and communities that exist only to exploit this situation. Are you guys looking at the impact that even low-scoring (under 30) Instagram connections are having on dividend output? I understand that it will be coming to Android soon but it still feels like it needs a second look.
Ric: Instagram is a great social network and we are very excited about it coming to the Android platform, we think they could hit 100m users very quickly. We are always assessing how interactions are occurring on networks and how best to evaluate the engagement.
While some of the mystery surrounding EAv scoring remains unknown to the user I think it’s clear that the Empire Avenue brain trust relies heavily on engagement which relies heavily on the quality of your content by proxy.
Stay tuned for the final installment of my interview with the Empire Avenue team coming soon!
Read part 1 here: Circle Me! Google+ and Empire Avenue