Facebook has 750 million subscribers. People on Twitter tweet 200 million tweets per day. You Tube has 3 Billion page views per day. FlickR has More than 5 billion pictures uploaded on its site. There are over 100 million registered users of linkedIn.
No matter how hard I try I just can’t wrap my head around these numbers and the exponential growth of social media in the last two years. Empire Avenue (EAv) is a social media game that is taking advantage of this surge. It is unique in that it encourages participation in Social Media by rewarding your engagement while encouraging you to network with other users on the site.
After participating in several Tweet Chats where EAv was mentioned, I decided it was time to get on board. Immediately after completing the sign up process and setting up my profile I was bombarded by investors purchasing shares in my stock. I’m not sure if it was because I signed up during a holiday weekend or it there are always investors chomping at the bit for fresh bait, but I was happy for the instant engagement. The madness lasted probably another good 1/2 hour before settling into EAv normalcy (and by normalcy I mean the feeling you have after downing two Grande Chai Tea Lattes).
With my initial bounty of 16,000 EAVES (The EAv currency) I made several investments without any real strategy or knowledge of what to consider when I made a purchase. I didn’t do my homework before signing up because I didn’t plan to engage until a later time. Lesson learned. Be prepared to play the game as soon as you sign in.
After making a few purchases and accepting an invite to a live chat with an experienced player
John Evangelidis ( JIANNI )
Thessaloniki , Greece
I had a much better understanding of the strategy required to be successful. I quickly discovered that EAv was a good place to make contacts because there is a huge incentive to invest in other users and convince them that you are a good investment.
During my chat with Jianni it dawned on me that a great way to meet some interesting people and learn more about the game would be to use the chat room as a resource. I decided I would try and interview some of the users and then write about what I learned from them in this blog. I was successful and chatted up the following people:
Driebergen , Netherlands
Sydney , Australia
Live Oak, FL , United States
Tampa, FL , United States
Reykjavík , Iceland
Miami, FL , United States
Rio De Janeiro , Brazil
Alpharetta, GA , United States
What I learned
1. Most of the players that I talked to invested between 1 – 3 hours a day on the site. One enjoys it so much that he/she logs on for up to 6 hours a day.
2. All have enjoyed playing the game so far. Many have only been on the site for a few weeks or months. The majority said that the biggest benefit was networking with new people that they would not have met any other way. “I have made some amazing contacts here on Empire. Connected with people that I would not have connected with on other social media platforms.” says (KIMGARST)
A secondary benefit comes about because as you use the social media you are connected to in EAv it is tracked and reported back to you thus pushing you to engage more. When I asked (TFLAT) if EAv has changed the way he uses social media he stated “Yes it has. I find that I’m using twitter more often when I haven’t been using it much. I’m also using LinkedIn when I haven’t been using it at all.”
3. One huge advantage is that the entire premise of the game is to invest in your peers through buying and selling shares of stock. This makes it very easy to meet people because everyone has an agenda to sell themselves and buy into other players. Once you make that initial contact it makes it easier to develop a longer lasting relationship. (PRAL) stated “but i love the community feel to it that everyone connects, you make actual friend and not just a contact”
4. One negative aspect of EAv that everyone agreed on was that you have to log onto the site almost every day to maintain your stock value and when you don’t, your stock takes a large hit. Orbis noted “I dont like that going away for a few days has such a severe effect on the share price” The other negative that came up more than once was that there are many users who don’t understand or don’t take advantage of the networking capability on the site. One other “opportunity for improvement” is the site hasn’t gone mobile yet making it more difficult to connect when on a business trip or vacation.
5. Having a strategy is key to increase dividends from your investments as well as increasing your own share value. A well developed strategy is useful for getting the most out of networking. Many that I talked to felt that networking is key and includes it in their success strategy. Most agreed that it’s important to invest in new arrivals that appear to have potential based on their connections to social media and initial engagement in the game. Another important strategy is to fully utilize social media as it can significantly improve your share value. (TFLAT) actually wrote a blog post to discuss his strategy.
6. Empire Avenue is a great tool to make an initial contact but it’s pretty cumbersome for long term networking. Almost all of my social media interactions take place on twitter and I have already made connections with just about everyone I spoke to. I noticed today that I was listed on (KIMGARST) Twitter account as one of Empire Avenue connections. I’m going to have to create an EAv list for all of my connections as well. I can’t wait to have access to Google+ as I already have plans to create an EAv “Circle.”
7. (CALLANPARK) had some words of wisdom when she said “Yea…but I don’t put in any CASH like the others do…that’s how the moved up so fast [don’t let them tell you otherwise].” I assured her that I would not be one of those people buying my way to the top. Aweart stated that “One of the aspects of Linked in that I like is that you can get introduced to high influence ppl, EA gives you the same access without having to need an introduction.”
I’d like to give a shout out to each of the EAv uses who took time to talk to me about their experience on EAv. I learned a lot in our discussions and appreciate the new connections.
From my experience so far EAv can be a useful part of your social media portfolio. It’s great for networking with people you may not have access to anywhere else. It is also an excellent tool for improving your social media footprint.
If you are a visual learner take a look at the You Tube video linked below:
I happened across the video below (it’s long but worth the watch) as I was doing research for this blog and decided to attach for those who wanted to gain insight from one of the founders.