September 6, 2011

What Is Your Personal Social ROI?

My friends and family all ask me how I stay involved in so many social media platforms.  My answer is the same every time; I don’t.  While I do spend a considerable amount of time researching platforms and what they do- I simply don’t have the time to stay actively involved in each and every one…nobody does.  So how do I pick what I do stay involved with?  The ROI that I receive for it, with *I* equaling my invested time.

I recently acquired an Empire Avenue account to understand its implications as a platform.  Empire Avenue is a social stock market that allows you to invest mock money in real people; ultimately, you play as if your social presence is a business.  It is a very interesting gamification of the social world.  Here are five observations from my limited investments:

  • Just like the real stock market, you have to spend money to make money; this means dedicating time to research in whom you should invest your mock money (Eaves).
  • Your portfolio can get overwhelming in a heartbeat.  A couple hours spent investing in social acquaintances and you’ll forget where you started.
  • Empire Avenue supplies you with a few digital “investment advisors” to help you on your way.
  • Much like Foursquare badges, Empire Avenue has “achievements” that you unlock as you become more immersed in the game.
  • There are interest groups and communities that give you discussion and collaboration capabilities, much like LinkedIn’s groups.


So, in this immense social game of investments, communities, portfolios and endorsements, what was I really getting out of my “X” number of hours invested?  My answer was “not much.”  So I stopped.

Was this a failure to me?  Absolutely not.

I became conversant on another interesting social media platform; I could see how others might use – and find value in it.  However, for a tool that I keep in my kit for everyday use, Empire Avenue simply didn’t qualify.

So I ask, what is your personal ROI with the social platforms that you use?


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