Do you play Empire Avenue (EAv), the social media stock market game? If not, this post will not mean much to you. However, for those who do play but are frustrated by the number of “mission thieves” they have met there, here is my solution for shutting out mission thieves.
1. Remove required actions.
No one can steal what you give freely without expectation of return. This paradigm shift will allow you to use missions to get eyeballs on your content and generate signals that help you improve your marketing. By marketing, I mean any promotional action you take on Empire Avenue to advance your goals.
I could go on and on about how paid click actions can backfire and will yield false signals for you to analyze. That is another post in itself. Just trust me, you can end thievery on your EAv missions today by removing required actions. Let the mission be complete with a click whenever feasible for your goals.
2. Add a gateway instead.
Of course, Empire Avenue mission thieves do exist whether you acknowledge them or not. To run a truly thief-free mission zone, you need a gateway you can close.
Some players build communities for their missions that allow them to exclude anyone who does not honor community ethics.
My mission gateway is usually a shareholder requirement. In my experience, most thieves don’t bother becoming shareholders. From time to time, I run “buy me” or “buy XXX” missions. As these missions have a stated requirement, I do occasionally run across a thief, and I will block this player. However, I try not to get hung up on police work, and as you will see below, on the rare occasion that I do investigate every player’s actions, I am satisfied I am getting 100 percent engagement in my 5000e Shareholder Bonus missions.
100 Percent Engagement? How?
I ran a mission on Monday. I gave away 5000e to shareholders who own at least 20 shares.
These were the instructions:
1. Click thumbs up if you like the mission.
2. Collect the eaves.
Comment below for positive feedback.
The link takes you to a tweet you can see below. If you are willing to retweet it, I am very grateful. If not, that is cool too.
Thanks for being a valued shareholder!
— Tammi Kibler (@tammikibler) November 11, 2013
So far, this mission has 35 completions, 17 retweets and 7 favorites on Twitter. As promised, I went through the list and gave positive feedback to everyone (27 of 35) who left a comment. When I looked at Twitter, I saw some people had retweeted who had not commented, so I gave them positive feedback too. Then I checked my notifications and found a few more players who did not comment on the mission, but instead bought shares and commented on my timeline, so I gave them positive feedback too.
At that point, I had two players left without positive feedback. I checked the list of players who liked my mission (34 of 35). Those two players who had not performed any other action had both liked the mission–perhaps the lowest degree of engagement in a mission, but still, this means that 100 percent of the players who completed my mission engaged with me further in some way.
I also picked up three new investors, and at least eight new followers on Twitter. I presume I received a lot of positive feedback as well.
What’s In It For Me?
I find it much more satisfying to hunt down the ways people did complete my missions, rather than feel robbed by ways they did not.
I also hope I minimize any ill will. If someone judges my sales page a bit too spammy for his taste, he does not have to feel like he wasted his time vetting the page, he can pick up the eaves and move on.
Meanwhile, I get signals related to the quality and relevance of my content. I know that the better my content is and the more it resonates with the audience I am building, the higher my response rate will grow. So I have something to strive for besides buying more fake signals.
Side effects include new followers and players who take their free eaves and invest in more of my shares.
Ultimately, I hope my shareholders see my avatar/screenname and experience a positive association with my brand. I understand that not everybody will like everything I create, but I believe my shareholder bonus missions help me expand rather than contract my networks by fostering goodwill and promoting my content.