Fanzy Incentivizes Social Influence

At ad:tech San Francisco, Fanzy, the company that bills itself as the world’s first social loyalty network, announced it’s new Fanzy Pro offering. Fanzy looks to capitalize on the interaction of super fans, those people who already tell their peers about how great your product is. Fanzy previously offered a free Facebook app that allowed brands to reward fans for specific types of interaction. With Fanzy Pro, the company adds some customization features to the product, including custom color schemes and social achievement badges.

I had the opportunity to interview Fanzy co-founder, Tuhin Roy, at ad:tech about how Fanzy incentivizes participation and what’s coming in the future.

What does any of this have to do with performance marketing?

Fanzy is definitely a brand-focused solution, but I do see some potential for incentivized behavior tied to performance based offerings. Rewards don’t necessarily have to be something free, which makes this a golden opportunity to put the performance of the rewards to the test.

The big questions are whether an offer presented as a reward really does convert better than an offer that was presented through a standard ad campaign and is the quality of the acquired customer any better than the customer acquired through a standard campaign?

If both of those answers are yes, Fanzy rewards may represent a unique opportunity to convert offers to a specific category of Facebook user. In the interview, Tuhin Roy suggested that Fanzy believes people who unlock rewards are going to be much more likely to claim a reward than the average person who converts after seeing an advertisement. The proof will be in the data.

When does influence get attributed to sales?

I’m not sure what Fanzy has planned for their next stages of growth, but they are certainly hinting at the opportunities by allowing rewards to extend to all Fanzy users. The possibilities of that kind of network effect are interesting.

Behind the scenes, Fanzy is likely aggregating data about users, which means over time they will know that the guy who is good at influencing others to interact with Nicki Manaj is also good at getting people to talk about a particular TV show. Over time, patterns will emerge and there will be opportunities to recommend cross-brand incentives based on historical data about which influencers can deliver the goods.

We’ve seen a number of attempts at measuring social influence. Both Klout and Kred are trying to assign a quick score so you can see who the top performers are. Empire Avenue dabbles in measuring influence by aggregating a score around your activity on various social networks. But none of them successfully identify whether activity translates to action.

Fanzy currently offers a better model than anything else I’ve seen because they reward successful evangelism of a brand. By tracking the participation that happens after the share, Fanzy is definitely headed in the right direction. What I would want to see happen next is some way to attribute conversions to that engagement. To use a musician as an example, getting someone to watch or like a YouTube video certainly has value, but getting them to watch the YouTube video and later purchase a concert ticket or download tracks from iTunes is what takes things to the next level.

Jake Ludington

Jake Ludington has over a decade of experience building content publishing teams, coupled with more years as an affiliate marketer than he cares to admit. Follow Jake on Twitter.