Imagine you’re an avid fan of a certain brand of fitness equipment. You also have a decent social media following. You promote the company’s products to your friends and on your social platforms, and people pay attention. One day you wonder, I love this brand so much and I do so much for them, but do they even know I exist?
Gerome Sapp, pro-football-player-turned-entrepreneur, wants to bridge that divide between normal people and big brands with a new social platform called Fluencr, financed by the Vegas Tech Fund. The platform allows users to sign in, activate their chosen social media networks and tag brands in their posts, similar to how one would tag a friend on Facebook.
Companies can access data on their tags and on the promoters with the most influence. Fluencr can also help brands target their audience and determine the best ways to reach them.
What’s in it for users? They’ll receive points depending on how much impact a particular post generates—the more points, the more rewards and shout outs from the brand. Sapp says the company wants to begin offering different levels of participation in the next six months, with users who reach higher levels potentially eligible for financial compensation, too. “Brands will eventually engage with users who reach the higher levels on more serious endorsement terms—i.e., pay them for their social impact,” he says.
As a Baltimore Ravens safety, Sapp wasn’t a star player, but his social media influence did help spread awareness about the brands that endorsed him. “There’s a lot more of me than there are Peyton Mannings,” he says. “We might not be on billboards, but we still have a lot of influence.” Sapp left the Ravens in 2007, but the experience helped him realize that there were other social media mavens out there who lacked a way to connect with brands.
Serendipity brought the Fluencr team to Downtown: While at the SXSW conference in Austin, Sapp was walking down the street when a drunk guy asked about his reasons for being in town. Sapp decided to pitch Fluencr to the inebriated stranger, and Vegas Tech Fund partner Andy White happened to be standing nearby. In October, the fund announced a $300,000 investment in Fluencr. The company’s iPhone app launched last week, and they are gearing up for a pilot program with the City of Las Vegas, Zappos, UFC Gyms and more.
Keep Up With Downtown Events
Downtowners now have a new app to download: The Downtown Project launched their iPhone app last week, complete with events, venues and news.
The app’s main focus is the events. Users can filter them by category (music, startups, etc.), time and location, or favorite certain listings for a more personalized experience.
While the app fills a digital hole in the community and is executed well, it lacks content. Many of the categories fail to bring up any events at all, though that may change in the coming weeks now that the app is launched.
Speaking of events, if you’re looking to mark your calendars for more techie occasions, VegasTech.com recently re-launched with a new and improved calendar section. A collaborative effort of Switch SUPERNAP, Work In Progress and a team of Las Vegas entrepreneurs, the calendar features everything from casual hangouts to hardcore code meetups.
What do you think about the new Downtown Project app? Tweet Nicole at @ElyWasHere.