Our knowledge increases exponentially. One merely has to look at Apple’s panoply of innovations since the start of the millennium for evidence of this. The internet provides instant (though not always reliable) information to any user with access. And these are but two examples of how technical advances have transformed communities, identities and relationships. Our lives have also migrated heavily toward the digital forum – which is why it comes as no surprise that much emphasis is now placed on new media marketing.

What may come as a surprise is the idea that we can turn currency digital too. In an online marketing forum, we already know there’s such a thing as social currency – this is pretty evident by the mushroom effect of social media platforms and the sheer mass volume of users. But Empire Avenue has taken that idea and put a digital dollar sign on it.

Invested in the idea of social capital, Empire Avenue’s created a free social stock market where you can virtually invest in people, thereby raising their stock. There was always a running joke in some circles that your “stock went up” as you achieved some level of success. Now it seems it can go up quite literally with eaves, Empire Avenue’s digital currency.

So what’s the point in social capital? Well, it moves social relevance leaps and bounds beyond just “liking” them or being friends with them. As Empire Avenue puts it, you create “value-based” relationships “that go deeper than simply ‘following’ someone, in a completely less intrusive context than becoming ‘friends.’”

It comes down to putting worth on all your social media activity. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc., Empire Avenue assesses what you’re up to and puts a quantitative figure on it based on your qualitative efforts, which is then shared with your investors – in fact rewarding your ‘investors’ by driving their eave earnings up. You’re rewarded for your activity, they’re rewarded for being a part of your network, and to top it off there’s an analysis of your social relevance.

The marketing edge is achieved by standing out from the crowd and showing what you’re worth – pun intended. The catch is that others also need to be a part of Empire Avenue…which is where you should lead the way, securing yet another chance to showcase your social prowess by being in the know of what’s hot and why.

The model may remind you of Klout, but it’s hardly the same. While there’s a ranking and activity analysis like Klout, Empire Avenue goes further by (1) adding digital currency, (2) rewarding who you network with and (3) turning the whole process into a game, which is far more engaging and more likely to last in the long run.

Remaining skeptics should consider that Fortune 500 companies like Intel, Microsoft, Audi and AT&T have already come on board with Empire Avenue. Interestingly enough, their Empire Avenue worth is a near mirror reflection of their real-life success.

Make this work for your small business by showcasing your digital worth…a reflection of your real-time worth. If you’re a small business stuck in the rut of social updates but not getting anywhere or competing with lesser businesses that are doing the same – then this is for you. By showing your relevance with Empire Avenue, you highlight your social brand more notably. Alternatively, for business owners who engage in social media blindly, Empire Avenue can be a real eye-opener in terms of how ineffective their marketing might be and how they can improve it in the future.