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SplashScore: Measuring (And Rewarding!) Social Influence

Imagine being able to win rewards and prizes for the statuses you post on Facebook. Sound too good to be true? Not for users of SplashScore, a Facebook application developed by Lyle Stevens and Sean Naegel. Lyle and Sean have been involved with IDEA since the spring of 2011 when their venture Apifia first received Gap Funding to build a beta version of SplashScore.

The application rewards users on Facebook for posting quality posts that engage their friends. Users are given a score based on the level of this engagement. These “influential” users are then able to cash in their points for prizes. Brands provide their products as prizes with the hope that these influential users will be converted into customers and will promote the brand to their friends.

The application is heavily integrated into the Facebook platform, which allows for a minimal change in users’ behavior. Points are assigned at an individual level and then compared to what the user could have potentially earned based on their friend count. This allows for a fair comparison across the spectrum of Facebook users.

Lyle first saw an opportunity when he saw his younger brothers competing on Facebook to see who could receive the most likes and comments. It was at this moment that SplashScore was born.

While at times it has been challenging for Lyle and Sean to balance their work on SplashScore with their “daytime” jobs, creating a business from scratch and receiving positive feedback from customers has been a truly rewarding experience for them both.

Today, Lyle and Sean hope to reach 10,000 monthly SplashScore users so that they can begin to work with national brands and acquire seed funding. Recently, they wrapped up the Facebook Beanpot, a social media competition between Boston schools to see which school could create the most “buzz” on Facebook.

The competition was a tremendous success- generating over 50,000 likes and comments within just two days. Lyle and Sean plan to hold a similar contest next month at a national level.

Lyle credits IDEA with helping to secure funding and legal services and providing mentorship. In this capacity, Lyle feels IDEA has been an “invaluable resource.”