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Napkin Labs' Fan Center Uses Crowdsourcing, Not Cash, To Win Brand Loyalty

More brands are willing to pay for fake fans. Napkin Labs is keeping it real with a new Facebook platform to help brands build long-term equity.

Yesterday, Gartner published the unsavory results of a study that predicts 10-15% of social media reviews will be fake in two years’ time. In other words, more and more brands will start paying off shills—with cash, coupons, and promotions—in their quest to gather the most fans and highest ratings.

And though money may buy a few thousand "Likes," it doesn’t necessarily buy fan loyalty, which might explain why just over 1% of fans actively engage with brand content on Facebook through posts, shares, tags, and the like.

Social app maker Napkin Labs thinks buying fan loyalty is about simply listening to what your fans have to say. The company builds a suite of Facebook apps designed so brands can do less broadcasting to and more interacting with fans. For example, the Superfans app creates a leaderboard system for fans to learn more about each other, as well as see who’s engaging the most with the brand.

Today the company is launching Fan Center, a Facebook platform built on top of Timeline that brings together all the crowdsourcing apps in Napkin’s suite to create a central hub for fans and brands to interact with each other.

"Facebook has become a powerful storytelling platform for brands, but the voice of the customers gets easily lost," Napkin Labs CEO Riley Gibson said in a release.

Brands can use Fan Center to track social campaigns and see how fans are engaging with content and reward them. Big brands on board for Fan Center’s launch include Nike, whose Nike Snowboarding hub pulls in fan photos with the #getlacedup hashtag from Twitter and Instagram.

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