Discussion in 'Social Networking Sites' started by madsam, Aug 5, 2010.
What methods are there?
1) Advertising supported
people go on social networks for specific purposesâ€”they want to check out their friends profiles, pictures, videos, etc. Social network users aren't in a shopping mindset and so aren't likely to be looking for information about products or services. But, social networking is still a good option for increasing brand awareness
2) Subscription Model
This involves charging users a fee to use a site. Dating sites have been very successful with this model, but outside of this space,
3) Data mining - This model involves collecting data about a group of people and selling it to an advertiser. So say Nike wants to learn more about what kind of music and movies guys 16-19 like, they would be able to purchase data from a social network that tells them what they need to know. I'm not sure if any sites are currently doing this, but it may be something to think about
4) Sponsorship - Instead of just having advertisers, it would seem to make more sense to have sponsors who are invested in helping the site grow and adding value. Sponsorship could be something as simple as giving Brand X complete ownership of a contest or section of the site, or a sponsor could take things further and partner with the site to bring users something unique and valuable.
5) Affiliate Marketing - Affiliate marketing is basically selling an outside party's goods/services and getting a commission or fee for each sale that is made. In my opinion, this is an under-utilized method of monetization. Instead of putting up some Google ads that no one clicks on, why not offer a relevant product or service to your users? While we've seen that most people aren't in a shopping mode when they're social networking, it never hurts to test offers, especially on niche sites.
It would be pretty easy to add a "store" to the site and feature relevant products. A couple sites are currently utilizing this method:
Just google "MyLikes" and you'll get a great social network monetizer.
If you mean how do you monetize off of someone else's social networking site, the best method I've found is to make a fan page for your website and get several profiles with thousands of friends to like it. After that, each of the friends of each of those profiles will effectively see an ad for your website, and, if they like it themselves, the effect spreads.
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