Monday, January 07, 2013

How to Monetize Social Media?

"In 2005, we thought, 'We're going to get lots of traffic and advertisers will take care of the rest,' " Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian said. "Websites advertise like digital billboards. Now we can see click-through data on these ads and we realized: Holy shit, no one cares."
Moving forward, Reddit intends to flip the tables. Subreddits like /r/gameofthrones have more than 100,000 active users creating content even when the show is off the air, just because they enjoy it.
...Ohanian claims that Reddit still has a lot to work on, but it intends to find a way to monetize from the community directly — similar to how comedians like Aziz Ansari are benefiting from direct distribution to fans.
There are other functions of Reddit that the company does not intend to stray from, but rather enhance — for example, Reddit gold, a more ceremonial way for Redditors to show support for the network and each other. Users pay or gift $3.99 per month or $29.99 for one year as a Reddit gold member, which enables small bonus features like more statistics and the ability to subscribe to more subreddits. 

Dan Neely from Networked Insights described the "monetizing social media" challenge as figuring out “how to be part of the distraction.” If a company is just guessing when and how to approach customers, the company is just another entity — along with instant messages, wall posts, other brands, etc. — competing for that users’ attention. And if users are there to do social networking, corporate messages are probably going to lose that fight. 

Solariat Founder and CEO Jeffrey Davitz thinks there’s a way for social platforms to overcome this problem by using techniques such as natural-language processing and machine learning to identify those instances where users really are expressing “query-like intent.” It will never be as clear as entering “best hiking shoes” into a search engine, but, for example, someone certainly might note in a wall post or a tweet that he’s going hiking and needs new shoes. He might specifically ask friends which shoes they prefer. If you sell hiking shoes, there’s your signal. Rather than simply peppering someone’s page with ads about hiking because he listed it as an interest, now he’s actually in the market for gear and might pay attention.


While large companies and corporations have been characteristically slow to embrace social media as a business tool, a trailblazing band of small-business owners from Maine to California have developed social media best practices to build brand awareness, to engage core customers, and to generate revenue.
"Reaching prospects and customers where and how they want to be reached is the most reliable way to monetize the time and energy you will expend on social media." 


Monetizing social media for most businesses is an art form. Even established websites such as Reddit are figuring out new business models. When over 10 billion posts are shared weekly on social networks including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest and more, it becomes quite difficult to generate real engagement, much less make real money from these interactions. The business must come to terms quickly and determine the real purpose of engaging on social media.

oGoing is USA's leading small business social network. On oGoing, thousands of entrepreneurs, owners, startups, service providers, SMBs and professionals connect, share, promote, network and grow their business. Learn more about oGoing

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