Have you set up your blog? Not enough right? Possibly you are looking at adding a community to it.
Community marketing is indeed the latest trend in social media and huge communities are asking themselves (and around) how to monetize large as well as smaller numbers. Placing ads within online spaces is definitely the most adopted tactic, but increasingly criticized as it reduces quality of customer experience. Fact is that there are outstanding examples of monetizing social networking and online communities, which do not necessarily result in users being bombarded with banners and Adsense. Let’s have a look:
10. WiFi – Fon
Fon is capitalizing on the fact that we don’t use all the wifi bandwidth we are given. So why not reselling it? “Foneros” can resell wifi access to fellow members and make little money out of it. It’s a great way to pay a smaller Internet bill. The community is growing and at the last count it reached 350,000 people.
9. Funding – Fundable
Fundable allows users to fund whatever project they have in mind, being it a party or a purchase. Fundable charges only when the objective is achieved. Monetizing group action is a way to go in Web 2.0 and Fundable enables that in a great way.
8. Microblogging – Yonkly
You are familiar with Ning. Yonkly on the same perspective allows to build up your own Microblogging community a la twitter. They have flexible plans of payment according to usage, which has proven to be a successful strategy.
7. Podcasting – Blubrry
Podcasting is still healthy and doing great. Blubrry allows monetization of your precious voice and has a vibrant community around it. By charging a small fee for hosting, they guarantee exposure and participation to advertisement programs.
6. Art – Infectious
Infectious is a terrific community to sell your artwork. It is extremely up to date (see emphasis on iPhone art hacks). Interesting point is how they merge the innate Web 2.0 need of “doing my own thing” with external aid of superb artistic work.
5. eCommerce – Zlio
I love everything about Zlio. You can set up your own store in a matter of minutes. They obviously did their homework very well and capitalize on the positive trend of e.g. ebay stores. If you top that with low commissions, you have a potential killer app. Keep an eye on Zlio.
4. Professional Networking – Xing
You’ve read in the past about my personal diatribe of Linkedin vs. Xing. I think of Xing as a more targeted, quality oriented community. A fact is that when you go premium with Xing you are really getting something out of it. Namely the chance to “powersearch” who saw your profile, that constitutes 60% of healthy networking.
3. Creativity – OpenAd
What a great idea. Put together 11,500 creatives and you surely get the best digital agency out there. Find a way to monetize that through a simple web interface and you deserve spot #3
2. Events – Meetup
It is a personal favorite, but I don’t really care about being biased. Meetup has a great idea and a terrific business model behind it. Meetup gives events back to users, getting rid of greedy event managers (remember I also blog on eventmanagerblog.com). If you want to start your own Meetup you have to pay 50$ every six months, cheap way for me to network with 300 people I did not know.
1. Support – Get Satisfaction
Power to the people. That’s what defines Web 2.0 and Get Satisfaction. Companies are using Get Satisfaction to address customer complaints and support queries. The fee for companies to start using the service is the customer vengeance over decades of sterile complaints. The smartest transition to a more horizontal, flat consumerism.
To sum up common traits: – Enable users – Guide users – Shift the paradigm – Work out sound pricing – Give basic access for free – Capitalize where others are stuck
How are you monetizing your community? Comment section is here for you. Still not sure? Maybe the featured presentation will help: