By the way Bernadette, I really like the look of your website. Slick.
You Are Not The Customer Of Any Social Network
Let's look at how these places make money shall we?
How Twitter Makes Money
I am tempted to say that your guess is as good as mine and for a long time it would have been. But today we know that Twitter is making money from:
- Promoted tweets
- Promoted trends
- Promoted accounts
- Access to their firehose stream (all the tweets your servers and bandwidth can handle)
GOSSIP ALERT!!! A little birdy told me they are starting to monetize hashtags and that it's possible in the future if you tweet with a “monetized” hashtag your tweet will simply disappear. But don't take that as fact, just yet. If they're going to do it you can't buy it just yet.
What do we give Twitter? Links to our sites, part of our social graph, information on what we like, and a bit more.
How Facebook Makes Money
Facebook has been raking it in with advertising for a long time. How long? Longer than I can remember. Aside from advertising Facebook also makes money from sponsored stories. Can't seem to get your Facebook page updates into someones stream because you just don't have that much interaction? That's where sponsored stories come in.
There's also the Facebook virtual currently – Facebook credits. You can sell virtual goods (think “in games”) for credits and then redeem them for actual cash. I haven't used them so check out the Facebook Credits page for all the details on those.
What do we give them? A metric ton of personal data.
How Google+ Makes Money
Google's standard business model has been to give us all access to their apps for free and put highly targeted ads in front of us. That made them quite a large sum of money.
So wek now they sell multiple formats of advertising including AdWords and DoubleClick. In addition they also sell:
- Search solutions
- Enterprise-class online applications (email, docs, etc.)
- Email security (Postini)
- Premium Google Maps and Google Earth products
What do we give them? Depending on what product of theirs we're using we could tell them where we spend our online, what sites we like, where our websites are, and much more. But don't worry – you've already been assimilated.
Is it only a matter of time before ads show up in Google+? We'll see.
How LinkedIn Makes Money
LinkedIn has advertising too along with selling information to recruiting solutions (which makes sense as it was started by recruiters). But in addition they also have some premium offerings for your account ranging from US$24.95/month to US$99.95/month which includes:
- See more profiles in search
- Save important profiles and notes
- Access to premium & talent search filters
- More introduction requests
- See full names of 3rd degree connections and groups
- See all the connections you have in common with someone (for reference checks)
If you're a recruiter, job seeker or looking for more clients LinkedIn premium options seen like they are worth the money. If you've used them let us know in the comments below how well they've helped you.
How Klout Makes Money
So how does Klout make money? Klout Perks.
What are Klout Perks? Well… as you go about interacting and influencing people on the social medias you unlock different perks. Perks can be all sorts of things, but it comes down to a type of “gift” you get from a company.
Here's an example of one I've recently unlocked:
By the way Moo cards are awesome so to me this one is a winner.
But Klout is tricksy. Not only do they NOT notify you when you've opened up a perk (meaning you have to go to their site on a regular basis and keep checking) but they tell you that you don't get stuff but your friends do. Nanny nanny boo boo. But I bet it works really well 🙂 Yay psychology and gamification!
Perhaps Klout knows I don't get outside much and when I do it isn't for sporty-type activities…
How Just About Every Social Network Makes Money
The standard business model for any social network is to collect our data – demographics, likes/dislikes, location – and package it up nicely for sale to advertisers in some form or fashion. This business model apparently works pretty well as it continues to be used.
It seems that we all know how dead privacy is and many have just given in.
And This Is Why Bernadette Is Sooo Right
Nowhere in there do I see we, the users, being part of the target markets of these social networks. Why? Because with the exception of LinkedIn (and only if you so choose to pay) we aren't paying to use them. That's how their business models work. We get free access, they get a crap ton of our information, and they provide that to advertisers who pay to get their stuff in front of us.
Now as an advertiser on these social networks I urge you to please continue to enter in as much information as you want. The more I know about you the better I can put my ads and those of my clients in front of you at the right time.
And I thank you for it.
The point here though is that ultimately if you get enough people complaining about a feature update or feature removal the company might change it back. But if they don't, we have to make a decision: it is worth leaving these networks?
But Should This Nice Message From Klout Worry Me?
It doesn't worry me in the least. Also I'm not that active on Facebook outside of advertising. So perhaps I should disconnect my Facebook profile from my Klout profile? I'll do that and see what happens. Regardless…
I still believe that being on a list isn't the best way to get clients. The best way to get clients is to excel in asskickery and deliver big time for your clients so that you get outstanding testimonials you can put on your landing pages.
Testimonials are the most powerful form of social proof there is. I know for a fact that the testimonials I have on my landing page have been highly influential in getting a number of my clients.
This also stresses the need for every service provider to build a referral partner network where you can both refer and be referred.