People are bored with the giant social networks, especially younger generations. Rather than joining a large network that covers a broad range of subjects, more and more users are seeking out small niche communities in which they can find like-minded people. This has given way to the golden age of startup community builders. You don’t have to have the budget of the social media giants because you don’t need the user base of the social media giants to create a worthwhile community. Once you’ve launched your social network, streamlined the user flow, and acquired your user base it’s time to think of how your community can start producing returns.
Why would users advertise on your SocialEngine based network and not on those big Social Network giants?
Let’s pretend that you are starting a business selling bikes and bike accessories. You have products to sell, but we need to find cyclists who are eager to buy. You have decided to focus on online marketing and have two choices. You can go broad and advertise to the billions of users on the social media giants or you can market to the substantially smaller niche communities that are focused on cycling enthusiasts. Which should you choose?
In reality, the answer is probably a bit of both, but when you think about it, dollars spent on smaller niche communities go much further. If you were to spend $1000 to cover all of Facebook’s 1.7 Billion (with a B!) users you’d be spreading that $1000 across a HUGE number of people. Your audience would be bigger but you’d only reach a small portion of the entire user base and many of those people aren’t going to be interested in cycling. You’ll end up paying for a ton of wasted impressions on customers who won’t pay any attention to your ad. You’d be much better off by focusing your ad budget on smaller niche communities (such as BikersPost.com) where you know every impression is going to someone who would be interested in your product.
Your community doesn’t have to have a billion users to attract advertisers. If you build a thriving focused community, advertisers will be excited to pay for space on your site no matter the size.
So how specifically can I make money using SocialEngine ?
I’m so glad you asked. Let’s go in-depth on the ways you can use SocialEngine to start making money.
There are several ways to enable ads using SocialEngine PHP including:
SocialEngine PHP Ad campaigns:
You can create targeted ad campaigns and determine exactly where your ads will appear, how long they will be displayed, and who they will be shown to. To do this, you can:
- Create various member levels
- Create Networks and map them automatically to profile questions by going to Manage-> Networks -> Add Network -> Related Profile Question
- Once your member levels and Networks are successfully set-up, you can create and relate your ads to these specific users.
Additionally, you may need to create a new page on your site explaining to advertisers how to purchase advertising on your site and your specific processes. Be sure to explain to them your process of becoming an advertiser and how the system automatically tracks Views, Clicks, and CTR(Click Through Rate).
Google Adsense / 3rd party ad integration:
If you find that managing advertisers is not something you want to do, you can simply integrate 3rd party ad networks to your site with simple Banner HTML. This option allows you to copy/paste the HTML for your ad into a text area that appears when you select this option.
- Place the HTML on various pages by placing HTML Blocks via Layout Editor
- Create an ad campaign from Ads -> Create New Campaign and insert the HTML by going to Manage Advertisements -> Add New Advertisement -> Insert Banner HTML and insert the code in the HTML Code field.
Subscription plans allow you the ability to charge users for the use of premium features on your site. Here’s how we would generally set this up:
- A free plan, with limited access to features
- Some paid plans with different level of access based on the pricing. Encourage users to upgrade by going to Settings -> Subscription; or offer the ability for users to choose subscription upon signup.
Each plan you create should include premium features based on separate member levels. Monitor and experiment with which plans work best by visiting Billing-> Plans -> Active Members or create Polls to determine which features your users would like the most and package those together in various plans. You can find more detailed information on setting up subscription plans in these KB articles.
Useful Plugins to Help You Earn
Advanced messages plugin is an easy way to start conversation between friends. Used with member level settings, you could allow only paid members access to this.
This plugin allows you to run a marketplace for your social networking site. It has support for multiple item profile types.
Enable users to create rich, targeted advertisement campaigns on your site.
The first universal plugin that can be used for different purposes: portfolio projects, albums, articles, blogs, reviews, recipes and more.
Themes Can Help You Grab Members
Catchy & user-friendly responsive design.
7 different colors, editable custom landing page and 50+ modification options.
Alright! We did it! We hope that you found this article to be helpful on your ever changing quest to increase ROI. As always, please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below or at our community and we’ll be happy to answer them. You can also contact us for any queries or if you just want to tell us how much you love us.
Thanks again and we’ll be back with more soon.
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