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All social media sites should offer profit sharing and ad revenue

There is no reason why the executives at Facebook and Twitter couldn’t offer ad revenue share to their users in much the same way that Google offers AdSense revenue share to their users — and not only corporate and elite members but to everyone who opts in and is willing to sign up and jump through whatever hoops.

On March 14th, Liz Mannebach asked me via Twitter, ‘Great piece. Other than Snap & YT, are there any smaller social platforms that you see as “pulling their weight” in revenue?’ in response to last week’s post, The Implications for PR if Twitter Goes Away:

And my response was:

I live my life in a world surrounded by affiliate marketers, YouTubers, digital online advertisers, and highly-compensated brand ambassadors — all of whom are trying to make a buck: to fuel their creativity, to bank their next project, to help them make rent, and to buy them some beers.  I, myself, have only gone so far as to make beer money on all of my 959 videos from all of my 3,491 subscribers. People have even taken to Patreon, “an internet-based platform that allows content creators to build their own subscription content service,” in order to offer value-based content that can be customized and optimized for what their friends and fans really want.

YouTube offers it and SnapChat offers a version of it — but every single nanosecond that you and I spend on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, is for love, God, country and, for us in the social media marketing business, brand. Unless I am making social media money from outside clients, gigs, and jobs, social media outside of SnapChat and YouTube is an act of love, a hobby, an expense of time towards the building of personal or corporate brand — but that is still a cost. It’s an opportunity cost.

Currently, the only way to drive revenue via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook is to attract a sponsor or shamelessly drop affiliate links into my rivers of news, hoping that my friends and followers have the patience and tolerance to suffer my passive-aggressive (or just aggressive and beggarly as in, “please indulge me and click on my links and buy my recommendations through these links to please help support all the content that I provide you on a daily basis,” which can surely work if done as openly and transparently and sincerely as possible).

That doesn’t change the fact that Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey and even Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn would be really smart if they considered offering an ad revenue share to its membership. It could be a pilot program for brands and celebrities, yes, but it should be available to everyone in the model of AdSense. While I only make a pittance of ~$8.91-a-month, I also haven’t put any energy into developing my YouTube channel. I know for a fact that even the opportunity for partner revenue exists can motivate YouTube content developers to spend all the (extra) time in the world pursuing their dreams of becoming a filmmaker, a celebrity, a brand, or an actor.

It wouldn’t be technically difficult at all to offer revenue share in the same method that Google AdSense does routinely and most every company does through affiliate platforms like Conversant (formerly CJ or Commission Junction).  Doing so would differentiate the company so to do in a world where the only real incentive is attention, inclusion, play, and information. The added incentive of making even ten-dollars-a-month would psychologically drive users and the aspirational to amazing lengths to create content so engaging and so compelling that they could, possibly, if their content caught national attention, come into a mini-lottery windfall.

Right now, the only real feedback for doing things right is your Klout Score, which really hasn’t meant much since 2009.  Amazon Associates and Google AdSense make almost no one any money. A couple thousand people worldwide buy Lamborghinis with their royalties and ad revenue but most of us buy beer. At the end of the day, it’s more psychological than financial.

Either way, it would be something new, something that would fuel conversation and attention, and adding general audience revenue share to a social networking service like Facebook or Twitter would be enough differentiation that it might fuel the success of these aging social networks for another decade.

What do you think? Please be sure to tell me in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Feel free to own the yacht but hire a crew if you’re not yet seaworthy. If you get my drift and want to adopt the yachting lifestyle yourself but either don’t have the mad sailing skills yourself, don’t yet posses a world-class crew, and don’t know yet where to go, then you should give me a call or reach out me by email — so I can help you pilot your vessel now, in the tranquil blue-green shallows of the Caribbean, as well as in the roughest seas and into — as well as out of — the storm.

If you’d like to chat more, call me at +1 (202) 869-3210 Ext 0001  email me, or feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call with me.

Chris Abraham

Chris Abraham, digital strategist and technologist, is a leading expert in digital: search engine optimization (SEO), online relationship management (ORM), Internet privacy, Wikipedia curationsocial media strategy, and online public relations with a focus on blogger outreachinfluencer engagement, and Internet crisis response, with the digital PR and social media marketing agency Gerris digital. [Feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call with me] A pioneer in online social networks and publishing, with a natural facility for anticipating the next big thing, Chris is an Internet analyst, web strategy consultant and adviser to the industries' leading firms. Chris Abraham specializes in web technologies, including content marketing, online collaboration, blogging, and consumer generated media.  Chris Abraham was named a Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer by Forbes, #1 PR2.0 Influencer by Traackr, and top-10 social media influencers by Marketwire; and, for what it’s worth, Chris has a Klout of 79 the last time he looked. Chris Abraham started doing web development back in 1994, SEO in 1998, blogging in 1999, influencer engagement in 2003, social media strategy in 2005, blogger outreach in 2006, and Wikipedia curation in 2007. Feel free to self-schedule a 15-minute call, a 30-minute call, or a 60-minute call. If you want to know the services that Chris offers check out Services If you want to work with Chris use the Contact Form You're welcome to follow me via Social Media You can learn more about Chris over in About Chris writes a lot so check out the Blog Chris offers webinars so check Events

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