He’s got the whole world in his hands — the commercial ecosystem of the community
According to facebook, as of April 2019, more than 400 million people are members of groups that they consider significant. In February 2017 the number was only 100 million.
We are all members of groups, but when our engagement in a group is meaningful to us, we usually refer to it as a “community.” In my last article about online “tribes” I discussed the fact that each aspect of our lives finds its place in a different community. Our “professional self” is part of a professional group. The “mom” in us is part of a parents’ community, the “neighbor” in us is a part of my neighborhood social app and so on.
For most of us, these communities now function as the main media channel: this is where we consume news, network with others, make new friends, and do business.
The impact that traditional media channels once had is now almost entirely in the hands of our social peer groups, and these groups affects the way we all think and act, the way we do business, and our consumption patterns.
Online communities, besides serving as their own efficient media channels, are also active marketplaces of businesses, professionals, talents, and opportunities.
Each of these networks runs its own commercial ecosystem.
When I onboard new community leader into Comonetize, I always ask them to map out the interests of their community, to figure out who gains the most from interactions in it. This is not possible for all communities. Some are dedicated to support and social matters, but many communities present a very clear map of interests and I’ll give some examples:
Moms shopping together — the moms’ interest is to find the best deals on different products. The interest of sellers is to be featured to the community members. Would they pay for it? I think they would.
AI algorithm developers — the developers’ interest is to consult with each other, but also to get new opportunities and job offers. The interest of recruiters who are part of the group is to reach this well-targeted audience and recruit them. Would they pay to reach these developers? I think they would.
Local neighborhood group — the residents’ interest is to interact with people and businesses around them. The interest of the businesses is to be recommended and featured.
And it goes on and on.
Like any other virtual space, groups and communities require dedicated management. But what happens when the hard work of the manager doesn’t pay off? The group becomes less moderated, sometimes feels unsafe and finally becomes irrelevant and dies.
There are many ways in which community leaders can create a sustainable business model that will support their work and help the community’s interest map to thrive.
Comonetize is just one of them. So if you’re a community leader, we’d like to invite you to talk with us and check out our community monetizing product.