Friday, August 17, 2012

Revenue Concept: "Alternative Facebook Revenue Streams"

Hello All,

Today I wanted to take this concept into a particular recent occurrence in the world of business finance. At least in how it relates in particular to the company of "Facebook" which had a rocky IPO launch. In many ways I'm an outsider peering into the realm of the social media giant itself. Aside from this truth I just wanted to contribute in creative thought to the struggle facing Facebook currently. In how to garner differential revenue streams outside of the classic two dimensional passive advertising clicks from users.

Below is my stab at Facebook's dilemma in how to address its fundamental pioneering model of social media. As to how a proven platform creates capital sources of income for itself in the long term. If I'm esteemed enough to get any official attention from the executives of Facebook or Mr. Mark Zuckerberg himself. Than keep in mind I try to balance these three key features for the future of Facebook. With a sense of social awareness in regards to privacy concerns and consented opt-in participation from the common user.

First, to create a Demographic Consumer Behavior Agency In-House unless it has already done so in a certain regard. Many in the consumer behavior tracking industry may balk that Facebook would enter into their domain. But, this is a given due to the sheer number of global users to Facebook nearing 1 billion members. At first this proposed internal consumer behavior tracking agency is for its own use in generating income for the company from its member base. If proven worthy it can scare the industry at large and muscle into the domain of other consumer tracking sentiment behavior agencies.

What this internal agency will do is act as a gate keeper to its commercial clients many of whom have Facebook fan pages. Taking aggregate consumer behavior metrics from such opted in corners of the corporate fan pages. That scales upwards the simplistic "Likes" system already in place. Used by a common metric of a data set by industry watchers of any of a slew of commercial brands in the marketplace. For example Facebook for its part will create what I'm coining as a "Facebook Alert System" for its commercial clients. This will be better explained in my second point of this broad conceptualization for Facebook's unique revenue streams to come into form.

There is also the case of the Internet TV phenomena taking us here in the States by storm. Many users are "Cutting the Cord" as it has been referred by others on the Internet. Basically mobile and other computer devices be they PC's or Notebooks are replacing the household television. Causing the cable and satellite provider companies to catch up to the consumer where they're congregating on the Internet. If Facebook for its part can create a social media platform demand to make Tv viewers world wide. To consider its site as a Meta Hub Portal for catching all Internet Tv channels and broadcasters as a jumping off point. A nexus of consumers of all ages will consider Facebook as the "TV Guide" of the Internet Age.

For its part Facebook does not need to become a broadcaster itself. Just a portal jumping board to all known and little known venues of Internet television. Whereby the aforementioned Facebook internal demographic consumer behavior sentiment agency will track all these incoming data sets. To later utilize it for its own purposes and/or repackage the data to become a social media "Neilsen" type agency all its own.

Second, to create what I term as the "Facebook Alert System" for its commercial fan page clients. As an evolution beyond the simplistic "Like" phenomena taking the Internet by storm. To capitalize on this trend to give Industry watchers something to ponder for themselves. The "Facebook Alert System" is a time sensitive opportunity afforded to opt-in consumers to a commercial clients fan page. Where based on hours and not the quantity of users to pull on the promotional offer. Facebook's Internal consumer behavior agency will track the metrics generated on behalf of its commercial clients for a fee.

The "Facebook Alert System" will have two tiers one being what I call as "Vanilla" and the other as "Premium" candidates. All new comers that consent to the opt-in alert system will supply the common fare consumer personal information. Beyond that comes the activity usage of the alert system itself like a flow chart come to life. Various sorts of Vanilla candidate offers will be made available on a time sensitive basis. Depending on the commercial client that will make these unique offers through their corporate branded fan page. Of which Facebook will provide the accounting and technical expertise in running such a mechanism itself. Offers will range from the tried and true: rebates (with proof of purchase), coupons (mobile use or print out), free samples, free trial periods, customer loyalty program enrollments, surveys tied to a raffle, etc...

That above is the Vanilla candidate entry level list for consumers that opt-in outside the privacy concerns for the most part in origin. For each offer that a Facebook user claims similar to the generic advertising click. Facebook gets paid a tiny fee via the alert system that it administers for its commercial clients. Now if that very same consumer Facebook user converts that promotional offer into an actual proven trackable sale. Facebook gets paid a higher fee yet still from its commercial client. This is where the Premium candidate list of consumer users is generated from sales that graduate the consumer to this tier. Those proven repeat consumer offers that themselves generate into somewhat reliable sales from its commercial client. Will offer upgraded incentives in value to the consumer from what was offered in the Vanilla candidate consumer list. Besides these secondary offers will be made in kind to the opt-in corporate fan page user. Exclusive sweepstakes / contests just for this pool of Premium list users. Meaning a higher chance for the user to potentially win a prize of some sort at any given time. Free branded merchandising offers tied to a confirmed sale, Extra supplemental points aside from the standard loyalty reward program from a commercial client (ie Airlines) on confirmed purchases. Extended free trial periods beyond those commonly provided via the Vanilla candidate pool of consumers. For every offer claimed by a Premium candidate consumer Facebook again gets paid a fee, perhaps higher than the Vanilla list. Since these are high quality consumer leads that have proven their purchasing behavior to the commercial client and Facebook that tracked the metrics themselves. Again for a converted sale from such a claimed Premium offer Facebook gets paid a higher fee yet still.

Third, capitalizing on what "Zynga" provided to Facebook making them a gamers platform all their own as an unintended consequence to Facebook's surprise. Facebook will take a page from "Zynga", perhaps even contracting them to fulfill a portion of this 3rd feature for Facebook itself. Converting a portion of a commercial clients fan page into an Interactive Gamification Zone. Where corporate branded games similar or vastly different from what Zynga has offered in the past. Is developed for its commercial clients which in turn Facebook collects a service fee for offering such a mechanism to its consumers. Consider it in many ways a subscription fee for utilizing such a gaming zone service branded to the commercial clients needs and wants.

Now to piggyback onto what the "Facebook Alert System" provided with its Vanilla and Premium candidate offers consumer list. This Interactive Gamification Zone will introduce games that after certain objectives are reached in game play. The consumer Facebook user will receive faux currency or tokens, perhaps the Facebook currency that is already in place for the games hosted on its site. If not the Facebook currency than a custom corporate branded faux currency for game play purposes. These rewards collected by the Facebook consumer user that has opt-In to a commercial clients fan page. Since that's the only manner in order to gain access to these hopefully quality games of all types. Since a cheesy game will garner shitty results for its commercial clients.

Here again comes Facebook's internal consumer sentiment behavior tracking agency to repackage data sets for its commercial clients. For either a fee or as part of the service contract for this feature of the Interactive Gamification Zone. Facebook users collecting these tokens or faux currency will redeem them for consumer offers provided by the commercial client. Again following the similar pattern of the "Facebook Alert System" feature set. For every offer a consumer redeems from their personal pool of tokens Facebook collects a fee from its corporate client. Mimicking the traditional getting paid for clicks per advertisement seen. If that consumer offer claimed from within its commercial clients fan page game is redeemed into a trackable converted sale. Than again Facebook gets paid a higher fee for the conversion of the offer into a bonafide sale.

These are very unique endeavors I can envision that Facebook can utilize for its own sake in regards to revenue streams for its capital income outlays. For my part consider this my own humble manner in giving my gratitude to Facebook for its social media platform. That has had a positive impact in my life. I may be naive in placing this directly on Facebook's lap without any sort of recompense. Well as the story goes I do this in all sincerity and not in hubris as what goes around comes around.

Be well Facebook for all our benefit.