The Future of Social Business
This story originally appeared here in the February of Business Review Australia magazine.
Written by Rhonda Marable, Communications Director at Businessfriend
How can we make money?
That’s a very simple question and really the only question that matters in business. It’s called the “bottom line” for a reason. Beyond the world-altering, game-changing product or service that we just have to get out to the masses, at the end of the day, business is the exchanging of those things for one purpose: money.
In social media, there is a very public question about how platforms and networks not only plan to monetise themselves, but how they offer revenue generating value for businesses and brands. In blogs and articles, top stories for social media contain tips and advice for enterprises trying to earn monetary gain from the various platforms that are out there.
Finding the opportunity to generate revenue has monumental potential, but creating a platform with that specific intent is something that enterprises should be demanding. Commercial intent platforms are beginning to emerge in the social spectrum and it has been happening beyond the titled guise of “professional networks”. That is to say, just because a social media platform is created for professionals, it does not mean that they are built for commercial intent.
So what does commercial intent look like? In a platform or ecosystem, commercial intent can be classified as the difference between the members creating the revenue opportunity versus the site being developed around it. Do members create their own fortune, or is the website providing a marketplace of something more than ideas?
Businessfriend, a new company entering the social media field, has developed a website specifically for commercial intent. It is a professional networking platform dedicated to stimulating productivity as well as creating a social identity.
Rather than waiting for the free space to demand marketing and commercial capabilities, www.businessfriend.com attempts to anticipate the needs of social marketers and social businesses by putting clear revenue-generating intent behind their features and functions. Unlike Facebook, which traditionally relies on apps to create commercial opportunity, Businessfriend creates corporate and organisational pages that allow businesses and brands to have a marketplace and have clear marketing and advertising opportunity on their pages.
There is no need to subscribe to third party applications to sell wares and services online and there is a decreased need for a forum of opportunity to come up with ideas on how to make money. More than ever brands understand the potential and necessity for a presence online, but buy-in from executives and decision makers is only possible through a clear return-on-investment for the time and energy it takes to maintain various platforms.
Businessfriend is probably not the first and certainly won’t be the last new social ecosystem that attempts to provide commercial intent as a basis of their online foundation. But there is little denying the need and potential of cutting out middle men for the purposes of earning customers online. Social media is a technological field and as such, will continue to demand a certain amount of convenience to stay relevant and valuable, especially to businesses. Commercial intent platforms are the next step in the evolution of social networks, and Businessfriend is one of the first examples of that transformation.
About the Writer
Rhonda Marable is a communications professional who has been using social media in her companies since 2006. As the Communications Director for Businessfriend, she constantly works to increase the benefits of social networking for professionals, companies, and academia.