Five ways social commerce can make YOUR online community profitable

Five ways to monetise YOUR online community with social commerce

For years, monetisation has been the elephant in the room for online communities. On the one hand, all that moderation, content creation, love and - let's face it - server capacity doesn't pay for itself. On the other hand, you didn't set this community up to make money, and no one joined to make you rich.

The brilliant writer Patrick O'Keefe went a huge way towards smashing that taboo with his latest book, Monetizing Online Forums (he's from North Carolina so we'll forgive him the spelling). But what about social commerce? Can you tap into the latest tools and trends to make money out of your community without alienating your members?

We think so. And here's five tried and tested ways we've helped communities from Mumsnet to Robbie Williams's gigantic fanbase do just that.

1. Quite simply, brands pay to run Co-buys. We've helped set up thousands of Co-buys with partners ranging from The Mirror to the motorcycling mecca, Visordown - and brands have been queueing up to get on board... at a cost.

2. Co-buys can be sold either as one-off marketing events, or as entire Co-buying channels. Brands can either take over those channels - supplying and promoting

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