It’s no secret by now – people are into Social Media sites. So much so that time spent in Social media networks in 2016 grew almost 400% in the last year. In 2012, Facebook was worth about $98 billion. Today it’s worth more than three and a half times worth for a whopping 3.5 Billion dollars. For those of you counting, that makes it the sixth largest company in the United States. Additionally, Facebook’s valuation is expected to grow by about a third for the next two or three years; importantly this is a significantly higher expected rate than either Apple OR Google. To add insult to injury, Facebook is also taking a marketing share from Google. We aren’t done: Facebook has 1.65 billion monthly users, 1.51 billion on mobile. Hell, Facebook, along with the next 3 largest SM networks, have 3 billion monthly active users. That’s half the world folks. As mentioned above, Facebook is already stealing marketing ad shares from Google. In fact, between the Facebook site itself and FB’s other businesses (WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, and even Oculus, which promises to be an excellent tool for advertisers), the company plans on capturing the lion’s share of Global Advertising. What defines a lion’s share you ask? Well, excepting China, Facebook believes that it will get upwards of 47% of all digital advertising, and 43% of all advertising in general. In other words, there’s some money to be made here. Yes, there are a lot of social media networks out there; and yes, the competition is stiff. We aren’t denying that. That’s actually why we’re writing this post, to help you create a successful social media network site that makes money. So without further ado, here are 3 ways to build a money making social media empire. Network What You Know Riffing off the old adage for novelists (write what you know), you should build a social network around a foundation. This can be anything from boating enthusiasts, to Stock brokers. I know what you’re thinking: Facebook and Twitter both target basically everyone, why can’t I? Well, Twitter doesn’t necessarily try to target any one group specifically, but they have their own niche thing: 140 characters. And Facebook? Well, Facebook grew into the giant it is today. IT once only targeted college students. You know who did target everyone? Tom. From MySpace. Plus, Facebook is now so broad, that plenty of users are looking for more specific Social networking sites (i.e. LinkedIn). So, focus on an area you know – and one about which you are already knowledgeable and passionate. It’s the best and probably only way to acquire and continually engage users. How does this result in money in your pocket? It’s the dirty secret of tech world. It’s how instagram can be worth 20-something billion dollars, without actually making anywhere near that (Which is pretty close to 0). Monthly active users are the name of the game people; the more engaged users your business has, the higher valuation your company will get. Why? More users = more potential revenue generation; after all that data users generate is extremely valuable to marketers. Mobile is Key I know, I know, we’re like a broken record over here: mobile this, mobile that. Part of it is we’re just immersed this stuff day in and day out (5000+ apps and websites don’t get built overnight you know). But really, mobility is important. Black Friday ‘16 eCommerce data proves that, with about 50% of all website visits coming from a SmartPhone or Tablet. But more to the point, 82% of Facebook’s ad revenue in 2016 came from Mobile. 80 cents on every dollar, generated from a mobile device. There’s literally no more effective way to prove just how important Mobile First is in 2017 than that statement. But just in case it isn’t enough, you must also consider the aforementioned 394% growth in time users spent in Social Media and Messaging apps (an almost 70% growth from 2015). Please, please, please – go mobile. It is literally a necessary element to a modern Business plan. Diversify, Diversify, Diversify We don’t mean hire a diverse group (though really you should, groupthink is a real problem that needs to be avoided if you would like to be successful). One of the keys to FaceBook’s success is its willingness to expand beyond its original business model. From Chatbots to WhatsApp and VR, Facebook has its hands in all kinds of pies. Owning a Social Media Network provides you with one of the most powerful marketing tools in the digital era. It’s quite easy to promote not only your other projects, but also products that you enjoy. So don’t just stick to building your network; look to creating other tech platforms, as well as opportunities for retail outreach. Remember, Social Media websites make money because of the highly targeted wealth of data; but also remember you have a cultivated target population. Ads don’t have to be your only revenue source! Want to build your own Social Media Empire? Give SDI’s Experts a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!