What are the best ways to monetize social media, including a social network? According to Abrams Research, the top three are freemium, targeted ads, and research from polls and surveys.
How to Monetize Social Media
These top three make me think of Linkedin, which has them all — freemium upgrades, ads targeted to user profiles and frequent polls.
After those revenue streams, says Abrams Research, are API (application program interface) access, subscription, corporate sponsorship, user meta-data and, bringing up last place, banner ads and online advertising (presumably unrelated to specific user profiles or activity.)
eMarketer concludes: “The bottom line is that users are willing to pay for social network content as long as sites cater to specific market niches, as opposed to broader, mainstream audiences.”
What revenue streams are working for your site or service?
See also this page of related posts on social network business models.