Pubcon 2007: Monetising Social Media

Ash Nallawalla

31 December 2007

SEO, Social Media

Michael Gray (Graywolf) offered some tips on what works for Social Media.

  • Selling should have a low focus
  • Products do better than services
  • Consumer goods do better than business goods
  • Target impulse buyers
  • Offer doorbuster prices
  • Let the customer get the content any way they want, such as an RSS feed or Twitter. e.g. Southwest Airlines gives airfare deals, Carnival Cruise, JetBlue.

Example sites:,

There are some pitfalls:

  • Mention if there are restrictions or goods in short supply
  • Anticipate demand – Microsoft was embarrassed when it promised a USB key to all survey participants but only made 1000 keys.

Alexander Barbara spoke about Monetising Digg Traffic

He mentioned a new site about health and wellness – not your typical Digg candidate because Digg is dominated by 16-year-old geeks – but it got good exposure through a targeted campaign. A site has just 24 hours to stay on the Digg home page, so it needs to be compelling.

Some points to consider if your site cannot withstand the load of Digg traffic:

  • Consider making flat pages and serve them, which will reduce the load on MySQL.
  • Provide a 302 redirect to the Google cache of your page.
  • Use Coral Cache (, a free service that will provide peer-to-peer caching of your content.

Other observations:

  • Digg users do not click ads.
  • 50% of Digg users will unsubscribe from your RSS feed within two days.
  • Monetise directly with CPM ads, not AdSense.
  • Monetise indirectly by buildign long-term, loyal readers.

Laura Fitton of started using Twitter in March 2007 and offered the following tips:

  • Build lasting value.
  • Ads are ailing – you can make more money by helping others to buy.
  • Listen: markets are conversations, but conversations suck if you don’t listen.
  • Watch what others are saying about your company. Set up alerts. Buy the negative domain names such as [yourcompany] before a disgruntled ex-employee or customer does.
  • You cannot game the market. Facebook Beacon got it wrong.

Ash Nallawalla

Search strategist experienced in large, complex websites. SEO consultant.

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