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Vertical Social Networks

Overview of vertical social networks space and business models for the Professions Go Social Session at SXSWi 2013

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Vertical Social Networks

  1. 1. Setting the Stage for Vertical SocialNetworksRebecca Lieb, Industry Analyst@lieblink @altimetergroup | #B2BSocial
  2. 2. Q Who here has heard of vertical social networks?2
  3. 3. Q Who here uses vertical social networks?3
  4. 4. Vertical Social Networks well poisedas the most credible info source
  5. 5. Agenda• Defining VSNs• Community-Driven Content• Robust Community• Workflow Applications• Business Models• Case Example
  6. 6. Vertical vs. Horizontal• Highly segmented user base • Highly diverse user base• Specific topics covered in • Broad topical range depth • Low specialization• High specialization • Less public privacy• Generally more private, gated
  7. 7. Vertical Networks – “Socializing”Business Functions HR IT Fin Med Dev R&D Industry Specific ... Where IT Goes to Work Networks Professional Network Personal Network
  8. 8. Community-Driven ContentCommunity membersgenerate the bulk of sitecontent and drive siteinteraction Learnist has been described as the „Pinterest‟ for education, enabling users to add blogs, feeds, video, podcasts, comments, votes, etc. to “Learnboards” in order to quickly create lessons and course units.
  9. 9. RobustCommunityA concentrated and highlyspecialized community, withshared issues, interests, andconnections GovLoop is a platform of more than 60,000 public sector professionals dedicated to best-practice/blog/resource sharing, finding career opportunities, training, and connecting with other government workers.
  10. 10. WorkflowApplicationsProviding tools and contentto enableprofessionals/membersbetter accomplish theirwork/goals Medical professional network, Doximity offers all members secure digital fax lines, accessible via web and mobile. It also enables secure messaging and search between colleagues and other providers.
  11. 11. VSNs: The Business CasePossible business models selling to brands andadvertisers• Marketing solutions • Platform solutions • Advertising & content • Co-branded platform functions • Targeted audience • Workflow applications • Influencer identification • APIs and embeddable widgets • Influencer contracting • 3rd party shopping (“s- commerce”) • Sponsorship, promotions • Lead generation • Research/Analytics packages• Hiring/candidate-sourcing • Customized reports for brands/ • Matches employers with job seekers vendors
  12. 12. VSNs: The Business CaseCreate value for members• Membership model • For businesses themselves • Enable members to better perform their • Empowers employees jobs/functions • Career development • Enable knowledge sharing via community, 1:1 • Integrating VSN into existing business model • Jobseekers can engage and collaborate with fellow jobseekers• Premium subscriptions model • Access to premium access, features, APIs, etc. • Enable member-brand communication • Integrated Apps, APIs
  13. 13. E-Toro incentivizes top investors (influencers)and takes a cut off of each trade With 2M+ users across 140 countries, the central feed showcases top investors‟ activities in real-time and allows users (novice traders) to mimic their decisions.Managing investments worth tens of billions annually, the company pays traders $1013 per follower and then takes a commission (.1-.3%) off each transaction.
  14. 14. Example: Forrst leveragesmembership for targeted job ads Forrst offers immense value to members, as a community where developers and designers cancrowdsource and test their ideas out. The site makes money through both membership and piping in job posts and relevant ads targeting this highly 14 specialized audience.
  15. 15. Example: LinkedIn‟s multi-trackBusiness Model drives mass scale LinkedIn‟s revenue grew 81% YOY in Q3 2012 at $252m, jumping to an estimated $940m full-year. 20% of total 50% 30% revenue
  16. 16. Putting the Pieces Together: Case Examples
  17. 17. Wave handles accounting for SMBs, liberatingthem to focus where they really need to Wave serves as an all-in-one solution for very small business payroll, personal finance,accounting, invoicing, payment transactions, and other key finance WORKFLOWS. They bolster their COMMUNITY with a paid pro network, SMB forum, and CONTENT like FAQs, discussion threads, SMB data, and other resources.
  18. 18. Spiceworks provides value at every stage of the purchase cycle… Learn Connect Network with buyers inside the leading social network for IT Uncover IT buyer behaviors/preferences that shape purchase decisions SellReach Marketing tools to reach an Link your sales force or reseller audience of over 2M IT pros directly into our marketplace
  19. 19. THANK YOU Rebecca Lieb Twitter: lieblinkDisclaimer: Although the information and data used in this report have been produced and processed fromsources believed to be reliable, no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the completeness,accuracy, adequacy or use of the information. The authors and contributors of the information and datashall have no liability for errors or omissions contained herein or for interpretations thereof. Referenceherein to any specific product or vendor by trade name, trademark or otherwise does not constitute or implyits endorsement, recommendation or favoring by the authors or contributors and shall not be used foradvertising or product endorsement purposes. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change withoutnotice.
  20. 20. 20ABOUT USAltimeter Group provides research and advisory for companieschallenged by business disruptions, enabling them to pursuenew opportunities and business models.Visit us at or

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Overview of vertical social networks space and business models for the Professions Go Social Session at SXSWi 2013


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