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When I got started with social media marketing, it felt like I was stepping into the final frontier. Interacting directly with my target audience, finding my way into their living rooms, cars, and lives.
But there was always the problem of the pesky middle man. The effectiveness of my campaigns was influenced by the desires of the central platform.
What’s more, as time went on, the newness and excitement of social media started to fade. Literally everyone on their dog was using the platform to reach people, and there was nothing I could do to make myself or my business stand out from the crowd.
Then, the new world! Blockchain and Web3 open up the possibility of brand-new ways to connect with your audience, and the chance to be on the cutting edge of internet technology.
But what exactly is blockchain-based social media? And how can you use it to create a deep connection with your customers? I’ve honed in on these questions, and want to pass the answers and trade secrets along to you! Sound exciting? Let’s jump in!
What is a Blockchain-Based Social Network?
Much like a high level meme that requires its viewers to be familiar with recent internet humor to be understood, the existence of a blockchain-based, decentralized social network assumes you understand several concepts at once.
Just in case you’re new to the Web3 scene, here are a few definitions to be aware of.
- Decentralized - A network that is not controlled by a single authority or organization, allowing for equal power and decision-making to be distributed among its participants. This is a core value of Web3
- Web3 - An exciting new phase of the internet where people have more control over their data, can interact directly without middlemen. Home to cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other decentralized applications like social networks
- Blockchain - A decentralized and transparent digital ledger that securely records and verifies transactions or any kind of information across multiple computers or nodes. Essentially, a digital notebook that many people can write in at the same time, making it hard to change or erase anything once it's written down
- Smart Contracts - Digital agreements that automatically execute actions when certain conditions are met, making transactions on the internet more secure and efficient
The biggest reason for people to turn to Web3 for their social networks is because it cuts out the third party - think Facebook or X - and allows information to be passed directly from one person to another. No censorship, no unnecessary controls, just pure connection.
Other stellar features of these networks include
- Open-Source Code - Everyone can see, understand, and use the code that makes up these sites. No shady algorithms can dictate your content’s power
- Outage Resistance - Because it’s hosted globally on countless nodes, these networks are unlikely to experience any server downtime
- Crypto Payments - Content creators and businesses can have a straightforward and secure monetization framework with the inclusion of NFTs and cryptocurrencies.
- Privacy - Users of a blockchain social network can have full anonymity, keeping sensitive information like addresses, emails, and even names safe from any bad actors
- Security - With decentralized storage of information, there’s no chance that any hackers could get their hands on user data
All these benefits make blockchain social networks the perfect home for companies that are invested in Web3, care about content ownership and connection, or cater to people with security concerns.
How Does a Blockchain Social Network Work?
The skeleton of any decentralized social network is made of smart contracts. These contracts are code deployed through the blockchain, ensuring that everything operates as it should and that everyone is abiding by the agreements of the network.
The main difference between these platforms and more traditional social media is where data is stored and who has access to it. Companies like Meta and X collect user data on servers, creating a single place for bad actors, or system failures, to take control of the platform.
They are also able to gather and sell information on users to advertisers, which is starting to leave a bad taste in the mouth of consumers. Decentralized storage keeps information safe from malicious actors, and ensures that all data is owned by the user.
Instead of ad revenue, these platforms provide access to tokens and cryptocurrency for monetization. Tokens can be used to make purchases, tip content creators, and even access premium features.
Blockchain Social Media Examples
It can be hard to imagine what this kind of network might entail, but luckily there are tons of examples of people starting to carve out spaces on the blockchain. Each network has its own goal and target audience, and by understanding them you can start to find which networks are most relevant for your company.
Pixsy - Copyright Protection From the Source
Pixsy allows users to quickly and easily upload images and copyright them, keeping track of every usage and ensuring artists are compensated correctly. Photographers and other creatives can safely share their work, resting assured that everything is protected and monitored by the blockchain.
As an added value to their users, Pixsy has teams of legal experts who fight for compensation any time a user’s art is used without permission. Between legally binding takedown notices, 24/7 online monitoring, and registration with copywriting offices like USCO and CIPO, users can share their work and create community without fear.
Steemit - Ethically Sourced Content
One of the biggest issues facing content creators today is demonetization. This is especially true on platforms like YouTube, where creators have constantly been fighting for fair compensation for their work.
Steemit acknowledges the fact that users visit social media sites because of the user generated content, and strives to pay them accordingly. Anyone making high-quality content, and engaging with the community, earns cryptocurrency.
This strategy has attracted tons of users and kept content creators coming back. Its success shows the value of decentralization in content creation as a whole.
MINDS - Traditional Social Media in a Nontraditional Structure
If you’re looking for a social media on the blockchain that looks a little closer to what you’re used to, you may want to check out MINDS. It’s one of the most widely used decentralized networks, and operates a lot like Facebook.
Boasting a lack of censorship and a focus on user data protection, MINDS has been able to attract millions of active users. These users are also compensated with tokens when they contribute to the community through content, referrals, and engagement.
Ono - A Social Network for the Mobile Generation
Ono is a popular blockchain social network in China and is gaining momentum in other parts of the world. It has a similar interface to Instagram, making it visually appealing to users.
What sets Ono apart is its focus on the mobile generation. Users can earn cryptocurrency by completing tasks or creating original content, which makes it appealing to the younger demographic.
Ono also has a unique voting system where users can vote on posts they like, similar to how Instagram has a "like" button. This promotes genuine and interesting content, rather than just popularity, on the platform.
Sapien - Customizing Your Social Experience
Sapien takes a unique approach to social media by allowing users to customize their experience through personalized content curation and data privacy. Users can create and join different communities based on their interests, and even earn rewards for contributing and participating.
In addition, Sapien utilizes a reputation system to ensure that the community is filled with trusted and credible users. This adds a level of accountability and trustworthiness to the platform.
Indorse - Business on the Blockchain
Indorse is a blockchain-based professional networking platform that aims to reward users for their skills and expertise. By verifying and endorsing users’ skills, Indorse creates a transparent and credible network of professionals.
Similar to LinkedIn, Indorse also allows users to build their professional profiles and connect with others in their field. The difference is that on Indorse, users earn tokens for contributing their skills and knowledge to the platform.
This creates a more authentic and merit-based professional network.
Choosing The Right Social Platform
As a social media marketer, you no doubt understand how different traditional platforms will attract different demographics, and lend themselves to different types of content. In Web3, it’s largely the same.
However, with so many networks popping up in these uncharted waters, it can be difficult to know which one is worth your time and investment. Luckily, many of the same deciding factors for traditional social media will apply here.
Take time to do your research and find out which platforms your target audience is likely to be on. Platforms like MINDS and Steemit, with their wide reaches, may be a good bet for a more generalized approach. If you know your niche, you might want a more curated platform like Sapien.
Whatever you choose, know that the number one way to get your content seen on these platforms is to focus on quality, high-value work. There’s no way to pay your way onto users screens. This makes what engagement you get that much more satisfying and effective.
The Bottom Line
Social media marketing has always been about content creation and connecting with your audience. Moving that community onto the blockchain allows for more trust, security, and connection.
As with any new journey, you’ll want to do your research and ensure you understand what’s needed. Quality content and the right platform will do the work and bring people to your door.
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