The Secret to Monetizing Facebook in Mzansi or Phansi OGFA Phansi!

Many media people have commented that I don’t blog nearly enough. And it’s true. I don’t. It’s not like I don’t have anything to say or that I don’t spend time reflecting on new insights on the media industry. It’s all about “time” and as we all know, particularly in media these days, time is money. In fact the real barrier to the growth of the digital industry in Mzansi is “time-spent” relative to “money-recovered”.

Ever since I’ve taken an interest in digital media the primary point of focus has been on the issue of monetization. In particular, how do you get someone who has been consuming your product for free to start paying for it? Greater minds than mine have pondered this issue with little success. Bar one or two notable exceptions of course. So you can imagine how excited I am, thanks to SANRAL, to have found the answer. It’s so elegantly simple that I’m actually a little embarrassed at not having thought of it sooner.

The answer to monetizing your digital content is quite simply to charge people for it. There you have it. Just charge them for it. And if they don’t pay you, hand them over to the eToll Nazis who will collect the money for you. You don’t even have to invoice people. You just charge them.

So yesterday, empowered by this brilliant eureka insight, I decided to start charging anybody reading my Facebook page R5 per reading day. So with 388 Friends that’s a potential income of around R58,000 a month. Of course that’s the worst case scenario because if you factor in “Friends of Friends” and the concept goes viral, the dividend yield is exponential. It makes the average Ponzi scheme look timid.

If of course a Friend reads a comment on somebody else’s device then the reader is not liable for this amount but they have clearly transferred the liability to the “device supplier”. In this instance, the onus is on the reader to provide the details of this 3rd party or accept liability for reading. Simple.

The SAFAMP (Sanral Facebook Monetization Principal) system is as much about the carrot as it is about the stick and regular Facebook readers are heavily incentivized. If a Friend knows they will be reading my page on a daily basis, then all they need do is pay a once off R7 at the beginning of the week which is an effective 80% discount on the ad hoc R35 weekly charge.

Now cynics amongst you will point out that not every Friend will read everything I say every day. Well that’s the nice thing about SAFAMP. It doesn’t matter. You just charge them anyway and then make them prove that they’ve haven’t read it. It’s fool-proof because in order to prove they haven’t read your Facebook page, they have to reply to your comment which means de facto they have in fact read it and that they owe you R5. Joseph Heller eat your heart out!

When I say potential monthly revenue of R58,000 I am of course talking RBPM (Revenue Before Punitive Measures).

I was quite alarmed and more than a little disappointed to discover this morning that not one of my Facebook Friends had made any effort at all to affect payment yesterday. You seriously have to doubt the commitment to the relationship. Under normal contractual circumstance this would create a problem but this is one of the true benefits of a priori contracts. You can just revise the terms of the contract as you see fit.

So as of today I have taken the regrettable step of levying a further fine against my Facebook page readers. Those who viewed my Facebook page yesterday (and didn’t pay up) now owe me R15 & if they have read my comment today advising them of the fine for late payment, that would make a total balance of R20. So tactical use of DAF (Day After Fining) means the potential monthly income could be as high as R174,000.

That’s the basic SAFAMP principle but I have added a further “added value” revenue stream which considerably increases overall per capita yield. All personalized response comments are charged out at R10. So an individual reading my page (R5) and receiving a comment from me by way of response (R10) has a daily yield of R15. With use of tactical DAF that would be R45 per person per day. A gross income of R523,800 per month.

Of course, if they don’t pay, you just hand them over. So it’s all good.

An additional benefit of SAFAMP is that accounting overheads are minimal as there are no invoices and it’s essentially a cash business. Some of my more enthusiastic Friends, who are good law-abiding South Africans, have already offered to pay and have requested bank details. Of course, under no circumstances whatsoever am I prepared to provide my Facebook readers with bank details electronically and all payments must be in person, by appointment at my offices in Kensington. And here’s the part I really love … all personal appointments are charged out at R100.

Assuming 100% late payment (because you can’t really trust anybody these days) potential per capita yield is in fact R145, yielding potential revenue of up to R1,6m (R145 x 388 Friends x 30 days). Perhaps you should just jot this formula down because as a broad principle I don’t do itemized billing. It is after all a pretty simple system, so I expect my Friends at all time to know exactly how much they owe me.

Speaking of which, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’ve monetized my blog as well. If you’re reading this, you owe me R5. Tomorrow it will be R15. So best you pay up now.

Or you could just join OGFA (Opposition to Gordon’s Facebook Alliance).