Free research paper – An Assessment of Social Media Business Models and Strategic Implications for Future Implementation

Jeanette Carlsson spoke at the ForumOxford Future Technologies Conference 2010 last week and it was great to catch up with her insights as ever.

She recently wrote a paper called An Assessment of Social Media Business Models and Strategic Implications for Future Implementation which was a part of her Diploma in Advanced Strategy University of Oxford (Saïd) Business School

Jeanette had paper copies at the event but she has been kind enough to give me a pdf to upload on OpenGardens

Abstract
This paper examines the growth of social media, their usage and value creation with future implications. A
review of current social media models and relevant academic literature, supported by interviews with leading
social media executives and thought leaders for this paper, shows broad diversity of categories, players
and applications.

The paper examines the main categories, business models and usage by different players (social networks,
advertisers/brands, businesses), drawing on early industry examples, including those that have failed.

The industry interviews and review of the scholarship on e-business models bring out key themes in social
media business models and future directions, and provide different perspectives on what constitutes value
in social media. Based on these insights, the paper attempts to assess what value has been created by/to
different industry constituents to date.

Key technology, media and organizational (TMO) shifts shaping the industry are analysed and implications
drawn for the future of the industry, player strategies, business models and value creation. The paper concludes that scale, learning, differentiation, (open) innovation and complementary players/ resources are critical to sustaining competitive advantage, and will drive sector realignment/consolidation, including across sectors (e.g. social media/mobile).
The key threats to current (mainly advertising-based) business models come from monetization challenges and potential user backlash on data privacy issues, which may be fatal for some.

With scale a critical competitive differentiator, the big players will likely get bigger and the small acquired. However, the industry can ultimately only accommodate a few big platform players. Winners will be those who do not only build size but also respond to user needs for ‘global’ connectivity, by offering gateways to other platforms, and take a broader view of value creation than purely short-term financial metrics, as today’s social media space, intrinsically linked with advertising, morphs into a social web which offers much wider value.

pdf link below. Many thanks Jeanette!

Jeanette Carlsson – An Assessment of Social Media Models