For years the business world has treated domains as potential pieces of real estate, where just like a property for sale on the real estate market, domains have certain aspects about them that can affect their overall monetary value. Among the many previously known aspects that can be attributed to the value of a domain, some like, the popularity of a given domain, whether or not it currently houses a website, and search traffic figures, etc, can all have a major affect on determining the value of a domain. But today the game has changed with the introduction of a whole new metric, the “social value” of a domain.
As the social internet explodes, marketers have begun to realize the potential of marketing to the social world. While some social networks like Facebook remain on the decline, others like Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter continue to flex their social muscle, growing at often alarming rates, in affect also producing new avenues for business online, and new ways for websites to tap into potentially dedicated audiences. It’s these dedicated audiences, followers if you will, that can greatly accelerate the value of a domain today, and for many they already have.
The Value of Social Properties on Google+
One of the newest, and now the most recently expansive of social networks, Google+, has amassed humongous social properties in the form of business & brand pages, communities, and your own social profiles. Many of these social properties have grown to attain followings in the millions! Many of them rely on traffic to earn a buck, and you can make a sure bet they’re banking on those social properties today. If it’s an audience you’re seeking for your cause, they’re definitely on Google+.
What really makes these social properties on Google+, and other networks like Twitter so valuable is their potential to raise the value of a domain. Soon you could be seeing websites pop up for sale on Flippa.com that come bundled with a Google+ community, brand page, and a huge social following to boot. There’s obviously a lot more incentive to buy a website that has a social following with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of followers, than buying a domain with no potentially dedicated audience at all. Having a dedicated audience means having marketing power!
This also opens a whole new door for marketers, not just domain auctioneers. With the world turning to the internet when seeking products and services, even localized businesses know they must harness its strength or sink with the rest. You almost cannot make any business function today without having a website that represents your brand and creates access for consumers to buy your goods and services. Today, rather than having marketers simply recommend building a website and setting up pay per click advertising campaigns for clients, they can now recommend the purchasing or leasing of social properties, effectively giving business owners the audience they need to grow, but likely at a hefty price tag.
For established and already successful businesses that want to expand on the web, the buying or leasing of social properties can instantly give them access to more people and help them to increase their targeted ROI. Even startups can benefit from the purchase of social properties. If you’re just starting out, having access to hundreds of thousands of people to spread the word doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.
Another added benefit to the enormously growing social properties on Google+ is the ability to fine tailor those pieces of social real estate to fit in line with a given business model. If you’re a photographer and own a photography store, and a website, why not purchase a set of corresponding social properties?
In the end, marketers, domain auctioneers, and mom and pop businesses can all benefit from the explosive growth of Google’s now massive social space. For those looking to make a buck on the web today, getting directly involved with the building of social properties on networks like Google+ can and likely will pay off in the long run. I can almost envision a world of social brokers creating, buying, and selling social properties on a large scale. With many publishers on the web choking for revenue today, this presents a whole new set of options to getting back on track and becoming profitable again. It’s the birth of the social media broker, and the trend has just begun.