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9th September 2021 - By: Charlotte Morse

Facebook Fan Subscriptions – The Basics

Facebook fan subscriptions

When Facebook fan subscriptions was first announced, Nifty was offered the chance to run the BETA on some of our pages. That was early 2019 and it’s been a learning experience since, to say the least, but we’ve been surprised by user take up since the subscriptions were made available to all in 2020.

In some quarters, it’s kicked off – especially influencers who have become adept at earning from their craft – but in others, where you might expect often-innovative brands to lead the way, there’s been a noticeably dim light shone on Facebook Supporters.

As clubs and sports organisations reel from the financial burden of this pandemic, there’s no better time to consider Facebook’s subscription model. Supporters starved of the tribal power our clubs hold over us are keen for more than just content, they’re yearning for access and they’re ready to follow a Netflix-style subscription to get it.

If you haven’t heard of Facebook Supporters, here’s a quick breakdown. If a page hits 10,000 followers or more than 250 return viewers, and either 50,000 post engagements or 180,000 watch minutes in the last 60 days, it can potentially unlock fan subscriptions. That enables content creators to open up new revenue streams through subscriptions, which cost between £1.49 and £8.99 a month.

There are compelling examples of Facebook fan subscriptions being utilised to generate substantial new revenue. A leading one is FC Barcelona, who offer fan subscriptions at £2.29 in return for access to a group and a badge. Barcelona’s Facebook page boasts more than 3,000 subscribers – that’s no small chunk of revenue. Not only is it no small chunk, that revenue didn’t exist two years ago as this functionality is so new.

It’s also why we believe these models are the future for small clubs and organisations. If you can imagine 500 loyal fans contributing around £6.33 a month (which is what you earn, once you’ve covered commissions) would generate £3,165 a month in new revenue. With numbers like that, there should be a growing awareness among clubs, organisations and rights holders of the potential in socially-generated revenue.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WORK WITH?

Facebook Subscription has come about through the social giant’s ongoing battle with Google and, now, TikTok. As these behemoths battle for our digital attention, there’s more opportunity for clubs, brands and individuals to earn from their content.

While Facebook offers persuasive income potential, organisations shouldn’t miss YouTube’s offerings in terms of engagement and earning power but that’s a blog for another day. Right now, it’s about the basics of Facebook subscriptions.

Since we really got stuck into the platform in October 2019, there’s been some ups and downs. We certainly wouldn’t suggest embarking on Facebook subscription strategy unless you are, or at least know someone who is, experienced in Facebook backend support and functionality.

Creator Studio will be key but so will a knowledge of working with the infamously-useless Facebook support channels. Or you can work with someone like Nifty, who has access to the same human being each day.

STARS OFFER EXTRA EARNING POTENTIAL

If you’ve reached the above criteria, Facebook will also unlock stars and paid events. Stars raise income from in-live donations (Stars are essentially Facebook currency) while events raise money from ticket sales.

A single star is worth around 1p in value and viewers will share stars throughout a broadcast. Events are essentially closed Facebook Live sessions the content creator can sell access to – normally around £4.99 per ticket.

Stars can be a fantastic fundraising tool when utilised correctly. We see charities earning stars while offering a virtual experience through their lives, or start-ups attempting to reach crowdfunding targets with timed events. The possibilities are endless with the right audiences but always remember – content is king.

At the moment Facebook isn’t taking any commission on any revenue generated – although it plans to soon – but the app stores absorb their usual 30 per cent.

NEW REVENUES IN SPORT

In a post-pandemic world where sports clubs are struggling from the void of gate receipts, these fresh revenue streams offer a chance to re-engage fans, amplify their experience and build new, sustainable income.

The beauty of Facebook’s supporter model is its soft impact on your existing social media content. Most professional clubs are already running social media strategies and this model doesn’t require too much additional resource on top. It’s more about how you provide content than how much you’re sharing.

A compelling supporter programme will result in increased engagement and reach for the primary pages too, while establishing an exclusive group for subscribers. Run correctly, these new audience segments can open up new or advanced commercial opportunities and increase ROI further.

Essentially, Facebook Fan Subscriptions is a truly oven-ready option which can immediately generate substantial revenue. Facebook will throw curve balls in every now and again but if you choose the right partner to help navigate you towards this new revenue potential, the possibilities are endless.

If you want to understand the earning power of your platforms, speak to a member of the Nifty team today.