El Camino Technologies, a Social Network Support Service, answers a few topical question around Social Media Networks

Monita Mohan, Project Manager for El Camino Technologies, a Social Network Support Service, answers a few topical questions around Social Media Networks in a recent interview with Social Media World Forum.

Monita started moderation and support services at the company in 2005.  Since then the company has grown to a staff of 80 (US and India locations), supporting multiple leading social networking sites in the US and Europe. She has a Master’s degree in International Relations from Victoria University, New Zealand.

Interact with Sukesh & Monita Mohan in their workshop presentation ‘Trends in Moderation and Support for Social Media’ on the 15th March @ 13.00-13.30 (http://www.socialmedia-forum.com/exhibition/workshops.html) or visit them at their stand (11) throughout the 2 days of the Show.

What advice would you offer to a new start up Social Network ?

At this stage, the key will be to differentiate from the existing networks and to target the community clearly unless you have a lot of funding. The differentiation may be in the community, services offered, features or capabilities. All these should be aligned with the overall strategy and revenue model. To keep burn rates low, our company can help both start-ups and larger established sites with moderation (text, image, video) and customer support services at up to 75% savings. This cost and service structure allows expanded differentiated services.

Is moderating social networks a legal obligation?

There are legal requirements that vary by country. However, advertisers and sponsors typically have higher standards than applicable laws. This is where El Camino Technologies can help lower costs significantly for moderation and free up resources for customer facing and revenue generating activities.

Is there balance to be found between social network engagement and ROI?

This is a very relevant question as social networking sites look at demonstrating profitability after the initial investment and efforts to gain traffic. The balance will take place individually for each site based on the size, investment and revenue streams. What this may mean for new social networking sites, is a more targeted community to keep costs low and a justifiable return on investment.

Where do Social Networking Sites go next – the future

The future really ties to your earlier question on return on investment (ROI). Existing larger sites are looking for ways to increase revenues and reduce costs. Start-up social networking sites will get more focused to provide more effective product or service engagements within the community, keep costs low and allow higher returns. The challenge for all sites is extracting value from a consumer hooked on the “free” models. Furthermore, there is risk of too much fragmentation of the market. I hope to gain further insight at the conference.