Inrecent years, medias have been facing changes in the way their content are consumed.

Social networks are increasingly integrated into the mechanisms of growth and are exploited to forge strong links between the media and the readers.

Beyond using these networks as new channels of distribution and communication, recent studies have shown that a socially engaged user is a user who will be more likely to be converted to a subscriber.

Commitment ladder

Paywalls are by definition cold and impersonal. The offer is not customizable and makes it difficult to enter the ecosystem of a brand. Even at a low price, the act of purchase requires an affinity that has not necessarily been built upstream.

The goal of the commitment scale is to materialize the user’s involvement through key actions, so that he can build his own relationship with the media.

We can distinguish three types of commitments that the media could put in place:

First, allow the organization of the content. This allows users to refine their preferences by simple actions (like, labeling, notes …). This requires little commitment, and is effective enough to create retention. The result is that the reader has a personalized experience and you can adapt your advertising environment based on this information, which allows a strong enough targeting.

Secondly, community engagement includes all the social functions such as sharing, comments, messaging … These actions allow to build loyalty among affinity groups and requires a moderate effort for the visitor. These types of mechanisms are likely to create a lot of retention.

Finally, it is possible to take into consideration the features that have a direct relationship with taking responsibility within the site (moderation, creation of discussion groups …). This commitment is difficult to achieve and complex to master. Nevertheless, it can be a great vector of commitment because the users will come back on the one hand for the content, but also for their community.

The social media strategy must draw from these different ideas to be coherent and create value and commitment.

Understand commitment and adapt the right strategy

Among all the possible strategies, it appeared that the commitment follows a logic whatever the platform is: the user starts as a passive “reader” (unregistered, not connected) and goes on to became a subscriber.

The goal is to create the most favorable context possible to allow your visitors to engage more and more without frustration. Users with the highest engagement rate will be the most likely to become loyal subscribers. We must not move too fast and it is essential to establish its strategy step by step.

It is essential to know the audience in order to choose the right mechanisms, adapted to the website and the type of visitors. A simple example: once the user has read the article, you have the possibility to propose a related action (tagging, comment …).

Do not hesitate to encourage them in the right way. Do not push too early, be subtle but concrete to master and activate the evolution of your users on the engagement scale for your strategy to maximize your subscriber conversion rate.