Social token. You may have heard of it.
But… What is it? A social token is a kind of digital currency used to create financial value around a brand. These tokens can be both personal or community tokens, the value of which is determined by the brand issuing them. Social tokens are used by token-holders as a way to feel community and connection with a certain group.
For example, if a company has a large social presence online and wants to create an exclusive membership group for digital content like a course, the company can create and sell a social token that gives unique privileges or access to that course or other course-related items (e.g., access to digital chats, exclusive training content, live Q&A, etc).
That digital token, uniquely protected on a non-duplicable blockchain network, can be sold and resold, giving whoever holds the token access to these items. The token becomes an asset that can be memorialized by a digital contract.
This is a common question — and a good one! The answer is “no.” Social tokens function under the same umbrella as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), specifically by utilizing blockchain technology to establish unique, non-duplicable ownership rights over digital material, in the metaverse or in real life.
The primary distinction between social tokens and NFTs is that NFTs monetize a digital item such as a piece of artwork or an audio recording, while social tokens work as a type of currency exclusive
Put more simply, NFTs are used as a stamp of ownership over digital goods, while social tokens are essentially digital currency (like a digital ticket) that grants access to particular services or experiences.
In a way, a social token would not be unlike a digital ticket on a phone app used to enter an arena for an event, except a social token is used for digital experiences, like online events.
Still a little too complicated? Consider an example. A digital art creator might choose to monetize their creations through building art NFTs or only 100 unique pieces of art, each equipped with their own digital contract signifying that the owner has one of only 100 worldwide.
They might also issue a social token that provides the holder exclusive access to online meet-the-artist sessions or art lessons about their artwork! NFTs are tokens attached to things, and social tokens are tokens attached to experiences.
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As you may have gathered above, social tokens are all about access and exclusivity. If you’re an online course creator, you’re probably familiar with the old paradigm of getting people signed up for your course on an email list. You can utilize a social token as a much-deeper upgrade over a confirmation email with an access code.
You can provide a user with a token (again, think digital tickets on steroids), and they can use the token to gain access to a course when it occurs… or that they can sell to someone else!
For an online course, social tokens can potentially offer different degrees and types of access, such as exclusive content, exclusive digital experiences with the creator, and so on.
For online course creators, social tokens have many benefits.
A social token holder can gain exclusive access to private chats/forums/etc., digital collections, early access, even voting rights, etc. A social token creates a sense of community around your online-course brand.
Passive Income Streams
A person holding a social token can sell or resell their token to others and even stipulate in a contract that they keep some percentage of the sale. Because of this, an online course content developer can continually create content and experiences and sell access to those experiences that can then be resold, theoretically bringing the content creator and the reseller a non-diminishing amount of value.
Most online course creators use platforms like Hotmart to monetize their courses or content. If they have a dedicated audience, a social token that is democratically designed and owned by the audience becomes a very attractive option for loyal fans.
This allows fans to support their favorite content creators, knowing that none of their investment is getting cut into the hands of a corporation but going exclusively to the course content creators themselves. This also creates transparency for people interested in the online course; everyone knows exactly where every cent of their investment is going.
For online course creators, social tokens can be a valuable way to build a unique relationship with their social networks. It can also provide a monetization method that gives more control to the creators over how they earn from their tokens.
Keeping Things Safe
Because a social token runs on a more-secure blockchain network, it’s virtually impossible that this network can be penetrated or fall victim to a fraudulent transaction. A social token holder can have peace of mind that their tokens are real and indisputable, and creators and businesses can know they’re dealing with genuine, devoted fans. If someone has bought a social token for your online course, this should give you a pretty high degree of confidence in engaging with them!
If you’re a digital course creator, using social tokens is a powerful way to create deeper fan loyalty and engagement and have more control, transparency, and understanding when it comes to funds and how people are investing in you.
As the Internet evolves and people build online communities with each other, the concept of a social token or community token will become even more in style and normalized as people look to build connections and communities with you and each other.
If you want to learn more about future trends in education, check out a blog post by Hotmart’s CEO here.