Grab a Slice of Freemium Pie ~ A Digestible Infographic

freemium pie banner

What are two things that everyone loves? Pies and infographics.

What did we do at HootSuite? Combine those two things to illustrate the parallels between the Freemium Business Model (used by Skype, Dropbox and of course HootSuite) and baking a pie. As big fans of contests, we also entered it into the Information is Beautiful Awards. Try not to drool as you look through the recipe for how to grow a successful freemium-based social media dashboard. See the full infographic here.

Fat Fridays

The biggest challenge for us was turning something very technical (a cloud-based, SaaS business model) into an easy to understand and visually compelling graphic. We got the idea of using pie as a metaphor from something we call Fat Fridays here at HootSuite, where everybody pigs out on homemade pastries at the end of the week (Example: 1, 2).

Secret Ingredients

The infographic offers step by step instructions on how to incorporate all the key ingredients for freemium success: a huge base of free users, a handful of paid users, cheap data storage, cloud technology and an enthusiastic user community. We decided to make the technical content a little warmer by combining computer generated graphs and charts with hand drawn line art – a fitting way to represent a technology that brings people together.

The Technical Stuff

Drawings and text are supported by a sprinkling of graphs to emphasize compelling stats from sources including USA Today and TechCrunch. See the breakdown of Corporate Social Spending, Social Media Usage, Data Storage Costs and User Acquisition Costs. Pull-out quotes from Jason Hsiao, Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant share the advantages and scalability of cloud technology and social media.


Community and Stories

But the most important element of the Freemium Business Model is the amazing community of users it builds. Human relationships – stories, experiences and a willingness to share – determine success or failure. We wanted to show all these heartwarming elements behind our business by representing hard data with light, homey and familiar pie. There’s even a story behind the making of this infographic! Check Life of Owly for our mini collage. We hope you enjoy your Freemium Pie Infographic. We baked it just for you.