There are many ways to make money via using social media; you can check it for yourself with a little judicious research. After all, with the internet connecting everyone, on a personal level you already get to see how much time people spend on Facebook, or YouTube, or tweeting, and then witness other people managing to monetize those activities , for example, with revenue from ads and sponsors.
What is your main goal?
Okay, you want to make money using social media. That’s clear. Now, how do you want to go about doing it?
- Do you want to make money in addition to your main income via a sideline, some moonlighting, or by setting up an additional stream of income?
- Or do you want this venture using social media to make you money by itself ?This is a lot more involved.
- Or do you want to venture out as an expansion of your online presence? This takes a good view of the long-term.
Your action plan will of course differ with your main goals, so you need to be very clear on what you want, and what you’ll have to do to make it happen.
- Are you using social media to funnel visitors to your website? That’s income if they buy something, or click-through your affiliate page.
- Are you using it to inform your customers or educate them? That’s informational and promotional, and falls under marketing too.
- Are you using it to solicit feedback on a project ? That’s testing the waters to see if an idea can make money.
You can use social media marketing to fulfill a business goal (make money, promote a product, solidify brand awareness), gain exposure, or even change public perception. Maybe your brand is in trouble – social media marketing can you get real-time assessments and feedback from customers, faster than any formal focus group. That can help you address issues before they gain a life of their own.
How do you intend to reach your goal?
Since we’re talking about social media networks here, we have to keep in mind the context of connection. That’s how networks are built; you reach out and connect. In business, of course you already know this as networking, where people make contacts and deals, doing things like raising venture capital or wooing investors.
In browsing online you’ve probably seen ‘Donate’ buttons, or maybe even checked out pages for Kickstarter campaigns (a consolidated way to crowd-source for investment capital), as well as let your eyes drift past various paid ads and sponsored announcements. Then there’s member’s only content (subscription fees, natch), affiliate fees (check out Amazon’s affiliate program) and the little-behind-the-scenes money-makers like pay-per-clicks, commissions and click-throughs. Let’s see how the most popular social media sites help people make money.
Many companies and entrepreneurs use Facebook as a communication hub and a public face to keep in touch with their market and their customers. Linking your business’s Facebook page to your website is practically SOP now, and you can earn money from the connection in many ways:
- If a visitor clicks on your Facebook ad and is directed to a landing page, or a squeeze page on your website, where they can sign up for a newsletter, and join your mailing list (thus adding to your pool of interested potential buyers) and/or buy your product.
- Or, if a visitor ‘likes’ or becomes a fan on your page, they can be offered discounts on purchases from your site.
- Or, if they visit your website from your Facebook page and then click on one of the ads there, you earn money from that action.
Creating a YouTube account costs nothing, but the time and labor that goes into making a YouTube channel successful enough to monetize is what separates the wanna-bes from the serious contenders. You need to create engaging, relevant content in your niche. Then you have to get your subscriber count up, all the while consistently cranking out new and still-engaging relevant content. All through out, while you can try earning money in ad revenue, it may only come in a trickle, and not quite the stream you expect it to be. If your niche allows it, you can also make money in making sponsored reviews for your particular audience.
It takes time to get realized as a trusted authority in your niche when using YouTube. Engaging content gets comments, and people can like it even more when you reply to those comments. The more ‘likes’ you get on your videos, the more you drive your popularity up, to the point that you can get to be one of those YouTube celebrities, and so get the chance to break into the mainstream.
For example, look to make-up gurus Lisa Eldridge and Michelle Phan, who have massive followings on YouTube. Phan, who started her channel in 2006, now has a make up line in cooperation with L’Oreal. Eldridge has worked with make-up giant Shisheido. Regarded as authorities and professionals in their niche, both women share make-up lessons, reviews, tips, tricks and advice in their channels, and earn money from advertising, sponsors and sales.
Twitter is one of the most well-suited social media apps available. Its 140 character limit and speed fits perfectly into our fast-paced internet-influenced need for information. You can’t deliver an essay over it, so content-wise, you have to deliver simple, short messages, generally in an informal and personal style, and then watch it have an immediate impact in replies, likes, and retweets.
Brand-wise, Twitter is a no-cost method to boost your internet presence. It’s a speedy way to get, keep and stay connected to your market via followers, gets you noticed and therefore adds to your online credibility, and can help you stay updated on current events in your niche.
Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are social platforms where you can broadcast your messages to the internet public. Followers and subscribers help form your own network. Using these social media platforms you are your own broadcasting ‘company’. They promote engagement, which is the social part, and connection, which is the network part.
Engagement is sharing news, telling others about what’s important, being updated by others about what’s happening. Participating in conversations or starting discussions helps strengthen connections between the creators and their followers, fans and subscribers
Social media platforms, used in conjunction with your own website and blog, help give people ways to talk to you and get your attention as well. This kind of communication goes both ways. You’re not just informing, updating or sharing with others. They’ll be doing the same thing with you. That’s communication: it goes both ways.
Tips on using social media
Remember, you’re tailoring to an audience with short attention spans. Depending on the message you want to send, an update, a lesson, whatever, you need to work with the constrains of the media you choose. Twitter has a max of 140 characters. YouTube is a visual media, so you can make short, informative videos or longer, more in-depth ones to suit your message and your audience. Facebook has rules and terms of service that my be confusing for personal and business accounts, so be sure you read the fine print.
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