Practically every internet user has a social media presence at least on one social media channel. Social media platforms' popularity continues to skyrocket by the day, especially with advanced technology, making devices and internet access affordable and readily available. Around 4.62 billion people actively use social media daily, presenting an opportunity for marketers and influencers to make money on social media.
Are you a social media user with a few thousand followers and climbing the ladder to become an influencer? Are you considering turning the platforms into money-generating avenues? You are onto something; consumers actively turn to social media as they discover and buy products and services on these channels.
Why Use Social Media Platforms for Making Money?
The days when social media platforms were used for communication only are long gone. Today, different channels like Instagram, TikTok and YouTube are effective tools for making money. Here are three reasons for it:
- Monetize your social media following: Wouldn't it be great if you could monetize your following and realize some financial benefits? Monetizing your social media following is perhaps the most enticing reason more influencers continue to pop up by the day. You keep doing what you enjoy and get paid, a win-win situation making social media platforms a valuable tool.
- Make extra money on the side: Using social media platforms to make money doesn't have to be your primary income-generating endeavor. You can do what you enjoy and make money on the side without spending much time or effort.
- Offer brands a mutual benefit: Your favorite brands are always looking for ways to expand their reach and communicate with more people. Why not help them while getting paid? Your influence can drive more business to the brand while helping you grow a massive audience while still earning.
Still, not convinced? Take a look at one research that shows how much money people make, depending on their following size.
When done right, your social media profile can bring money. And if you're ready to start monetizing your social media presence, learn more about 7 proven ways to make money on social media.
1. Create Visual Content for Companies
Most people are visual learners who perceive visual information better, so visual content matters on social media. However, not all companies know how to create eye-catching visuals that grab the attention of their audience.
If you've mastered the art of using Instagram presets and your visual content keeps bringing more eyeballs to your post, you can turn the skill into a profitable endeavor by creating compelling visual content for companies.
Visual content is at the heart of social media platforms since it captures more views which companies can use in their lead generation quests.
Check out how one hotel uses fan-made content on its Instagram profile. Not only does the company post the visual, but it also writes about its creators in the caption which means making money and growing a following. Pretty good, huh?
Your visual content creation prowess can be leveraged in many aspects. This ranges from memes, GIFs, product photos, infographics, videos, and user-generated content, just to name a few. Your creativity is the only limit; as an outsider, you are more likely to offer companies a fresh perspective, giving you a money-making edge.
2. Endorse Brands via Sponsored Posts
Ads aren't the hottest buzz in the modern arena. Consumers hardly interact with adverts, forcing brands to be more innovative as they endeavor to improve their campaigns. This is where sponsored posts come in, an avenue virtually every influencer uses.
Sponsored posts or paid sponsorships allow brands to tap into more organic traffic from an influencer. The brands pay you to promote them in your posts featuring their products or services. The post exposes a brand to your followers, a demographic they might not have access to, improving their reach. In return, you make money on social media.
Here's an example of a sponsored post on TikTok from one influencer that knows how to make money on TikTok:
Among the top tricks to succeed in sponsored posts is ensuring you pick a brand that aligns with your audience and their interest. For instance, if most of your followers engage in your sporting activities posts, it would make more sense to pick a brand dealing with products such as sportswear.
3. Monetize Your Social Media Knowledge
What's your area of expertise? Parenting, traveling, fashion, money, business, lifestyle, skincare, health, and fitness?
Regardless of your field, you can monetize your knowledge by offering valuable information in a form of digital content - ebooks, courses, or webinars. Pick a niche, craft amazing content, and use strategies such as subscription access.
For example, create exclusive content like courses or ebooks, accessible only to subscribers. Membership plans can vary per your preferences and budget. You can offer plans such as monthly or annual subscriptions. Exclusive content is irresistible, especially if you can showcase your prowess and command authority.
Credible content always sells as users realize the value of their money. Since you'll pick a field you are knowledgeable in, you won't struggle to continuously deliver impressive content that'll keep more users coming your way and existing members renewing their subscriptions.
Once you earn credibility as an expert in your field, you can also monetize your knowledge when being a webinar host, like Neal Schaffer:
4. Get Involved in Branded Content Ads
Branded content ads allow a business to use your post as an advert. You are simply allowing a brand, at an agreed fee, to turn your post into an ad and generate more leads from your traffic.
Branded content ads are among the top ways influencers make money and other social media platforms, and given the control creators enjoy, it is a practical approach.
While branded content ads will display as ads, their effectiveness is much better than traditional adverts. They offer better engagement, lead generation, and conversion rates because they originate from influencers that the consumers trust, hence the growing popularity.
Check out this example below:
When M.A.C. Cosmetics Australia decided to reach a younger demographic and attract new customers, the company ran branded ad campaigns that helped to boost product awareness by 11 points and purchase intent by 8.5 points. The great results encourage companies to work more with influencers who help both parties make money on social media.
5. Start Your Own Business
You already have a following. So, wouldn't it be great if you could turn them into active buyers?
It's time to start your own business and make money on social media! The best part is that you don't need a physical store or products. Today, you can leverage virtual offices to run a professional business or even do drop shipping.
For instance, you can include a clickable link in your bio section that helps followers learn more about your business and make a purchase if they are interested in it.
More and more social media platforms continue to be innovative, allowing businesses to do more on the apps. This includes adding carts which makes the buyers' journey easier. Customers are the heart of any business, and as an influencer, you already have a base to convert, making it easier to start a business and flourish.
6. Make & Sell Your Custom Merch
Your traffic identifies with you, and what better way to make them feel special than rocking custom merch?
Besides pocketing some cash, custom merch helps to establish a stronger brand image and connection with your followers. It is a cost-effective way to grow your user base as they use the merch to extend the reach, all while you earn from the sales. You can even use strategies like a limited stock to sell at a premium, giving loyal followers more as they feel more connected and special.
When you have a solid following of loyal fans, you can use the caption section to invite them to buy your merch, just like in the example below:
7. Share Affiliate Links
Affiliate marketing has stood the test of time, proving to be an invaluable tool for brands and influencers. The main success trick is ensuring you pay due diligence as you select an affiliate program.
Consider the brand and ensure it is reputable since it can also impact your image. If the business you are promoting has a tainted image, the association can ruin your reputation. Also, pick a program promoting products/services in your niche, not simply an option with the most competitive rates.
To share an affiliate link and make money, tell your followers about the benefits of using it. For example, you can write the amount of the discount they can get. And if you want to reach a wider audience of potential buyers, include relevant hashtags that help to attract interested users.
Don't discount the terms and conditions of an affiliate program, ensuring you understand the requirements and expectations. Before signing up for an affiliate program, make sure that you invest your time and effort in a program that'll generate better value.
The Bottom Line
Social media platforms are the gateways to almost everything in the modern arena, boasting billions in traffic daily. This provides you a chance to build a significant following and, as your influence grows, the opportunity to turn it into an income-generating channel.
You can use social media platforms in many ways to make money. Following your situations and goals, you can make social media your primary money-making avenue or as a side hassle.
Regardless of the path, though, smart strategy, including maintaining social interactions, consistency, delivering quality content, and keeping up with the trends, can't take the backseat.