We know how important social media is for getting the word out about your business and connecting with your customers. But it’s good for more than those connections. You can also make money on social media!
If you’ve never used social media for your business before, don’t be deterred about learning a new skill. Even technology beginners can master and use social media platforms to maximize their small business income. Here are a few simple-to-implement, actionable tips for how your small business can make money on social media.
1. Earn Commissions Through Sponsored Posts
One way your small business can earn money from social media is by promoting the products or services of other businesses. This is known as “sponsored posting” and it’s a direct way to make money on social media. A brand will sponsor posts to show up on relevant pages, and when a user clicks on that ad, you get paid. This is a good way to leverage a large following on social media.
Most social media platforms have a sponsored post setup. Twitter even has a direct link to sign up for their sponsored posts. Visit Sponsored Tweets to match your company with relevant topics and start earning money with each relevant tweet.
Amazon makes it simple to promote affiliate products through its Amazon Associate program. Each time a sale is made from the link you share, Amazon pays you a small percentage. For more information on getting started with the Amazon Affiliate program, visit their webpage.
2. Get Paid for Reviewing Affiliate Products
Another way to make money through social media is by reviewing affiliate products. Companies will seek out reviews from other companies with similar customer bases, and they’ll pay for them. For example, say you run a salon. A shampoo company might ask you to publish a review of their newest product on your blog. They get their brand in front of new customers and you get paid.
One caveat: The law requires all affiliates to disclose their affiliate relationships. For more on this law, review FTC Affiliate Disclosure – Ultimate Guide. Disclosing sponsored posts isn’t just the law, it’s also a good business practice that promotes honesty with your followers.
3. Sell Your Own Products or Services
Another way to use social media to make money for your small business is by selling your own products. You can turn your social media accounts into a sales funnel for your businesses’ products or services. In fact, some social media sites allow you to turn your social media accounts into virtual online stores.
For more information on how to sell your products or services online, visit Business News Daily’s article 10 Social Media Selling Solutions for Small Businesses. Explore which platforms are the best fit for your own small business sales and marketing needs and then track numbers to record sales.
4. Get Paid to Share Your Knowledge
If you have a niche business or sell a service, then you can make money through YouTube. Jason Parks, owner of social marketing agency The Media Captain says, “Creating ‘how-to’ content on a niche topic can earn you money on social media…I worked with a tennis pro who created a simple YouTube video, ‘How to Hit a Faster Tennis Serve.’ We monetized the video (which now has over 150,000 views), and he gets money based on the overall view count. We have also created other videos after the success of the initial video. While the tennis pro can’t quit his day job, the extra money into his bank account definitely doesn’t hurt.”
You’ll need to set up your videos to allow ads to show up and you’ll get paid based on the number of times those ads are viewed. More video views mean more ad views, which means more money.
You already have a business to run, so it can seem a little overwhelming to start setting up a social media model on top of it. But you don’t need to do it all at once. You can start out with Facebook and then expand your small business social media presence to other relevant social media platforms. Why do we recommend starting with Facebook? It’s a simple numbers game. Currently, Facebook is the most popular social media platform, with approximately two billion reported users. Additionally, Facebook is very user-friendly.
The Trick Is Staying Active
No matter how your small business uses social media, social media experts say that the fundamental rule of business social media is staying active. If you have a business Facebook page but the last post is from six months ago, your followers will lose interest. In order to make money from social media, you have to make sure the followers keep coming.
According to Clutch, “Forty-one percent (41%) of small businesses share content and/or engage followers multiple times per day, while another 23% do so once per day.” There is no magic formula for the number of times you should post per day, so you should experiment with what your audience responds to. Keep your content current, on-trend, and timely, and your followers will check in periodically to make sure they’re not missing anything. “Content” doesn’t have to mean a blog post or a feature-length film, either. It can be as simple as a photo of one of your products or a quick comment on the weather. It’s all about letting people know you’re still around.
For more expert tips on how to maximize fresh social media business content, visit our resource Small Business Marketing: Social Media Content and Strategy.
Every Little Bit Helps
In general, social media isn’t going to produce a huge amount of income. However, it’s a low-cost and relatively low-effort way to build in some extra cash flow. And that’s in addition to all of the less immediate benefits you get from connecting to your customer base, growing awareness of your brand, and building relationships with other brands in related industries. If you’re on social media anyway, why not take the opportunity to make a little extra cash?