Social media networks come in many forms such as blogs, forums, photo-sharing platforms, social gaming sites, microblogs, chat apps, and social network platforms like facebook, twitter, instagrams, youtube, etc.
These have become an integral part of our daily lives so much that an average person is said to engage in one type of social media activity or the other for at least 2 hours every day.
Facebook, the most popular social networking platform has about 2.3 billion active users as at second quarter of 2018 while it is estimated that by 2021 all social media networks combined will record about 3.02 billion active users every month. That is a third of all the human beings on earth.
What are these multitude of people using social media networks for?
A Globalwebindex' study in 2017 shows that 42 percent of people use social media to connect with friends, another 41 percent use social networks to stay up to date with news and events, 39 percent use it to fill up spare time, 37 percent engage in social media to find funny and entertaining content while 34 percent use the social media to connect with other people. Further analysis shows that 27 percent of social media users are searching for products to buy.
These statistics show that a majority of people on social media go there for passive networking. In Nigeria, it is a common sight to see people, young and old on the street, at bars, restaurants, leisure places, offices, homes, schools, markets, and buses pressing their mobile phones, sharing pictures, watching movies, commenting on jokes, arguing, insulting one another and generally using these platforms to kill boredom.
But social media can be a great source of making money online for those who know how to. While the majority of us idle away on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, snap chat, WhatsApp, youtube, there are a few others who understand the power of these platforms as veritable tools for money making.
If you are wondering how you can transform your social media accounts to money-making tools, read on.
How to Make Money With Social Media
Here are some of the many ways you can use your social media accounts, particularly blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and LinkedIn.
#1. Sell Something - You can use social media to sell your own products. These products can be physical products such as clothing, fashion accessories, electronics, books - just about anything. It can also be digital products such as ebooks, software
It is simple to sell products on Facebook, for example. Just post the pictures of what you have to sell on your timeline, give a brief description of its uses, benefits, etc and provide contact details. Soon you will begin to receive inquiries.
If you have a reasonable number of followers, you will be amazed at the amount of sale you are able to make through this platform alone.
#2. Sell Your skill - The social media can be used to sell your skills. There is hardly any one who hasn't got a skill that somebody will be willing and ready to pay to enjoy the benefit of your skill.
Are you a graphic designer, a writer, physical trainer, painter, therapist - whatever skill you have, you can sell on social media. There is always a motley of people looking for that special skill.
To achieve success selling your skill, it is important that you provide proofs of your expertise. I will not patronize you simply because your profile says you are a great graphic artist. I will need to see samples of your work and also glean through your contribution to topics relating to designs to be able to form my opinion about your skill levels.
So it will pay if you post pictures of your previous work, write posts about your experiences in the field on your time, create discussion trade that provides a guide to people in need of ideas in that area of your expertise. Anything that will portray you as an authority without necessarily sounding off will help build your profile and generate sales.
#3. Sell Other People's Products - You don't have products to sell? Don't worry! Many companies and individuals are looking for people like you who have active social media accounts with loyal followers to help sell their products for a commission. This is called Affiliate Marketing.
Affiliate marketing has always been considered a business model that is only possible if you have a website or blog. Not any more. People with large social media following can succeed even more in affiliate marketing. All you need do is understand your followers and know the kind of products or services that will appeal to them, sign up with a company that has a good affiliate programme, introduce the products to your audience with a well-written post and splash your affiliate link there that takes anyone who clicks on it to the merchant's website.
Ecommerce websites like Jumia and Konga offer good affiliate programme in Nigeria and I am sure you do see what look like adverts on your facebook wall posted by your friends. These are very likely to be affiliate posts with links to these eCommerce websites.
Interested in Affiliate marketing, start by checking out the amazon associate programme, Commission Junction, JV Zoo or Nigeria's Jumia and Konga.
Do not spam links, it will not get you any sales. The best way to succeed in affiliate marketing is by writing quality reviews of the products you wish to sell and giving an honest opinion about its benefits. It may be helpful if you use the product yourself and like it. Then it will be easier for you to write about it and recommend it to your audience.
#4. Sell Services - Are you a consultant or professional who is looking to sell his or here services online? The social media is an easy and cheap way to start even without a website.
All you need is create a facebook page for the services you render and build your brand by posting quality content on your page concerning your area of expertise or your business, establish your self as an authority, build your network and connect them back to your business by offering them your services.
Virtually any kind of services can be sold - make up, accounting services, business training, seminars, personal training, etc.
#5. Sell Courses and Coaching Services - Are you an expert in a particular field? There are people on social media that are looking for somebody to teach them. A teacher friend of mine is making good passive income with his social media page just teaching mathematics.
Yours can be coding, foreign language, digital marketing techniques, etc.
#6. Manage Social Media Accounts for Organisations - More and more corporate organizations are going online because of the growing impact of social media on businesses. Unfortunately, they lack the time or even in-house capacity to manage their social media campaigns. You can position yourself as the expert they need to manage their social media accounts.
#7. Create a Youtube Channel - If you are the type that finds it difficult to write but has some skills, services, and products to sell, you can still do it online by creating a youtube channel, make videos and upload them on your channel. Apart from using the medium to sell your products and services you also earn ad revenue by enlisting your channel on the Google Adsense programme
#8. Earn Money from Sharing Sponsored Posts - If you have a considerable number of followers and can be considered an influencer, you can make money by promoting products and services for companies by just posting sponsored materials about these products and services on your timelines. You may add a line or two to get the interest of your audience to visit sponsor's website or buy the products.
This is different from affiliate marketing in the sense that you are promoting these services with the intention of earning a commission. Rather the sponsors are latching on your influence on social media to reach your audience and create a market for their products.
STEPS TO SUCCESS
If you set out to earn money with your social media account, you will be on your way to success if you apply the following tips:
#1. Define Your Niche - You cannot be a jack of all trade and expect to be master of all. Identify and select a niche you are comfortable with and build your brand around it. There are countless niches to build your brand on.
It could be fashion, food, photography, the stock market, entrepreneurship, relationship. I have come across someone who has built a large following on matters relating to sex and sexuality. She has done it so well that she uses her Facebook page to teach people about sex and how to handle sexual dysfunction. In doing so, she sells remedies for sexual problems, sells books and runs paid courses on mechanics of sex.
If you love electronics, for example, you can create a social media page to provide reviews, information, and advice on the latest electronic gadgets, where they can be purchased and even tips on handling, maintenance and stuffs like that. You will grow an audience that will come to regard your page as a useful source of information on electronic gadgets, then comes the opportunity to monetize the page using any or all of the strategies highlighted above.
#2. Be Consistent - This point cannot be over-emphasized. To make money online requires a level of consistency and patience. You have continuously engage your followers and audience to build their trust and let them begin to see you as a repository where they can always come to seek help and get it. It is only when you are at this point that you will be able to monetize your social media account.
If your followers come to your page or blog and do not see fresh content they will have no motivation to follow you. So be consistent and patient. Keep your social media account alive and active.
#3. Be Up to Date with Current Trend - You have to be current with development in your niche. That is why you are the authority and that is why your audience always visit your page and that's the only way you will grow your followers.
While it is possible to make good money with social media, like any other worthy endeavor it is not an easy task. It requires a lot of work, diligence, consistency, and patience.