How to Make Money on Social Media: Tips for Becoming an Influencer
By: Rita Cunha| October 28th, 2020
Over a billion people will log on to their social media profiles today. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok—they all have billions of active users. It’s fair to say social media is living its heyday, and it’s here to stay. Brands haven’t missed this money-making opportunity. That’s why eCommerce businesses have invested a lot of money in social media marketing. And it’s paid off.
If you’re an active social media user, you can also jump on the bandwagon and start turning a profit. All you need to do is learn how to make money on social media. Easier said than done? Don’t worry. We’re here to walk you through the most lucrative strategies. With enough hard work and dedication, you could turn your social media passion into a full-time income.
The Basics: How Does Influencing Work?
You’ve probably heard the words “social media influencer” a lot. But do you really know what they do? How can they make so much money just by posting online?
Believe it or not, there’s good money to be made through social networks. Brands pay people with large followings to promote their products. The more times we see a product advertised, the more likely we are to buy it.
A lot of people think they’re “immune” to these marketing strategies, but they’re not. Social media marketing works on us subconsciously. You don’t have to make the decision to buy a product right when you see it. But thanks to repeated exposure, your brain will remember what the brand is selling. Then, when you feel a need for it, you’ll know what product to buy.
In a way, social media marketing works in the same way as traditional advertising. But instead of you seeing an ad twenty times on your television screen, you see it on your smartphone screen as you’re scrolling.
How Much Money Can You Make from Social Media?
Brands have big budgets to spend on social media. They can pay anywhere from $50 to $1.000.000. Yes, you read that correctly. Some influencers have been paid a million to promote businesses to their huge following.
We’ll be the first to admit that this is a wide range of compensation. However, it’s not impossible to make a full-time wage just by working with brands in a direct way on social media.
How Many Followers Do I Need to Make Money?
Most people don’t know that they don’t need millions of followers to start making money on social media. If you have a smaller but very active and targeted following, you could get brand deals. Micro-influencers, for example, have between 10.000 and 50.000 followers and still get paid for their work.
That’s because brands really value high-quality engagement. In other words, they prefer to work with people whose followers are active.
Imagine this: influencer A has 45.000 followers who don’t leave likes or comments on their pictures. Influencer B, on the other hand, has 15.000 very active followers interacting with their content. You can take a wild guess as to which one will get the best brand deals.
At the end of the day, the most important factor for monetization isn’t your number of followers. It’s how active and engaged your followers are.
Pro Tip: Find a Lucrative Niche
That said, it’s even easier to start making money when your social media accounts have a niche. What’s one topic you love talking and thinking about? For some people, that’s traveling while for others, it’s tech. Invest time in finding the perfect niche for you and you’ll be on the fast track to monetization.
Different Ways to Make Money on Social Media
Over the years, influencers have found a lot of ways to make money from their social media channels. Let’s look at the most common strategies so you can choose which one is right for you.
Sponsored posts are the most popular type of influencer marketing. Brands send their products to influencers, who then talk about them on their social media channels. Seems simple, right?
For example, Adidas can send a pair of brand-new sneakers to an exercise-loving influencer. They’ll take a picture of the shoes and post them on their Instagram feed. When they do, Adidas will pay them.
Most companies out there do brand deals, even if they only have digital products. You’ve probably seen sponsored videos on YouTube promoting Skillshare or Squarespace, right?
Affiliate marketing works differently. Instead of being paid just to post about a product, you’ll get a commission every time someone buys it using your link. That way, both you and the brand make money directly from purchases.
The Amazon Affiliate Program is probably the most popular affiliate marketing platform. When you become an Amazon Associate, you’ll get money when your followers buy affiliate products you recommend. ClickBank is also a reputable platform that’s been around for a long time.
Similarly to affiliate programs, referral links give you rewards for every purchase your followers make. Sometimes, they’ll also give the people who use your link a bonus.
For instance, if a follower books a vacation on AirBnB because of you, you’ll get money in return. Your follower could also get a discount on their stay. This way, everyone wins.
Selling Your Own Products
Once you build a large enough following, the next step could be to sell your own products. You could release a line of merchandise with a catchphrase you’ve coined. Or you could sell an ebook with what you’ve learned about social media to teach others how to make a profit. The possibilities are endless!
Which Social Media Platform Is Best for Making Money?
Are you ready to start turning your passion for social media into a paycheck? These are the best social media platforms to use to make money.
Instagram is by far the most popular money-making social media app. Influencers and brands work together regularly to promote all kinds of products, from weight-loss teas to clothes and shoes.
We can confidently say Instagram won’t lose importance when it comes to social media marketing anytime soon. The integrated “shop” feature has made brands billions in profits. It’s definitely worth investing time in curating your social media presence there.
If you enjoy filming and editing videos, creating a YouTube channel is a great idea. Once you get enough followers and views, you can start making money from ads that play before and during your videos. Plus, it’s also an amazing way to get brand deals for sponsored videos.
Make sure to make your YouTube videos as unique and engaging as possible. You could post vlogs, product reviews, tutorials, or anything you feel like, really!
While Facebook isn’t as popular with influencers, there is still money to be made there. Especially if you’re willing to post highly engaging and sharable videos. Ads will play before and during your content, which will make you money.
TikTok is a new platform, but it’s already made some users a lot of money in sponsored content. Because it’s quickly growing and videos often go viral, brands are now looking for TikTok influencers. If your videos consistently reach a lot of people, why not look into getting a money-making partnership?
People read what bloggers have to say, and brands like that. That’s why you often find travel bloggers going on free vacations in exchange for an honest review. On top of that, they can also make quite a bit of money with affiliate and referral marketing. Who wouldn’t want to tap into that? If you have a way with words, give it a shot!
How to Make Money on Social Media?: Top 5 Tips
Everyone knows that to make money on social media you first need followers. But it can seem hard to build a well-established social media presence from the ground up. We’ve gathered five tips to guide you on your following-building journey.
1) Establish Your Creator Brand
What do you want to be known for? Every successful influencer has something to set them apart from the competition. You have to give people (and brands!) a reason to follow you. You could do this by getting a signature catchphrase, a special approach to making your content, or an “Instagram aesthetics.”
2) Grow Your Audience
Now, it’s time to get more followers and visitors on your page. There are dozens of ways to achieve this. Some take a lot of time and effort, while others you can integrate into what you already do seamlessly.
For starters, track down the most relevant hashtags to your content. They’ll help people who are interested in what you post find your page. You could gain hundreds or thousands of followers just by adding hashtags to your posts.
It’s also a good idea to post regularly. Instagram and YouTube particularly reward creators who put out a lot of content. Just make sure to keep your posts and videos high-quality!
You should also interact with people in your niche. Through networking, you can get shoutouts and even work on collaborations with other creators. Besides, if you’re genuine in your interactions, you could get great friendships from your online work.
3) Cultivate an Engaged Community
Remember how we said brands value engagement over anything else? You’ll want to nudge your followers into regularly interacting with your content. Are they leaving insightful comments on your posts? Or are they simply liking as they scroll through their feed?
If you’re not getting the engagement you want, try asking your followers open-ended questions. People love sharing their opinion, especially online.
4) Get Organized and Track Your Stats
If you want to make money on social media, you need to be professional. Create an email address for business inquiries and leave it in your bio, so brands can easily find a way to contact you.
It’s also worth looking into getting a content management system, such as Later or Monday.com. These low-cost platforms let you schedule posts on your social media accounts. This way, once you get sponsorships, you won’t ever forget to post your brand deal picture or video on time!
You should also learn all you can about your target audience. Keep track of how many followers you have, how steady your growth is, and who is following you. Brands need to know these things before sponsoring you.
5) Pitch Brands for Deals
Lastly, you should reach out to brands you love and want to work with. We won’t lie: this is an intimidating and nerve-wracking task when you’re getting started, but it’s worth it.
Find a brand whose products align with your content and send them a proposal to their PR email address. Tell them why you want to partner with them and why they should work with you. Don’t forget to include the stats we mentioned in the step above!
Where to Find Money-Making Opportunities
If messaging a brand directly scares you, there are other ways of getting sponsorships. The following platforms all specialize in influencer marketing. Their job is to recommend you to any marketers looking for a partnership.
Using TRIBE, you can get paid quickly and reliably. All you have to do is open a creator profile and set your price. Marketers who use the platform will get in touch with you if they want to work together. Easy, right?
TRIBE is incredibly easy to use. If you have 3.000 or more followers, you can start getting paid today. Plus, you’ll get the opportunity to work with world-renowned brands, such as SONY and Olay.
Takumi is yet another platform to consider. It gets a spot on our list because of how easy and convenient it is to use. It will even help you manage your tax filings!
It’s open to anyone with more than 1.000 followers looking for brand partnerships. And the best part? You won’t have to pay a fee for the brand deals you get through Takumi.
Upfluence has been in the social media marketing game since 2013. So far, it’s connected thousands of creators to marketers in lucrative campaigns. It works as a Chrome extension that makes updating your creator profile a breeze.
Think Outside the Box: Becoming a Social Media Professional
You don’t have to stick to being an influencer to make money on social media. There are more money-making options if you’re willing to learn new skills.
Freelance Social Media Manager
These professionals are behind every ad campaign you see online. From designing marketing strategies to managing social media accounts, their days are never boring.
You don’t have to move to a big city to start working as a social media manager. You can offer your freelance services to a brand you love and see if they have room for you. Plenty of companies are looking for remote professionals for their teams.
You could also become a content moderator to help keep your favorite social media platform hate- and spam-free. In this role, you’d go over content that has been reported by users and decide if it should be taken down. It can be incredibly rewarding to know you’re contributing to a healthier online space!
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