How to make passive income with social media

Social media is the place to be if you want to directly access the public and create a buzz for your business. With a user base of over 3.8 billion people and an expected growth in social media spending of 73% over the next five years, moving online is what’s best for business.

It’s not all about marketing, though. Through social media monetisation, you can effectively generate revenue from your social media following, giving you an entirely new stream of income without having to lift a finger. If that sounds appealing, then we’ve got some top tips to help you make passive income with social media.

  1. How to choose the right platform for your business
  2. Creating relevant content
  3. Building your audience
  4. Making money through your platform

How to choose the right platform for your business

Every business is different, and as such, different social media platforms will best suit each type. From different audiences, to wildly varied types of content, there are a lot of factors that go into deciding the best platform for your business to focus on.

First and foremost, you’ll want to focus your attention on the platforms where your target audience are most likely to be. For a wide array of different customers, with over 2 billion monthly users, Facebook is still the biggest social media platform. As well as boasting the most users, Facebook also offers a number of useful tools to market your business, such as targeted ads and e-commerce integration. You’ll also be able to contact customers directly through Facebook Messenger, making it easier than ever to respond to issues and solicit personalised feedback.

If you’re targeting a younger demographic, or your business is more visually appealing, then Instagram is a must. With over a billion monthly users, a bunch of inbuilt photo editing tools and filters, and the ability for customers to message you directly, Instagram is a great marketing platform. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll also have access to Instagram stories, a great way of showing off short clips or behind the scenes content to create that more personalised experience for your customers.

LinkedIn is a fantastic platform if you’re a more professional-focused or B2B business. With more than 300 million monthly users, many of them representing other businesses, it’s a great way to network. The main advantage of LinkedIn over other platforms is that its users are business-minded and the majority will be using it as a professional tool. Therefore, they’ll be much more open to networking opportunities or B2B offerings than you may find elsewhere. While LinkedIn’s targeted ads are more expensive than, for example, Facebook, they’ll also allow you to target specific industries or job roles, meaning you can focus on the decision makers at companies you want to sell to.

There are seemingly countless other social media platforms out there nowadays, but some others to focus on as great marketing tools include:

  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • TikTok

Creating relevant content

No matter how much you bombard your chosen platform with content, if it’s not relevant to the audience viewing it, then it’s all for naught. Get it right and you’ll be able to reach new customers, generate more traffic towards your website or store and lock down more sales.

So, how do you create relevant content? The key thing to bear in mind is who exactly your target audience are. Consider what your ideal customer’s interests are and what they may want to see from your business. Are they coming to you for a professional, straight-laced service, or would a more light-hearted and humorous approach fit your brand better? Your main aim is to meet your ideal customers needs as much as possible and establish your business as a key feature of their online experience.

As well as establishing the right tone of voice, your content also needs to be timely and fit with the latest trends. If you’re three months, or even three weeks behind with your content, you’re automatically rendering your business irrelevant and missing out on tons of potential engagement and custom. Alternatively, you could focus on creating evergreen content which is timeless and fits in whenever it’s posted.

Perhaps most important when it comes to any social media content is search engine optimization (SEO). By ensuring that your content contains the correct keywords or optimising your website for Google, you’ll improve your search engine rankings, meaning that your website will appear higher up in search results. As for which keywords to use, that will depend on the type of business you run, the products or services you offer and who your target audience are. Take the time to look at your competitors and what pops up in search engine results for your industry and use this research to shape your own content.

Building your audience

Growing your audience is a key aspect of social media marketing and by doing so, you’ll increase your brand awareness and grow your business as a whole. There’ll be some natural growth just through you simply posting content regularly and engaging with the audience who respond. However, there are a few ways you can encourage more growth and really take advantage of the powerful tool at your fingertips.

Start by taking some time to research your target audience by making use of your chosen platform’s audience insights. All major social media platforms have a set of tools available to businesses to allow them to see metrics relating to their audience that have been gathered by their algorithm. Things like the age, gender, location, language and interests of your audience are readily available to you and will really help when shaping your future content campaigns.

The fastest way to reach new users and get new eyes on your brand is through paid ads. This will allow you to pay to have your content placed directly in user’s news feeds, potentially opening up entirely new audiences. You’ll also be able to make use of analytic tools to see how certain ads perform with your audience and adjust your future strategy accordingly.

Making money through your platform

A lot of businesses see social media purely as a marketing tool. However, if you go about things in the right way, it’s possible to make regular income from your social media following.

The most up front way of doing this is by selling products directly from your social media accounts. The past few years have seen a substantial rise in social media marketplaces where both companies and individuals can sell products via online stores. This combination of social media and e-commerce is one of the most proven ways of monetising your social media following, allowing you to sell to your followers without them even having to leave your page.

One of the most prevalent examples of this form of sales is Facebook Marketplace, which lets users sell unlimited products and track sales data through an integrated online store. This option can be easily enabled through any Facebook Business account.

If selling directly through your social media page isn’t possible or doesn’t appeal, then there’s always the option to use your accounts as specialised and focused marketing hubs. By creating and posting informative and eye-catching sales posts you can promote your products or services directly to your most dedicated audience. You can also link directly to your website or product pages, giving your customers an easy way to access exactly what they’re looking for. Take the time to get this right, though. The content you post still has to be engaging and relevant – most of the time, obvious ads will be ignored.

In a similar vein, online promotion doesn’t just have to apply to the products and services your business is based around. Growing a sizable social media following also allows you to monetise further by running in-person events. From conferences, to workshops, to product launch parties, there are a number of ways that you can turn those online followers into a loyal and devoted customer base.

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