Can you make money from your social media? (After all, you put enough sweat and tears into making it thrive.) Short answer: Yes, you can monetize social media!
Social media is time-consuming. Can all the hours you spend posting, commenting, and interacting on social media really turn into solid sales?
I’m going to show you eight ways that you can turn social media into money.
1. Attract the Right Audience
It’s easy to make the mistake of jumping straight into sales. After all, you are a business, you need to make money.
But if you don’t have an audience, those sales posts will never get seen.
Audience building needs to become a key part of your social media strategy. But how do you do it and how do you ensure you are attracting the right people, the people who want to buy and talk about you to your social accounts?
Start with a persona
A persona is a picture of your ideal customer.
It will tell you:
- Key demographics about your target audience
- What they are interested in
- The problems they have that you solve
Here’s a list of tools that can help you create your customer persona.
Your persona doesn’t have to be detailed to help you create content.
- If you are a pub in Dublin, you know you want to appeal to people who live in Dublin.
- If you are a sports bar, you will want to attract people who enjoy sports.
- A dance club will want to attract people who like dance music.
Create content that will attract your persona
Now that you know a little bit about the audience you want to build, you can start developing content that will attract them. (You’ll also need to know your overall strategy. What do you want the content to do? Why do you want more eyeballs on your content? Our free “SMART Goals” ebook can help you plan better goals.)
In this post from The Church Cafe, Late Bar & Restaurant, they engage a local Irish audience talking about an expected storm.
The phrase “Ah here…” is commonly used in Dublin and will resonate with their local audience.
Knowing your customer will also help you with tip number 2.
2. Engage Your Audience With Polls and Questions
Now you know who you want in your audience and you are attracting them with content, it’s time to take your relationship to the next level.
You need to talk to your audience.
Conversations help build relationships and trust. Your audience needs to be able to trust your company.
But how do you start a conversation? By asking questions.
Start with a poll
You can use the built-in Poll tools on Facebook pages, Facebook groups, Twitter, and Instagram. You’ll find that, particularly on Instagram stories and Facebook, you can quickly gather votes.
Come up with a list of questions relevant to your customer persona or related to products and campaigns you are running.
This Facebook post from The People’s First Credit Union teases people about a free ice cream event they were running in the branch.
Your Style Your Story went beyond a regular Instagram Story Poll by using the Quiz sticker to engage its audience about new products.
If you want to spark higher level conversation, ask more in-depth questions.
Writing text-based questions on social can help you start these deeper conversations and eventually monetize social media.
Here’s an example from my LinkedIn profile. It started getting comments within minutes of my posting.
I’ve found a formula that works well for asking questions on social media. When I use it, I always get more comments and conversations:
- Ask the question.
- Tell them my answer to the question.
- Elaborate on the question with a story.
- Ask, “What about you?”
I also add emojis to my questions to add a bit of color and help them stand out in the feed.
By getting people into conversations with you, you make your business memorable and build trust with those you talk to. This ultimately leads to sales.
Next, let’s look at some more concrete ways to monetize your social media posts.
3. Sell Directly From Your Facebook or Instagram account
If you have an online store you can create an online Shop tab on Facebook. This allows you to tag products on both Facebook and Instagram. You can set this up automatically, if your website software allows it, or manually.
Once the store is set up, you can tag products in any post you create on Facebook.
If you add your store to Facebook using a catalog, you can also connect it to your Instagram account and tag products in posts and stories there.
4. Use Chatbots to Monetize Social Media
As people shy away from commenting publicly on social and move towards messaging, chatbots will become crucial for businesses.
When done well, messenger bots can be a powerful sales tool.
Your Style Your Story used a chatbot to launch its store. They enticed users to subscribe with a style quiz then messaged them with a coupon offer when the store opened.
5. Write Sales Posts to Monetize Social Media
Experts will tell you that it’s wrong to sell, sell, sell on social. They’re right. You need the audience-building and engagement posts to help you build trust before you sell.
But you do still need to sell.
Sales posts need to be a part of your social posting strategy. In fact, they’re probably the most important posts you will create. It’s worth taking a bit of time to create great sales posts.
I have a formula designed to reel your audience in and encourage them to click the buy button.
- What’s in it for the customer, what problem do you solve?
- What are their options?
- How do you solve the problem?
- What do they have to do next?
- Include an eye-catching, thumb-stopping image.
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(Then don’t forget to add the image.)
6. Answer FAQs
We’re used to seeing FAQs on websites, but FAQ content works well on social too.
If you answer questions your customers have (especially the questions stopping them from clicking the buy button), you can convert them to customers.
Make a list of the questions your customers commonly ask, and create video content that answers them.
In this IGTV post, Pet Sitters Ireland answers the question about what pet setters do.
7. Grow Your Mailing List
Email is still one of the best ways to get sales. Social media can help you grow your list.
Treat your mailing list subscription posts like sales posts.
Use the same formula to address the problem that your mailing list or lead magnet solves and ask people to subscribe.
Here’s a post I used on Facebook that resulted in an instant increase in subscribers on my site.
8. Embrace Testimonials
We’ve talked about building trust and how important it is for making sales. Testimonials are a great way to build trust.
These will reassure potential customers that they are making the right choice buying from you.
You can obtain testimonials by:
- Encouraging recommendations on your Facebook page
- Taking existing testimonials and turning them into images
- Interviewing customers on video and sharing them to your page
Implement these and you’ll be building a strategy designed to deliver sales and to begin to monetize the time you are spending on social.
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Get started on monetizing your social media right now! Check out our free trial of Agorapulse to help you schedule, track, and measure all your social media efforts.