The Business of Social Media Part 2

Last week, we addressed how social media makes money through advertisements, discussing how, exactly, companies such as Facebook and Instagram have made their millions. That is only one side of the story. In the age of social media, there are also users who make a living through their various accounts. That’s right, people who sign up for personal accounts can quickly find themselves getting paid. Today, we’re going to take a look a how you could be making money from it too.

Let’s look at Instagram first.

It all starts with how many followers you have. The number of followers can help determine your influence and reach, the two biggest factors of any Instagram page. How many followers do you need? Well, that depends on your niche and it’s size. Paying for thousands of fake followers won’t do you any good.

So how do people actually make money? Usually through paid promotion of products. This can be as simple as featuring the product on your account, or as complicated as directly promoting the product without saying as much. The latter, like health bloggers swearing by a brand of tea that helped them lose weight, can put you in a legal grey zone, depending on whether or not you disclose it’s a paid advertisement.

Others find themselves receiving sponsored products, such as clothing, food, or technology, provided they take a picture with it and promote along with their brand. This is most common among beauty and lifestyle Instagram accounts, whose main product is themselves. Desire and imitation are key. That way when you see them drinking Starbucks, you want it too.

Other platforms, such as Youtube, will tell you how to set up a money making channel from the start. They tell you right off the bat, “the key ingredients for a profitable YouTube channel are a loyal, engaged community and a steady stream of great videos.” Otherwise said, you have to work hard to make money. How many video views does it take it get Youtube’s attention? 10 thousand, which can either come from one viral video or years of hard work. Once you hit that benchmark, Youtube can declare you big enough to warrant companies wanting to pay to advertise through you. They even offer a service to find those advertisers for you.

Facebook, unlike the others, requires you to make a Page, rather than use your personal account to make money. This is because Pages make it easier to track followers, their interests, and their habits. From there, a successful page can work with affiliates or partner companies to sell advertising space. Platforms such as Amazon give their affiliates a percentage of what people buy by clicking on their link.

As you can see, there are no shortages of ways to make money through social media. While they are making billions by advertising to you, it only makes sense to earn some of that back. Just remember, making profiting from social media does not come easily, it requires hard work, and lots of effort. So go forth and make money!



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