I was given the opportunity to give two different presentations, to two different organizations on the same topic, “How Do I Make Money On Social Media?”. Well, guess what? You can make money on social media. I have done it and my clients have done it. But here is the rub … you don’t make money from social media alone. It takes a combination of things to get people to pay attention to then turn your social media posts into moneymaking opportunities!
I was giving presentations (actually 4 of them) at Olivette Nazarene University. First presentation was ‘Podcasting’ to a PR class. Next, it was about my book, “The Bacon System“, to the local chamber of commerce. Then I was asked to speak to an ‘International Marketing’ class. And finally, I presented to a public relations class on my first book, “It’s Not About You, It’s About Bacon!“. I was in the middle of the hour and a half drive home when I had an epiphany!
The epiphany was that my first book, my last book, and all of the things I have been doing are completely congruent. I used to think that social media was a platform for marketing, selling and many other things. What I finally realized was that social media has three different purposes. First and foremost, social media is about building relationships. My first book is called,”It’s Not About You, It’s About Bacon!“. It’s about relationship marketing in a social media world.
Be Human First
What do I mean by this? It’s about being human first. It’s about being somebody that people can connect with. It’s about being somebody who is in people’s conscious minds because you’re doing things that they connect with. An example of this is that every single morning I post a quote of the day. The quote of the day is actually an app on my phone. I just find a picture quote and I put it up there. I call it deep bacon thoughts. People love those.
I actually learned about this when I was working for a publishing company. They wanted to hire me to help them with their social media. What they noticed was that they were getting millions of interactions on quotes they were putting up. They wanted to learn how to monetize that. I said, “Well, yeah we can definitely do that.” Then when I told them the price to accomplish it they said, “No, no we wanted the advice for free.” I said, “Good luck with that,” and I moved on. The thing that they did not realize is that those quotes were building their brand. They were actually being shared. People were commenting and they were liking it. They were doing something that was emotionally touching their audience.
The second thing that I do is something I call the caption contest of the day. The caption contest is a goofy picture that people love to comment on and share. The people love to comment on other people’s comments. It reaches a different audience. I do one in the morning and one in the evening. What I’m doing is touching people in a way that they want to be communicated to. As I build relationships with people and they keep me top of mind, I create interaction and engagement online and I can occasionally post about something I’m doing at work, about a book I’m launching or about a speech that I’m giving.
That is where the relationship portion is so incredibly important. I’ve earned their respect by feeding them really, really great content that they want to engage with. Then they get to know, like and trust me enough to where they may recommend me or they may come hear me speak. Social media is a relationship-building tool first.
Number two, social media is a content delivery platform. What I mean by this is that you have the opportunity to share content. There are two different kinds of content out there. They are what I call OPC and original content. OPC is other people’s content. When I share the caption contest, those are not actually pictures I took. My friends send me those pictures, because they love the caption contest. “Ooh this would be a good one. This would be a good one.” That’s being crowd-fed. The quotes that I put out are the same thing. They are other people’s content. During the middle of the day, I produce my own content. This podcast is original content. This is something where I’m speaking directly to you and you, hopefully, are learning something from me.
I also write a blog once per week. I deliver content via email. I actually take my blogs, podcasts, speeches, and all the rest, put it into a digest email and send that out. People love it, because they can get all of the content I’ve done in that week delivered in one email. Social media is exactly that. It’s a platform to deliver content. Which means, it could be your original thoughts. It could be pictures that you’re taking. It could be your feelings. It could be a lot of different things. It could be a video that you produce. People love original content, especially when that original content drives them back to a source that you own, such as your website, Youtube channel, podcast, or something else. The key question is what can you do to draw people in and drive them to a place where they may want to do some business with you?
The third thing about social media is the advertising. This is what most people want to figure out. How can I get free advertising on social media? I just gave you the formula. Create the friends. Produce your own great content that drives them back or the third option is to pay for it. Yes, purchase advertising. Purchasing advertising is not as simple as boosting a post. There’s a lot that goes into it. This is especially true in the Facebook world and in the larger picture with Google and other platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn where you can do paid advertising. There are philosophies and plans way beyond the scope of what I have time to talk about today.
The bottom line is there are retargeting pixels. When somebody clicks a link and gets to your website, it will record that inside of Facebook and actually start to build an audience of people that have been to your website. You can re-target to them. You can put up ads to people that have been to your website. That’s what retargeting is about. Advertising can get expensive. I’ve got one client that spends $ 5,000 per month on Google Ads. One new client for them is worth $ 5,000, so it’s a pretty good bet. I’ve seen many people try to advertise their way by boosting posts. What does that get you? It may get you some more likes and things like that and it may get you a little more credibility.
The bottom line is if you’re going to use social media as an advertising platform, then you have to have a plan. A lot of times it requires getting an expert in to help you understand how it all works. The mistake that I see people making is that they want you to come in and teach them how to use free social media, to not spend a penny, and to get as much advertising value as they possibly can. The problem is that you can’t skip the other two steps. It all starts with the relationships. Then, it builds upon the content you provide. Provide great content to people in your inner circle and they will reward you with their attention.
Building great content takes time. It takes energy and original thought. That’s the hard part. You need to set up a plan for what you want to say, who you want to say it to, and what you expect from them when you finish. That, my friends, is building relationships on social media.
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