Can blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming and so on actually help you make more money? The answer is yes, according to business experts. Social media is the ultimate sales channel: minimal to no cost, with many opportunities to turn a profit. Major franchises including Walmart, Best Buy and Starbucks are capitalizing on social media to increase their sales and branding efforts. Leveraging social media to create real business value is a long-term process that requires some upfront investment in terms of resources and time. But it can be done.
BlackEnterprise.com reached out to the members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. We polled their members on the following question: What is one thing I can do to start monetizing my social media presence on networks like Facebook and Twitter? Here’s what they had to say to help small owners:
1. Offer Deals
Deals are a great way to monetize your social media and drive customers into sales. Put up decent discounts on your Facebook page. Make sure that you clearly state that it’s a discount and it only lasts a certain time period to gain more traffic and sales.
2. Reveal Beta Features or Products
Social media is a great place to test your beta features or brand new products. This also gives you the opportunity to let your followers get a sneak peek of what you’re working on before it’s launched.
3. Provide Value Through Your Relationships
If you focus on the qualitative metrics, like creating value through your relationship-building efforts, you’ll create business value. While getting the attention is important, retention is key. Retention is a sign that your relationships through social media are paying back (literally). If your audience stays, you are also driving them back to your products or services.
4. Amplify Your Special Promotions
Running a special promotion? Amplify it with Facebook’s “boost” button so you can reach a larger portion of your fans. Since it’s a promotion, it’s likely to be well-received because the deal or opportunity typically favors the consumer as well as the business. In fact, 42% of people become fans in order to get access to discounts and promotions.
5. Use Social Media as Part of Your Content Marketing Plan
In my experience with Hubstaff, content marketing has been a huge growth driver. Use social to promote your blog and website content, and tap into audiences looking for content related to your services. By writing about our concierge staffing service and time tracking tools, then promoting that content on Facebook to a targeted audience, we drive traffic to those posts from interested people.
6. Consider the ‘Big Three’
Consider webinars, podcasts and Skillshare classes.