To make money online with social media marketing, your efforts must be both targeted and focused. Targeted social media marketing describes a strategically designed marketing campaign focused on using social media channels to attract a narrowly defined audience for lead generation or branding purposes.
If you are like many others interested in “make money online” strategies, you are probably relatively new to internet business, and I will assume you are more interested in web traffic generation and income strategies through social media than in “corporate branding”.
In the sections below, I will share a simple series of principles for maximizing your use of web 2.0 and social media marketing to build your income online. Here are a few of my best ideas on this topic.
1. Know Your Customer
Your social media marketing efforts will degenerate into a waste of time, money and attention if you do not already have your core customer well defined. You should ask yourself a few questions like:
Who Do I Want To Sell To Or Share With?
What Knowledge, Passions, And Skills Could I Leverage?
What Problems Are The People I Know Dealing With?
What Are The Problems For Which I Need And Want A Solution?
These questions can help you decide on the market you want to work with. Areas you could successfully target include health and fitness, dating and relationships, marriage, technology and tech products, internet marketing, business, career, etc.
Pick one based on your personal preferences, expertise, background and experiences. After you choose a theme, identify the markets that are interested in that area, and then narrow that market down by gender, geography, spiritual philosophy, or by commonality of needs, wants and habits.
If your settle on a business market, you should still do some sort of demographic profiling that defines who you are going to be talking to.
2. Identify Where They Are
Your next step after identifying who you want to work with, communicate with and sell to, is to identify which websites or social platforms they congregate in and what web 2.0 tools and services they are likely to use. This varies widely and depends on the marketplace you choose.
For instance, if you are a realtor, or targeting realtors for your products, you would be best served to use a mix of broader social networking sites (like Facebook and Twitter) and professional specialty networks (like ActiveRain, Realtown, and RealEstateInvestor.com) as well as online using web 2.0 tools like postlets.com and others.
3. Create a Content-Based Attraction Funnel
Monetizing social media programs is most easily done by connecting your social media networking, engagement and content with easy to sell back end programs like information products and paid virtual events (teleseminars, webinars, membership programs).
You can either create your own information products, or sign up to be an affiliate for products and programs that are relevant to the marketplace you have chosen. At which point, you want to start sharing authoritative, informative, entertaining and relevant content with your social media networks.
Whether you decide to set up your own website, or just settle for using the market-relevant platforms online, I strongly recommend signing up for an email marketing account. Services like Aweber.com and MailChimp.com (which has a free option) are tremendously useful. Using these services you can set up email capture forms with which you can begin to build targeted lists to send email marketing campaigns to.
4. Engage And Sell
Other than developing your own new technology that gets used by millions of people, the easiest way to make money online is to sell a product or service directly, or represent them for a cut of income. The back-end monetization of social media outreach is as varied as the back end strategy for any other method of gaining attention and traffic online.
By successfully connecting your social media traffic to an email list, you gain more control to do the continuous direct marketing that has proven to be most profitable online. However, many marketers have also been successful at creating significant affiliate income just by maintaining engagement on these Web 2.0 properties and then sending their audience directly to affiliate opportunities.
No matter which tactic you employ, always keep up with the culture of the social networks you are participating in. The written and unwritten codes of conduct vary for each. What works successfully on Twitter, may be completely unacceptable on Facebook.