Getting rich with Social Media

We often discuss about how large social media platforms are making large sums of money through ads, but we almost never think about how us as regular consumers could also leverage these platforms to earn money from corporations who are seeking new ways to promote their brand. In a sense, we as customers have more bargaining power in the world of marketing because we hold certain level of credibility. Whenever you see an ad on TV or posted on the highway, you know that the company has paid a significant amount of money for everyone to see that. However, when we see a regular person making reviews on a product, we tend to think that there is more credibility behind that story because it’s coming from a regular user. In the end, that user might as well be making some money from the review but he will only receive more followers if he depicts on both the positive and negative aspects of a regular product.

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Marketing is moving in the direction of outsourcing ads to individuals as we are moving closer to a shared economy of services. One great example of such movement is the Amazon Associate’s program which allows you to use a blog/website to make a review about a specific product. On your blog you are allowed to use a specific link to sell the product and you may earn up to 4% in commissions for those sales. What I have personally noticed is that usually people who are honest receive better responses form the follower. It is easy to see an example in the food industry where the tougher you are making a critique, the more restaurant want you to come and give an opinion. As a matter of fact, they are willing to let you eat for free if you are going to post a review on Instagram or other apps for those foodie customers. Basically, when a reviewer simply gives 5 stars to everything it seems like it is just another marketing stunt.

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Got any expertise in a particular area? Coaching or teaching people how to improve in a particular area is definitely a great way to find followers. It is a great opportunity to show your audience how you can help others in a particular area, and it gives you authority to make comments and reviews on products that are related to your hobby. Once you have showed your skills online, you could even have private sessions on social media and charge for your time.

Get on the YouTube Partner Program! Any creator of public content can apply for the YouTube Partner program once your account reaches more than 10,000 public channel views. Even if you do not have enough views, YouTube offers a creator academy where you can get advice from professionals on how to create original content that will help you build your audience and captivate your followers. Once you are accepted into the program, you will have to select what video you would like to monetize and you are all set to start making money with your views.

Spend time on a Twitter conversation! Companies want customers to be aware about their brands and product offerings so they are willing to give prices to those users that spend more than an hour on a Tweet chat. To enter a conversation you simply have to be aware of the hashtag conversations that are currently happening and those can be find on the search bar. These tweet chats offer prizes that include cash, gift cards, clothing, software, jewelry, etc. There are also companies like PaidPerTweet that connect advertisers with influencers, and the influencers are able to set a price for tweeting links, ads, and photos.

Like Fan pages on Facebook! Every day there are companies giving giveaways and organizing contests. It is just a matter of being in the right place at the right moment. Entering the contest is usually something as easy as liking the Fan page of that company and entering your name. If you do the sufficient amount of research you will be able to participate in lots of contests and increase your chances of wining something. In many cases the people participating in these contests is minimal. I can speak from personal experience in this matter since my cousin just won a round trip to ULTRA Miami all expenses covered simply because he uploaded a photo with his friends holding chips of the brand organizing the contest. The contest rules were simple: the person who uploads a photo with more bags of chips and people wins. He realized that nobody was participating so he went for it and won.

Long story short – the world of marketing seems to be moving towards the outsourcing of advertisements. We are staring to see more programs to connect influencers/users with companies. In my opinion, an ad coming from a regular user or from a review is more convincing than mere publicity paid by a corporation. People are fed up of ads saying that every product is perfect, so sometimes it is nice to see someone stating what they think about their product.

If you were an influencer on social media what content would you like to create? And what brands would you like to advertise?

8 comments

  1. Nice post! I really liked the analogy you made with food critics. I agree there is so much opportunity and untapped potential in this space it will be exciting to see where it goes. Of course their is a lot of risk with companies partnering with influencers that will need to be mitigated.

  2. You are totally right that an objective consumer’s recommendation means more than any paid advertising to their peers. However, the issue arises that once the consumer is being compensated for his or her recommendation, they are no longer objective. That being said, I do belie people will still be honest for the most part because as you said the honest reviews tend to be more convincing anyway.

    I think the perfect example of this is my blog last week about the company Swag’r. I was just writing an honest review, but the company found, read, and commented on my post. Their social media team is smart in realizing that my unbiased customer review is their most credible source of advertising.

  3. Great post! I like that you covered different options beyond providing product reviews, there are definitely more ways to get value out of the time spent online. However, getting paid reasonable amounts of money and “getting rich” would require significant time spent creating content and building a personal brand online. After all, anyone can write a product review on Amazon, but not everyone will be contacted by a particular brand to feature a product review ont heir blog – you would need a somewhat successful blog in the first place. Similarly, your Amazon Affiliate links simply won’t get any clicks if noone reads your blog. I do think it takes a lot of work to get to a place where you can earn money from your online presence and it could be considered a full-time “job”. However, since the space is so crowded, not everyone succeeds, so it is also a high-risk/high-reward setting.

  4. Great post! Beyond reviews on products, companies are definitely shifting to leverage user generated content more in their marketing strategies because its super cheap and conveys a more authentic and trustworthy view of the brand. My current company and almost all of the companies I have consulted for have used UGC in the past or are planning a large UGC campaign in the near future. With the low costs associated with social media marketing, the ROI on a great UGC social media campaign can be very appealing to marketing departments.

  5. So I read this post due to the title and the fact that like most I love money. I thought it was really interesting that there truly are so many different ways one can use social media to make money from all different types of companies. I know a friend who got reached out to to post for Under Armor. In return she gets free items . This person is not even supposed to change the way they post or comment that the items are free. I’m skeptical of that as I believe if you are getting a free item to market you should let everyone know that you got it for free because maybe the product seems like its worth it to you because it is free but you may feel differently if you paid the full price!

  6. Great post! Also, I agree that people definitely prefer marketing efforts that at least appear more genuine than traditional marketing has come to feel. It seems like it can be incredibly difficult, though, to truly balance being an honest reviewer and continuing to be an influencer on social media.

  7. Excellent post! Just the other day I was reading reviews for a product I was looking into, and in my mind I immediately skim past the “5 star!!! BEST PRODUCT!” because while that’s nice, it just doesn’t feel authentic. On the flip side, the reviews that had “1 star, WORST EXPERIENCE EVER”, while helpful, also seemed more like the opinions of someone scorned. The most valuable reviews for me were ones written by someone who seemed objective, who pointed out the good but also had no problem writing about the bad as well. It’s these reviews that I find the most valuable and truly are the ones that can sway my opinion about something. The challenge then remains finding out if these “honest reviews” were in fact tampered with by the actual company. This is becoming harder and harder to determine, but hopefully the FTC can actually enforce rules that require disclosures for any compensation for an ad or review, something that the SEC absolutely requires in any sort of financial security analysis.

  8. Great post! I agree that the trend in marketing is to begin to leverage positive customer experiences in order to generate more business. It does make sense that you would be more likely to trust a peer review than a billboard on a highway that is paid for by the company.
    One aspect that I never thought about but which made sense was the fact that restaurants want harsher critics to review their establishments. I’m sure getting a positive review from a tough critic is much better than getting one from a reviewer that throws out 5 stars to everyone.
    Also, I’m very jealous of you cousin winning that trip to Ultra. I always bypass those contests because I figure I will never win. Looks like I’ll think twice next time…

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