Network Your Way to an Income

For those who are not very technologically minded and don't know much about the internet beyond basic email or Facebook 101, the idea of making money from social media is laughable.  There is no way the average person can earn money from social media, but, the thing is, you can if you seize the opportunity.  In order to do this you need to have an understanding of how social networking works (beyond the basics).  You also need to have a vague idea of how to apply the marketing tools to social networks.  A good internet connection, such as 3G mobile broadband is also important. Below are ten simple steps to earning a living via social media.

10. Be authentic and genuine

Engaging in social media should be viewed as talking to people at a party.  This is not traditional advertising where you want to be formal and target a particular audience.  Instead, social media is about a community.  The social networks are designed to discuss things like a 'real' person in an informal manner.  You will have a more effective social media experience if you are someone other people can relate to.  Share your experiences and make your audience feel comfortable.

9. Never interrupt!

The more popular people at a party are generally those who don't interrupt others.  These are the ones that people go home and talk about.  This is the person you want to be!  If users are sharing tales on the social networks, join in and have a laugh.  Never, ever talk about yourself - this just brings the mood down.  You can also bring up a humorous experience for people to talk about and start conversations that way.

8. Build a rapport

One simple way to build a rapport with your users is by caring about them.  It is important that you view your visitors as real people and not money making beings.  Talking to them should not be a means to an end, it should be genuine conversation.  This means responding quickly to a comment or question.  The best times to respond to comments is during the evening and weekends.  Even a simple thank you for a compliment will help boost your relationship and marketing potential.

7. Give them something to talk about

Social media is not just about conversation but also about sharing items of interest.  This is where advertising comes in.  It's a form of 'paying-it-forward' and if you don't understand that, then find someone who does.   For example, you could put up a free copy of the first chapter to your new e-book asking for feedback.  If anyone gives you feedback or helps with the editing then you could say you'll send them the whole book free of charge when it's finished.  Everyone likes free stuff!

6. Follow the market

If you want to be a popular party-goer you should follow the party-people.  If you aren't getting much traffic from one social networking platform, find the audience and move on.  Of course, you shouldn't abandon the stragglers but head to the bigger scenes to remain popular.  For instance, you may begin by using Twitter to direct traffic to your website.  Once this starts losing popularity, focus on the networks that are the current craze and bring in greater traffic.  Furthermore, focus on the social media that target your particular audience - the ones that are more likely to buy your product.

5. Building trust

In this instance trust can be differentiated from rapport in that it involves the marketing aspect of a relationship.  Over the years marketers have made promises to consumers and failed to meet deadlines.  This has made consumers very way when purchasing anything.  It is important to work at building rapport from the beginning of your social media relationship.  This rapport makes it easier to establish trust.

4. Engage with your community

Effective social media market comes from effective interaction.  To have a positive experience at the party you must get interact with your particular social group.  It is important to mingle with others but focusing on your target audience is the key to going home happy or earning an income (same thing really).  You can ask them questions on Facebook or end blog posts asking for feedback.  Use different plug ins on your site.  This makes it convenient for users to comment and interact.

3. Give back to the community

It is important to find out why people are interacting with you.  What are their plans and how can you help?  The popular party-goer is the one who wants to know about you rather than talk about himself all night.  Furthermore, if you are able to help that person with a venture or difficulty you'll earn more readerships.  This greater following means a larger income.

2. Plan, plan, plan and plan some more

The most successful ventures stem from hours of planning.  Without a plan, the chances of failure are highly likely.  Furthermore, a plan is never stagnant but constantly change as circumstances change.  To ensure you are heading in the right direction it is advised a monthly performance review is conducted.  This will allow you to compare monthly results and plan for the next month's campaign.  Social media marketing is an active venture and putting it on autopilot will lead to losses instead of profits.

Contingency planning should also be considered.  As with all marketing plans, social media marketing is unpredictable.  You never known how a comment will be received or if a networking platform could 'fold'.  Having a contingency plan will ensure you have a back-up should something bad happen.

1. Measure.  Analyse.  Respond.

Social media sounds like a lot of fun, but it also requires a great deal of hard work and dedication.  It is important to remain focused as there is a lot of distracting information to be analysed.  You will have to complete different tasks like SEO assessment, conversion and reach.  This will help ensure your content performs well but can be laborious.  Try to remain positive even if it takes a while to set up.  You must also accept the negative comments along with the positive.  All criticism must be viewed as constructive helping you to grow from the experience.

In conclusion, making money off social media is a possibility.  You just need the right mind set and skills to take the opportunity. 

Social Network Strategies

The Social Network Business Plan: 18 Strategies That Will Create Great Wealth
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