Capitalizing on Your Online Presence: How To Monetize Your Social Media
Since you’re reading this article now, I can assume that you probably have a general interest in producing media. Maybe you want to be an influencer, a blogger, or have your own business. Or maybe, you fit one of the previous descriptions already, and you’re looking for some guidance. Either way- I’m going to tell you exactly what you should know, do, and think to capitalize on your online presence.
Discovering your buyer persona(s):
The absolute first thing you need to know when creating or redesigning your online presence is your audience. Who is your target population or buyer persona? Even while I’m writing now, I’m keeping in mind that my target population includes prospective influencers, bloggers, and business owners. If you’re unsure of your exact target population, you can think of these questions: “Who might buy this? Who might engage with this? Who might identify with this? Once you’ve discovered your buyer persona(s), you can tailor your content specifically to appeal to them.
Tailoring your brand identity:
Unless your target audience is quite broad and general, you should think of your online presence or brand as an identity. Your brand identity will consist of the shared values, likes, and beliefs of your target population. For many people, a brand is much more than the product it sells. As an example, in the book “The New Rules of Marketing & PR”, author and marketing pioneer David Meerman Scott says that the Starbucks brand is a great representation of this idea. In his example, he explains how many people may go to Starbucks for various reasons like its speed and efficiency, to meet other people, or to use free Wi-Fi (Scott, 2020). In the context of social media, we can see this same idea occurring in brands with loyal users. You can use this same idea in your own business by discovering what may appeal to your buyer persona(s) while making you stand out from competitors.
Taking advantage of your social media:
Unless your target population is people over the age of seventy, you can forget about your traditional advertising strategies like billboards, newspapers, and even TV. Social media will be your free marketing tool. Social media influences our decisions, including whether or not someone decides to visit your page or buy what you are selling. The first step you can take into strengthening your online presence is taking advantage of all relevant, mainstream social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube). By creating a presence on all of these platforms, your customers/fans/viewers will be able to efficiently access you and your brand.
Your target audience will determine how your multi-social media presence will look. For instance, if I’m creating a presence for my customized name lunchbox business, my target population would be parents. Keeping in mind that my target population is parents, I can assume that most parents are not avid Snapchat users, so I can focus my efforts elsewhere like Facebook and Instagram, which are more appealing to the target demographic. Another important aspect of taking advantage of your social media is not just creating ads that will appear in media users’ feeds but also using your own page and posts as advertisements.
For example, if you own a website that sells academic planners and accessories, you will want to stand out from your competitors. You might do this by creating a random giveaway for college students where students enter the giveaway by reposting your page’s content and tagging their friends. Using strategies that appeal to your buyer persona helps gain free publicity, spark interest in your brand, and gain potential customers.
Putting your knowledge into action:
Now that you’ve identified your buyer persona(s) and created an aesthetic for your brand based on these personas, how can you put it into action? Well, unfortunately, you can’t do it alone. Previously mentioned author and pioneer in marketing, David Scott notes, there are five essential areas of skill for a successful online business: graphic design, content creation, platform-specific development, search engine optimization, and project management (2020). You’re probably thinking, “How can I afford this if I’m just starting?” but there are many website-creating platforms with built-in features where you can use free search engine optimization, or directly contact a freelancer for help. By reading this article, you’ve already taken a step forward in advancing your social media marketing skills. Now all you need to do is gather some help to put it in motion! If you have any questions or would like to inquire about help getting started, feel free to reach me in the “Contact” tab of my site.
Scott, D. M. (2020). The new rules of marketing and pr : How to use content marketing, podcasting, social media, ai, live video, and newsjacking to reach buyers directly. ProQuest Ebook Central https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.gate.lib.buffalo.edu
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