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What should you do with all those ‘Likes’? How to spin social followers into gold
Sure, you may have plenty of social fans, but are you turning that follower count into revenue? Contributor Tamar Weinberg explains how you can monetize your social following.
Although they might not want to admit it, many marketers find themselves flat-out stuck when it comes to their social followings.
We’re constantly told to chase more when it comes to our follower count.
More fans. More “likes.” More shares.
But here’s the harsh question that marketers often refuse to face: At what point does your follower count become little more than a vanity metric?
Sure, those thousands of Facebook followers may look great on paper. Yet consider that Facebook organic reach has tanked in recent years, resulting in a major struggle for marketers who just can’t seem to break through the noise.
Boasting more followers than your neighbor may boost your ego, but what about your bottom line?
Why monetizing your social following is a must-do
Don’t get it twisted — there’s no denying that your fans and followers via social media are more than just data points. Social followers can obviously be incredibly valuable from a branding perspective, especially if you have a following that regularly engages with your content or looks to you for advice.
That said, what’s the point of putting your blood, sweat and tears into growing your social presence if there isn’t some sort of financial incentive down the line?
No, you shouldn’t necessarily equate your follower count to dollars and cents. You should, however, consider opportunities to turn those followers into revenue in some way, shape or form.
If your social following is little more than fluff, you’re not making the most of your follower count. Finding a positive ROI via social media is difficult enough, as is uncovering opportunities to monetize your followers. In fact, measuring any sort of financial ROI from social media still remains one of the major pain points of today’s marketers:
If you’re stuck with a follower count with little to no reach to monetize, what’s the next logical step?
Social monetization via education
With Facebook in particular becoming more of a “pay to play” channel, marketers must be selective about what they push to their followers.
Therefore, marketers should focus on educating their followers versus trying to dump as many products and sales messages on them as they possibly can. Going the old-school salesman route via social is a recipe for disaster.
To reel in followers, it’s going to take much more than a traditional lead magnet or e-book offer to grab their attention.
That’s why online courses represent the prime platform to monetize your social followers.
The benefits of marketing your business via video courses are threefold:
- Video content is killing it right now: With video consumption at an all-time high and modern consumers four times more likely to seek out video content versus written content, video-based courses are arguably the most attractive lead magnets you could put out.
- Courses breed influence: Those that are able to teach their audiences signal themselves as thought leaders in their industry rather than followers.
- Followers transform into subscribers: Signups for your course become long-term email subscribers you can sell to time and time again, essentially taking followers beyond the realm of social media, where they’re more difficult to reach.
Through courses, you sell education that doesn’t come off as salesy or spammy. Instead, you leverage your influence and know-how to sway social followers into becoming buyers minus the sales pitch.
The untapped potential of video courses
Also bear in mind that online courses are evergreen digital products with low overhead. If there is a problem you can solve on behalf of your audience, then sow the seeds of a course to sell to your social followers.
The beauty of video courses is that they span across just about any industry, too. Digital course platform Kajabi has been the source of numerous success stories from their “heroes” who’ve created full-blown businesses from video courses alone. Take, for example, stay-at-home mom Tamsen Horton who turned her legal know-how into full-time passive income. As noted by marketing expert Neil Patel, Kajabi offers a near-turnkey solution for video courses that doesn’t require tons of legwork to set up and implement.
Of course, creating a course is only half the battle. Following the 80/20 rule of content promotion, marketers can spend the bulk of their time pushing their courses via updates and paid ads. With so many promotional options via Facebook alone, you can ensure that your course content actually gets in front of your followers.
In short, a five-star digital course can be your anchor content on social media that regularly reels in clicks. While traditional blog posts and other content are still fair game, your primary goal should be to funnel as many followers as you can to turn them into long-term subscribers.
Don’t squander your social presence
Monetizing your social followers should be a matter of “when,” rather than “if.” At the same time, monetization doesn’t have to mean beating your followers over the head with sales pitch after sales pitch.
Instead, video courses present an opportunity to convert followers into customers and build your industry influence simultaneously. Rather than squander your social presence, start thinking sooner rather than later how you can squeeze more out of your follower count.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.