How to Monetize Social Media

Embrace Social Media as a Tool for Generating Revenue

Social media is here to stay. Entrepreneurs and small-business owners who fail to engage customers and potential business partners through social media are not only missing out on a tremendous opportunity to build and reinforce their brands, but they are actually leaving money on the table, as well.

While large companies and corporations have been characteristically slow to embrace social media as a business tool, a trailblazing band of small-business owners from Maine to California have developed social media best practices to build brand awareness, to engage core customers, and to generate revenue.

Focusing on Social Media Essentials

The debate over how to monetize social media networks continues to divide small-business experts and social media acolytes, but ultimately every business owner can benefit from implementing a handful of straightforward best practices that will help focus your firm’s social media outreach.

As you plan and implement a strategy for social media optimization, keep in mind one simple value proposition: reaching prospects and customers where and how they want to be reached is the most reliable way to monetize the time and energy you will expend on social media. Once you are able to target the specific platforms and tools popular among members of your network, you will be able to conceive a strategy for generating quantifiable growth.

Growing and Engaging Your Network

Where to begin? If you’re looking to drive traffic to your social media accounts, start with content. Consumers gravitate towards quality content that is updated regularly. In general, your customers do not want to be “messaged,” they want to be entertained and engaged. As a social media marketer, your goal is to create a dialogue that attracts the widest possible group of consumers to your pages. To that end, it may be helpful to offer promotions and giveaways to fans who “follow” your business, or “like” your page on Facebook.

Keep the conversation going with content and updates that integrate your profiles on multiple channels. For example, ask a question or pose a problem to your followers on Twitter that must be answered or addressed on Facebook.

Finally, if members of your network appear to be responding to your offers and promotions, then you can set up shop on Facebook, transforming your profile into a virtual store with product details, Pay Pal buttons, and links to your official web page.


Marshall Walker Lee graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Michigan's Honors College with degrees in Writing and Philosophy. As a freelance writer and designer he has developed branding strategies and programming for J. Walter Thompson, Nike, the Kellogg Foundation, Spike TV, Sony Films, and General Motors. He is the co-founder and director of Poor Claudia, a 501(c)3 non-profit publishing enterprise based in Portland, Oregon.