Facebook might not be the first social network you think of when it comes to earning money, but it’s perfectly possible to generate an income using the site.
But the nature of Facebook means that it needs a slightly different approach to other social networking sites – you’re not going to become a Facebook influencer by adding thousands of friends to your personal account.
Here’s what you have to do.
Set up a Facebook Page
In order to effectively generate an income on Facebook, you’ll need to set up a Page.
To do that, you’ll need to log into your Facebook account and click the “Create” button in the bar along the top of screen “Page” should be the first option.
Actually creating a Page is straightforward, but there are some decisions you need to make before you’re ready to create your Page.
If you already have an existing business then these decisions will be straightforward, but if you’re still in the process of deciding how to make money on Facebook then you might want to create your Page after you’ve made some big decisions about how you intend to monetize Facebook.
Go here if you need help setting up your Facebook Page.
How to make money on Facebook
With an existing business
If you have an existing business, then setting up a Facebook Page is a good idea as it can help you reach a new audience and can drive more sales.
With a new business
As Facebook offers you the option of selling products directly through your Page, it’s entirely possible to start a brand new business on Facebook.
However, it’s a very good idea to invest in a website for your own business, regardless of how well things are going on Facebook.
Why? Well, you don’t have complete control over your Facebook Page – Facebook does. This means that something like a change in Facebook’s rules could damage your business.
But if you have your own website then you can encourage people who find you through Facebook to sign up for your email marketing list, allowing you to keep in touch with them on your own terms, not Facebook’s terms.
Through influencer marketing
Although influencer marketing is more commonly associated with Instagram (and you can go here if you want to learn tips on using Instagram for Business) it is possible to become a Facebook influencer.
It’s a good idea to focus on a specific niche, and when choosing a niche bear in mind that Facebook’s audience tends to be older than that of Instagram.
Through affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the oldest methods of making money on the web, and it’s still going strong today.
Put simply, if you’re an affiliate then you’ll earn money by sending customers to businesses that have an affiliate marketing scheme, Amazon for example.
Of course, the reality is more complex than that and you’ll find you have to get thousands of people to click through to the brands you’re marketing in order to make a sizeable income. (Because not everyone who clicks through will make a purchase.)
That said, people do make a good living by affiliate marketing on Facebook, so it’s not impossible.
You can learn more about affiliate marketing in this guide.
Building a following for your Facebook Page
Once you’ve decided how you’ll be monetizing your Facebook Page and created it, it’s time to start building a following.
Here’s how to do it.
Create interesting and useful content
Before you start thinking about attracting likes to your Page, you need to work out what sort of content you’ll be publishing.
After all, it’s the content that will get people interested in your Page.
The topic of your content should always be aligned with the particular niche you’re operating in – if you move away from your niche too much and too often, people will be confused as to what your Page is actually about.
In terms of content type, visual content always works well on Facebook – think images and short videos.
Offering something for free is also a winner – giving away an ebook is a tried and tested way to generate leads on Facebook.
Posting links to interesting blog articles (on your site or other sites) is a winner too.
But avoid clickbaiting – Facebook penalizes Pages that repeatedly link to low-quality content.
This doesn’t mean you can’t post links like “100 amazing facts about cats that will blow your mind”, but if you do you need to make sure you really do deliver 100 amazing mind-blowing cat facts.
You should also make sure you post content to your Facebook page on a regular basis – you can learn more about planning and scheduling Facebook content in this guide.
Build an organic following
In the early days of Facebook if you wanted to build a following for a Page, then the only way to do it was organically.
But times have changed and although building a Facebook following without spending any money is still possible, it’s also exceedingly difficult.
Although things like hashtags do exist on Facebook, they don’t drive as much engagement as they do on Instagram and Twitter, so it’s hard to attract people that way.
Plus, even established Facebook Pages have trouble attracting engagement organically these days – only around 3% of people who have liked a Page will see a post when it makes one.
So for a new Page, there’s very little chance of seeing organic growth through Facebook alone.
That said, if you have an existing website, email marketing list or other social platforms then you should encourage people who interact with you through those mediums to like your Facebook Page.
Use Facebook ads to gain a following
The fact that it’s so hard to make an organic impact on Facebook now means that most brands and individuals who want to make an impact on the social networking site now use Facebook ads.
Facebook’s wide range of targeting options makes it very easy to show your ads at interested people, and you don’t have to spend a huge amount of money to make an impact.
It’s also possible to make a profit using Facebook ads – for example if you’re selling a product with a profit margin of £10 and you spend £20 on ads which leads to five sales, that’s a profit.
Used well, Facebook ads can help build your Page’s following, and awareness of you and your brand.
You can learn how to get started with Facebook ads in this guide.
Engage with people who post on your Page
Things will be slow at first, but once people start posting to your Page it’s important you engage with them.
Why? Because it increases the chances of them becoming a long term fan of your Page, and the chances of them sharing your content with their friends.
Treat your Page as a community and build a relationship with anyone who takes the time to become part of that community.
You can use things like Facebook Live to increase the personal connection between you and your Facebook followers.
Facebook may not have the same glamour as Instagram, but it’s still possible to use it to make money.
It will take an investment of time and money (your Facebook ad spend), but stick at it and you’ll end up on your way to a profit.