Facebook isn’t just a great way to check up on your friends, read statuses that vary from the mundane to the self-obsessed and partake in an activity that would, in any other circumstance, be considered stalking. There are also several ways you can make money from a Facebook account.
Facebook is still probably the most ‘relaxed’ and informal of the social network sites and therefore the one with the least obvious money making potential, but it is the biggest and if you can use Facebook to make money then you’ll be ahead of the curve.
- What is Facebook?
- 1. Sell your old stuff
- 2. Sell your services and products
- 3. Advertise affiliate companies
- 4. Get a job
- Find a job in social media
What is Facebook?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ll probably know at least a little bit about Facebook.
It is the world’s largest social networking site with over a billion users. It was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and was originally intended to be just for Harvard students. Needless to say, it soon expanded.
For many people it’s hard to imagine life before Facebook, a site where people share all manner of statuses and photos with their ‘friends’. In a relatively short time it has become something of a social hub and, as a result of its popularity, more people are turning to it to see if they can make some money from it.
To help you start making the most from the biggest social networking site around, here are four ways you can make money from a Facebook account.
1. Sell your old stuff
When it comes to selling things you no longer need or want, online sites like eBay and Craigslist are probably the ones that spring to mind first.
Yet, despite the huge popularity of such sites, there’s a growing trend for people selling their stuff on Facebook.
You could, of course, just put up a status letting your friends know what you’re selling and see if any of them are interested. However, this is going to have a very limited reach.
Instead you should look out for a local selling page, set up specifically for people in your local area to buy and sell products. Most areas should have one but if yours doesn’t you can always make your own – people will thank you for it in the long run.
On these pages you are free to advertise your items, set whatever price you like, state your preferred method of payment and even decide whether you want the product picked up or you’re willing to deliver. Even better, unlike when you sell on eBay, no-one takes a cut of your profits – you get to keep the whole lot!
- You will need to make sure, if you want to make money from a Facebook page or if you want to make money from a Facebook group, that you follow the admin rules.
- This might mean you are only allowed to list a certain number of items at any one point, and some pages might even be set up for specific types of products.
- As Facebook will allow anyone who is a member of the page to look and comment you may find that people try to haggle, even over very small amounts. This is something to bear in mind when setting your price, it never hurts to be able to negotiate a little.
If you’re happy to follow the rules and deal with people trying to get the price down then Facebook is a good way to sell your products. You get a great level of control over your listings and you get to keep the full amount you make – it’s definitely worth a shot!
For more ideas about selling, read our article on how to make money selling old books, CDs, DVDs and video games.
2. Sell your services and products
If you’ve got a business, whether it be plumbing, hairdressing or dog-walking – or you’ve got a product to sell, such as an ebook – then you can make money from a Facebook advertisement.
- You can create your own page for your business. Remember to think about making the title of your page search engine-friendly so as many people will come across it as possible. You can do this by checking relevant words and phrases on the Google Adwords Keyword Tool here.
- The first word of your title is going to be the most important when thinking about what people will search, so choose wisely.
- A surprisingly good way to rank well in search engines is to write a few Facebook Notes. These are basically like very simple blog entries and can be about anything, but if you find a way to focus it on your business or product then it should hopefully bring in a lot of appropriate traffic.
- If you’re selling your services it is important to convey a consistent brand image, so use the same, or similar, picture or logo on your Facebook page as you do for your own website.
Whether you are selling a product or a service, the best way to sell is to focus on creating a good, enjoyable Facebook page rather than a hard sales page. Think about the kind of Facebook pages you would like to follow, you’re likely to pick ones that amuse you or are informative, not ones that try to sell something to you every few hours. Write funny statuses, share interesting facts and even post about topical issues (obviously in a way that isn’t going to upset or turn away potential customers.)
All the while people are visiting and enjoying your page you will have an organic, healthy amount of readers who you will be be able to advertise to. Likely the goodwill you build up with your page will extend to your business or product, and people will begin to take an interest. Nonetheless, if you want to make money from a Facebook page or if you want to make money from a Facebook group, make sure your business stands out and attracts visitors.
3. Advertise affiliate companies
Many websites will allow you to become an affiliate partner, meaning you can promote them and get a commission for each sale made through your link. Amazon, for example, has a popular affiliate scheme which lets you earn up to 10% for each sale.
Admittedly, making money through affiliate schemes isn’t easy – you need a LOT of traffic to make any decent money.
If you manage to get a sale on a £10 item and you’re given 10% (which, to be honest, is an unusually large percentage), you’d only earn a £1. More likely you’d be getting around 4-5% which is only earning you 40p-50p, so to make money you’re going to need not only a lot of traffic, but traffic that is likely to go on and buy a product.
However, if you work hard at building up interest and generating sales then there’s no reason why you can’t make some money from it and, with over a billion users, making money from Facebook is a good place to try and do that.
- Firstly you’ll have to decide what company you would like to do affiliate marketing for.
- Once you’ve found one that is suitable for you then sign up (for free, never pay to become an affiliate!) and get marketing.
- It’s best to read through the terms and conditions of your company though as many have strict guidelines about what kind of traffic they won’t accept.
- Then, on Facebook, you can set up your own page where you’re going to use your affiliate link.
- It’s best to make it clear to your readers that it is a site dedicated to a certain company and that you will be trying to sell things, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the page interesting and fun for readers as well. After all, you want those reading your page to stick around.
The more people who like your statuses and share them, the more people will trust and engage with your page and people will then start spending!
Blogging is also a great way to promote affiliates. Read our full article on how to make money blogging.
4. Get a job
If you’re looking for work you can always use Facebook to help you find a job.
First things first, if you’re putting a lot of time and effort sending out CVs and covering letters, it’s important to not undermine all your hard work by having a shabby looking Facebook profile.
Many employers will look to social media sites, such as Facebook, to assess the suitability of a candidate and it doesn’t look good if the first thing they see is a picture of you at your drunken worst (we’re looking at you students)!
That’s not to say your profile has to be really formal and boring (in fact that might hinder you), but just be aware of the image you are conveying.
If you’re looking for work, let your Facebook friends know. Most people have a lot more Facebook ‘friends’ than real friends’ so there’s a good chance someone you’re connected with might know of a suitable vacancy. It never hurts to ask.
Alternatively, seek out groups or pages advertising jobs in the area you’re looking for. Be careful when doing this not to get caught out by fake or spam advertisements, but there are some genuinely good groups trying to hitch job-hunters up with the perfect role, so do take a look!
Facebook certainly isn’t the first social media site you’d think of when it comes to looking for a job. Linkedin and even Twitter are well ahead on that front, but that means there is more potential for you to stand out.
It’s especially useful if you have a particular company in mind who you would like to work for. Find out who’s in charge of hiring and send them a message. Make sure not to appear too forward or desperate, but if you get it right you’ll certainly stand out more than if you had done it via Linkedin or Twitter.
If you get an interview you could look up a few of the interviewer’s interests. You never know, it may help conversation flow and get you stuck in the interviewer’s mind (although best not tell them you looked them up on Facebook…they might find it a bit weird.)
Always remember to use Facebook, and all social media wisely. Don’t put anything out there that you wouldn’t want the world, and particularly your mother, to see. However, if you use it to your advantage, it can really help you stand out among the crowd.
For more ideas on getting employed, read our 45 ways to get a job.
Find a job in social media