How to use numbers on social media to make money

Friday, March 24th, 2023 08:50 | By
Influencers should not get away with false advertising
Social media Apps. Photo/Courtesy

Social media in Kenya is popularly known for entertainment and communication but has recently proven its ability as a moneymaker by people with a large number of followers.

Also known as influencing, people can leverage their numbers online to help sell products and ideas. Because of the sheer number of followers, many people have been pocketing millions annually.

Among the social media platforms where one can make money is YouTube, which has recently recorded over 300 channels with over 100,000 subscribers in Kenya.

Instagram has over 2.7 million users, Facebook has over 12.4 million user and TikTok has eight million users which translates to 27 per cent of the population in Kenya.

To make money on TikTok as a creator of content, you need to have at least 1,000 followers to use the live feature. In the Live or in any of your videos your audience donates virtual coins and gifts for different reasons.

It could be that the users liked your content or that they were just generously giving virtual gifts which will be converted into diamonds and will be stored in your TikTok account. These can eventually be converted into cash.

Roy Kanyi, a 24-year-old TikToker who started two years ago now has 157,300 followers and claims to have earned close to Sh200,000 from TikTok coins and over Sh700,000 from working with brands.

“Aside from earning through TikTok coins, I have also worked with brands like Safaricom, Equity Bank, ALX, MESH and Twiva. One of the benefits is long term contracts with the brands. I’ve also worked with a few small businesses. You just have to be professional and create good quality content,” he advised.

However, he urged creators to be presentable and ethically appropriate when creating videos because brands are very careful when picking who to represent them publicly.

Most creators expect to blow up before they start thinking about their platform as a business opportunity and they end up taking longer before they start earning.

Miguel Mungai, popularly known as Kenyan Romeo, says he has made up to Sh120,000 from working with brands like Orimo, Kilimall and Yope among others. However, he ventured into the money making league by accident.

“I joined TikTok in 2020 during the lockdown period because I thought it was fun. I used to post videos and delete them immediately they would upload because I only wanted the video to be automatically saved on my phone so that I could post it on my WhatsApp status for my contacts to view. It’s only that I once forgot to delete one video that got 2,000 views when I thought to myself that this thing would work for me,” he said.

Not all these users earn revenue from their accounts. YouTube only pays creators that have been accepted to the YouTube Partner Programme after meeting the monetisation requirements.

Some 10,000 diamonds in a live stream can retrieve $50 (Sh6,280) and the same in a simple video can retrieve $100 (Sh12,560).

Lifestyle videos, singing, dancing, acting, fashion, sports, travel, classroom lessons and cooking are among the different niches in which any “wanna be’’ creator can venture into.

Once you build an audience in any of the platforms, brands are likely to reach out to you to work with them to advertise and promote their products to your audience.  All social media platforms are a money-making field that people ignore because their goal is to become popular.

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