Facebook Monetization: The What, Why, Where, and How
Facebook is quite possibly the most enduring social media channel in existence. No other online media giant has caught so much flack for data collection.
As of early 2018, it boasts more than 2 billion active monthly users, with 500,000 new users added daily.
Although Facebook has recently become the target of an even more intense media campaign and a hotly debated topic surrounding privacy protections, with these figures, it remains safe to say Facebook will remain a major social media platform for the foreseeable future.
What is Facebook monetization?
As the name implies, Facebook monetization describes the act of making money by leveraging Facebook as a monetization platform.
But that doesn’t mean our definition goes out the window.
You’re here to earn money from something of value you provide to your audience.
This will remain true wherever you are, because you’re building a brand that’s made to last.
Among all the social media channels, Facebook also remains arguably the most lucrative platform in 2018.
In fact, because Facebook’s audience is also maturing (with younger audiences not as eager to hop onboard), Facebook and its user base may also be switching over to a more business-oriented mindset and using the platform more and more as a marketing channel.
In this chapter, we’ll discuss how to create an income stream with Facebook. Specifically, I’ll go over a few key considerations on how to earn money from Facebook, including what to do and what not to do on the social platform. We’ll also cover the most important aspects of Facebook monetization, such as
- What you should know about Facebook’s new guidelines
- How to earn money from Facebook pages
- How to build your Facebook group
- How to make money with Facebook ads
Let’s get started.
3.1 How Facebook monetization works
Before we can dive straight into how to earn from Facebook, it’s critical that we go over a few important changes that have affected everyone on the platform, users and brands alike.
Facebook has recently come under intense scrutiny for its multiple privacy violations, all of which have made it the subject of much marketing debate.
So the question on everyone’s mind is, Is Facebook marketing a waste of time and money in 2018?
It’s an interesting question, but for the foreseeable future, it’s merely an alarmist perspective that detracts from actually making you money.
After all, while people are hesitating to invest in Facebook as a marketing channel, others are pushing ahead full force because they’ve got the results they want, and until the very last day of Facebook’s existence, they’ll be pressing on until they can no longer profit.
Why would you do otherwise?
That said, we’ve got a lot to cover here, so let’s get the pesky rules out of the way first.
Complying with GDPR has become a central concern for businesses operating on Facebook. It is in fact the most recent major update to Facebook monetization requirements.
Here’s a quote from Facebook about how seriously you should take this issue:
Creators and publishers with multiple violations could lose access to all monetization features.
What is GDPR? It’s a set of policies that affects you primarily if you’re planning to target users residing in the European Union.
The specific Facebook features that are affected are Facebook Pixel and Custom Audiences.
What is Facebook Pixel?
Think of Facebook Pixel as a tracker.
The Pixel is a line of code you place on your website, so that Facebook can help you keep track of Facebook users coming to your site. This is an extremely powerful feature, which has been somewhat inconvenienced by the GDPR release.
Let’s look at how it’s been affected.
(You can access Facebook Pixels and other business features through your Business Manager account).
Facebook provides a few examples of what types of businesses might be affected by these changes:
- Retail websites gathering product information viewed by visitors for ad retargeting based on their site activity
- Blogs that use an analytics tool like Google Analytics to collect demographic data from its readers
- Media and news sites using third-party ad servers that collect data from visitors who have been exposed to their display ads
- Facebook advertisers who install Facebook pixel on their site to measure conversions and retarget visitors on Facebook
If this sounds like you, and you’re wondering whether the GDPR applies to your business idea, you can read the details here.
Having said that, getting GDPR consent from your visitors is a straightforward process:
Use a bar or popup to inform your visitors that you’re collecting data, and specify what type of data you’ll be collecting. Once you get them to agree to it, you’re all set.
But if you want to upload the data you’ve collected back onto Facebook to create a custom audience, then in the near future, you’ll be forced to provide proof of consent to Facebook.
Facebook monetization standards
Facebook most likely has the most extensive monetization guidelines out of any platform operating online. Here’s a summary list of “rules” you can cross-reference when aiming to monetize:
- Share authentic content.
- Develop an established presence. (This means your account must be at least 90 days old).
- Comply with Facebook’s community standards.
- Comply with Facebook’s payment terms.
- Comply with Facebook’s page terms.
- Adhere to content guidelines (covered in the callout in the next section).
Make sure to dig deeper into each of these areas and familiarize yourself with Facebook’s monetization standards. Although most of these standards should be self-explanatory (as if you need to be told not to post violent content), reviewing them in detail will give you the boost in confidence you might need to invest your hard-earned money into Facebook advertising.
You can read the detailed list of monetization standards here.
Most people forget that Facebook isn’t just a social channel.
It’s a data collector. It aggregates and sells its users’ data, meaning it’s ideally designed as a marketing platform and channel.
This allows Facebook to provide the businesses that operate on its platform a number of extremely powerful tools at their disposal.
Now let’s go over the many ways you can earn from Facebook effectively. We’ll also cover examples where business owners have achieved success by applying the very strategies and principles we’re about to discuss.
3.2 Facebook monetization strategies
It can be easy to make money on Facebook.
In fact, many people only use Facebook to generate an income stream.
We’ve already discussed why this is such a risky idea, but it goes to show that Facebook still reigns supreme as a social media channel that also doubles as a data aggregator + marketing platform helping businesses connect with their target audience.
Since the focus of this book is on creating a brand that’s made to last, we’ll be going over the main features you can use to build your brand and a loyal fan base.
Ways to make money on Facebook
Of the multiple ways to make money on Facebook, we’ll be sticking to the few that help you generate an income stream while still building a solid brand.
Since Facebook is a social channel, we can’t just post things and forget about them.
Instead, we need to engage meaningfully and respond to comments, and like and share things we also find to be of value.
How to earn money from Facebook pages
The monetization of Facebook pages has always been the classic approach to establishing a business presence on the platform.
If you want to earn money from facebook pages (yes, you can have more than one), then ideally you’re going to have a little investment capital.
But if not, here’s a few popular ways you can monetize Facebook pages:
- Drive traffic to your blog by posting helpful and relevant links from your site, where you have relevant offers in place, like your own courses or Google Adsense banners.
- Sell your own products. (You can do this easily by setting up a Shopify store directly on your Facebook page).
- Sell affiliate products.
How to grow your Facebook page
There is no quick and easy way to grow a Facebook page unless you’re ready to pull out your wallet. And unless you’re confident you can make that money back right away, it’s not worth investing in just yet. (Once you have a few sales under your belt, then you can crank up the results with paid advertising).
Growing a Facebook page takes hard work because you want your page to be viewed as a resource.
Here’s the catch:
Because Facebook users know that it’s primarily businesses that are operating Facebook pages out of self-interest, they’ll find it hard-pressed to view your page as a resource. Instead, if they follow your page, they’re more likely to be fans of your brand.
Here’s an example of an awesome Facebook page that successfully frames itself as a resource:
Just look at their number of followers: 41,003.
If you go through their posts, you’ll notice pretty much every post getting over 100 likes, loves, and even shares.
This is what a highly engaged audience looks like.
Once you visit their blog, you’ll notice relevant banner ads, but none of them are so intrusive as to disrupt the reading experience.
And the best part?
Their About section tells us that they’re just a couple figure-skating fans who want to share their passion and knowledge with the world.
How to use Facebook to drive traffic to your blog
Facebook most likely has the most extensive monetization guidelines out of any platform operating online. Here’s a summary list of “rules” you can cross-reference when aiming to monetize:
- Create a Facebook page.
(Pick Business or Brand).
- Invite friends to like your page. Only invite those you believe will find value in your brand. (Ask them individually through Facebook messenger to increase the chances that they’ll actually like your page).
- Ask them if they know anyone who might be interested in your page as well.
- Ask them to share your page. (The worst thing they can say is “no”. Most likely will, but even for one or two shares, this step is worth doing).
- Start sharing great content from around the Internet related to your niche.
Remember: The best content is content your audience will find helpful and interesting.
- Start sharing your blog content once in a while too and go from there. (Facebook likes frequent and consistent posts that get a ton of engagement, so do try to create and follow an editorial calendar).
- Engage with every user who leaves a comment. (There’s a good chance they could turn into your next fan!)
Engagement: The secret ingredient to boosting your page content
I’m going to risk sounding repetitive here, but we come back to a critical principle:
Not every fan is created equal.
That means not every like is equal as well. If you add random people to your groups and Facebook pages, you’re only going to confuse Facebook’s analytics tools, and it’ll become real difficult for you to earn money from Facebook (page, group, or otherwise).
That means when you try to use tools to analyze your audience, you won’t be able to determine their interests accurately, or their needs, or even who they really are.
And what does that mean when you post your content?
Total engagement from your entire fan base will be low, because people who aren’t interested in your content aren’t going to engage, especially on any meaningful level.
Low engagement will tell Facebook that your content sucks, even when it’s awesome.
On the other hand, if you have a small but engaged fan base, whenever you post content, you’ll be telling Facebook your content is relevant (one of the main metrics Facebook uses to determine the quality of your ads).
So what awesome added benefit can you gain from this slower approach that’s been proven time and again to work?
It keeps ad costs low.
Because Facebook understands that your group or page is highly concentrated with an active and engaged audience, your ads will cost you less money over time. This also means a higher conversion rate, because the offers you promote will be highly relevant to your target audience.
Affiliate marketing: A quick and easy way to monetize Facebook pages
Affiliate marketing is a quick way to monetize Facebook pages.
- Pick a niche you’re interested in.
- Become an affiliate by signing up for an Amazon Associates or Clickbank account.
- Push products in your niche and start collecting commission. (Some products pay up to 70% the retail price).
See this example above? These shoes are basically selling themselves.
How to earn from Facebook groups
Compared to trying to monetize Facebook pages, Facebook group monetization is much easier.
That’s because Facebook provides a lot more flexibility in terms of how you can frame the context of your group.
For example, you can label it a Support Group, thus helping your group members perceive it as a resource.
This makes it much easier to persuade other Facebook users to join as well. (Think about how much faster you can build your Facebook group, where people come to view you as a resource and a source of support, an authority they can communicate with directly on a social platform).
So how do you start to monetize your Facebook fans and followers?
In a similar way you would with a Facebook page–but remember the context:
This is a Facebook support group. Do not think about just pushing content. Here you’re building your brand and your authority.
You’re creating loyal fans.
Your Facebook page, on the other hand, is a business page. (Your page members will be a little more forgiving when you present your offers here).
Just take a look at this gardening example:
This group has more than 100,000 members.
Note the description and framing:
The first paragraph is all about who this group is for (defining the target audience).
The second paragraph is a warning against spammers. Not only does this deter spammers from joining, it indirectly indicates to your target audience that this is a quality group that won’t tolerate spam.
Note also the group type: Support.
Content Guidelines for Facebook Monetization
Here’s a summary list of guidelines you can cross-reference when publishing content:
- Formatting best practices
- Do not misuse or misrepresent trademarked characters
- Avoid depictions of tragedy and conflict (even when intended for educational purposes)
- Avoid hotly debated social issues targeting or disparaging specific groups
- Avoid publishing violent and adult content, or depictions of drug and alcohol use
- Do not promote illegal products
- No offensive language
- Do not publish montages of inspirational quotes
- Do not publish exaggerated or potentially inaccurate content
There are a few more less obvious points. You can access the full list and read the details here.
How Facebook video monetization works
Facebook has recently undergone some major changes.
The media giant has actively begun to promote Facebook video monetization.
Even a quick surface glance gives the impression that Facebook has invested a tremendous amount of energy and effort into developing the video monetization aspect of its brand. In fact, notable publications have speculated as to how the video monetization landscape will develop, considering Youtube is the already-dominant platform in this space.
Facebook video monetization for creators
Facebook’s recent overhaul of its video monetization features now boasts a new “Facebook for Creators” area, which the media giant frames as a community.
As soon as you sign up, you’ll be taken to a “Get Started” area, which is one long page full of advice on how to earn from Facebook effectively. From how to create an editorial calendar to video production tips, this area is an excellent primer on learning how to monetize Facebook videos.
Below is an example of the obvious extent to which Facebook is attempting to help you with your video monetization efforts:
Not only does Facebook grant you access to dozens of tracks you’re free to sample in your videos, you can also choose from a wide variety of sound effects to keep your videos interesting.
Once you reach the bottom of the “Facebook for Creators” page, you’ll be asked to connect your account, and voilà!
You’re almost ready to go–but not just yet.
Before you dive right into making Facebook videos, it’s worth noting that there are no hard and fast Facebook video monetization rules. They do list out the best practices, however, so make sure you review them to save yourself a lot of time and hassle in the long run.Want to master Facebook monetization? Check out Facebook Blueprint, where you can learn about every aspect of how to earn from Facebook. Be sure to review the Build Awareness category for important tips on branding and video creation.
Make money with Facebook ads
I’m not going to provide you with a beginner’s guide to Facebook advertising. There are plenty of guides for that (like this excellent one here).
What we’re going to focus on are a few of the elements that make up a successful Facebook ad.
So let’s get one thing clear off the bat:
Can you make money with Facebook ads? You betcha. And a whole lot of it.
But here are three important points you should keep in mind when advertising on Facebook:
- Be prepared to spend. Facebook advertising is all about a/b testing. If you’re organized, this is perfect for you. Testing will give you the confidence you need to continue until you achieve a positive return on your investments.
- Don’t spend too much all at once. Testing will determine what works for you and what doesn’t over time. Once you see consistent results from testing with small amounts, you can decide if it’s time to increase your budget.
- Don’t run brand awareness campaigns. Yes, we’re all about building a brand that lasts, but these campaigns are designed for major brands with deep pockets. Remember: We’re trying to build a targeted audience.
Speaking of targeted audiences, remember what we said about custom audiences?
We discussed why it’s important to keep your group highly concentrated and relevant. One reason is that when you’re getting ready to run ads, you can choose to create what’s called a lookalike audience.
A lookalike audience is an audience Facebook creates based on your target audience’s characteristics. This means you can run highly targeted ads that are extremely likely to convert.
This is my favorite feature of Facebook ads, because it can be highly cost-effective.
How to create a Facebook ad campaign funnel
You can burn a lot of money on Facebook ads if you don’t know what you’re doing.
To make money with Facebook ads the right way, you should have a basic sales funnel in place.
Let’s build one by thinking about the steps your potential customers might take if you’re, say, selling a course on how to cook pasta sauces from scratch:
- Your potential customers see your awesome ad for a free preview of your pasta sauce course (for example, Lesson 3). They can gain access in exchange for their email address.
- They give you their email address, after which they’re taken to another page, which could be a Thank You page (which is recommended for the purpose of brand building), an affiliate page where you try to push related products, a discount page with a code for your course, or even related links to your blog or other awesome resources.
- You can begin emailing them and try to initiate conversations. Also try to encourage them to connect with you through other social channels like Facebook, where you can continue to build your loyal fan base.
Here’s a visual representation of the anatomy of a Facebook ad:
The Text Overlay tool: An amazing time saver
Facebook penalizes ads that contain too much text over the image.
But don’t worry.
Facebook has made it real easy for you to check if an ad you’re about to run is going to fair out all right. The Text Overlay tool is a time-saving tool that requires only seconds to determine if your ad will be penalized for containing too much text.
In the example above, I’ve uploaded two images.
As you can see, the first image (which is text-heavy) has a yellow warning sign next to it, with the note, “Image Text: High”.
In contrast, the second image is marked with a green checkmark, with the note, “Image Text: OK”.
Obviously, Facebook has given us a lot to work with, and it can get a little overwhelming. But be sure to stick to the key principles we covered so far, and you’ll be just fine.
Chapter 3 Takeaways
We approached this chapter a bit differently from conventional guides on how to earn from Facebook. That’s because our focus is on long-term brand building and monetization.
Here’s what you should remember from Chapter 3:
- Whether you’re building a Facebook fan base from your Facebook page or your group, keep in mind that not all fans are created equal, so don’t go chasing after random likes.
- Video monetization is a different animal, one Facebook is beginning to pushing hard. This probably means Facebook will show more favorability to its video creators, although this remains to be seen.
- Focus on engagement, not only to keep ad costs down, but to gain critical and highly targeted insights into your audience.
The information we covered in this chapter should
- Help you get started with creating your own brand or business on Facebook to monetize
- Empower you to extend your reach to Facebook as a social channel from your blog or your website.
Now that you’re ready to look at another social channel, the next logical step is Instagram.
Off we go.