Want to make extra money just for posting a tweet or Facebook post? You can certainly do that if you engage in social sponsorship. The term refers to a mutually beneficial relationship that occurs between you, the content creator or influencer, and the advertiser or marketer. In this relationship, you produce content or a campaign that encourages your audience to interact with the sponsoring brand or company. In exchange, the sponsor compensates you with money.
What exactly does social sponsorship involve?
In social sponsorship, you are essentially being paid to provide social advertising for your advertiser or marketer to a target audience that you’ve nurtured and grown on a social media platform like Facebook or Twitter. That target audience is more than likely a niche audience that would easily relate to the product or service being socially advertised. In exchange for socially introducing the product or service to your niche audience, you, the content producer, are compensated.
Common examples of social sponsorship include sponsored reviews that are most often published as blog posts, sponsored tweets or Facebook posts, sponsored Pinterest pins, and product contests or giveaways.
Benefits of social sponsorship
Aside from the monetary benefits, social sponsorship enables you to accomplish bigger goals with your social media platforms.
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Campaign funding. Consider how a well-crafted product giveaway might grow your following on Twitter. If you don’t have the funds to buy those giveaway products, you’re stuck. However, if you can collaborate with a company and feature its products for your giveaway, you get the products for free in exchange for mentioning the sponsoring company.
Credibility. You might hesitate to bring sponsors to your audience, fearing they will view your collaboration as spammy or too sales-focused. However, social audiences frequently view sponsors as trusted partners, not salespeople or marketers. Also, if your sponsors are household names, your audience members will readily tag along for the ride- as will even better-known sponsors!
Publicity. It’s not just you, the content creator, who will be creating the advertisements for your sponsor; more than likely, your sponsor will also mention you and your efforts via their website, blog, press releases, etc. These mentions give you extremely valuable and free publicity.
Where can you get started with social sponsorship?
This social advertising marketplace acts as a matchmaker for content creators and advertisers.Here, advertisers pay a fee in order to advertise sponsorship opportunities; content creators only need to sign up and supply data about their blog and/or social media profiles. While having a larger and more active audience is going to result in more lucrative sponsorship opportunities, content creators might also score big bucks for owning niche content sites with small but targeted audiences.
This platform works much like IZEA and also matches advertisers/sponsors with bloggers and other social media mavens. Sponsors pay a fee to join the site and view potential content creators, while the content creators themselves simply post their social media platform specs and history and take inquiries from the advertisers.
Other social sponsorship opportunities
What if you don’t want to work with the aforementioned marketplaces, or you want a bigger chunk of the advertising budget for yourself?
It’s entirely possible to approach sponsors directly and present your social media presence as the valuable commodity that it is. In such cases, you will need to find out what your candidate sponsor has supported in the past and what kind of ROI (return on investment) is expected.
You’ll also have to dig into your own social media platforms and quantitate the number of followers, click-throughs, and conversions your platform has received. Sponsors won’t want to talk with you until you can readily supply them with hard numbers- as well as negotiate a fair price for accessing those particular numbers.
Don’t be shy about approaching potential sponsors, marketers and companies. Social sponsorship is quickly outweighing classic display advertising as a preferred method of advertising. According to IZEA’s 2013 State of Sponsored Social report, advertisers are increasingly using social sponsorship instead of display advertising to engage potential customers and grow their product following.
Likewise, many content producers are reporting that they make significantly more money through social sponsorships than classic banner or other online ads. The advertising tide is definitely turning- and you don’t want to miss out on this new and lucrative wave of making a side income.
Follow FCC regulations about disclosure
Too many content creators fail to properly disclose their material connection with the product or service they are promoting. That’s a big no-no in the eyes of the FCC. Failing to disclose material connection actually violates the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 16 (Commercial Practices), Part 255 (Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising), Section 255.5 (Disclosure of Material Connections).
If you start posting sponsored blog posts, tweets or posts, you must announce that you were compensated fully or partially by the sponsor. Placing the word “Sponsored” into the body of your Facebook post or Twitter tweet is sufficient disclosure. For blog posts, you can make a short announcement at the beginning or end of your content that the review, contest, etc. is sponsored.