Can ordinary people make money on Twitter?
Reports this week that celebrities are earning up to $10,000 per tweet on Micro-blogging site Twitter has caught the attention of ordinary social media users who are now asking how they can make money too.
Social media and branding expert at The University of Queensland, Dr Nicholas Carah, says that although celebrities such as Charlie Sheen, who now has 2.3 million followers on Twitter, can attract payments for tweeting product endorsements, non-celebrity individuals can also reap rewards.
There is a growing consciousness about personal brand value that individuals can cultivate and even make money from through social media platforms, Dr Carah said.
Individuals are using social media platforms to construct a brand for themselves and they then employ social media as a continuous advertisement about themselves and what they do.
Dr Carah said individuals were using social media to build a profile that was netting them lucrative job offers and attracting the attention of influential people in their industry.
The fears that posting photos of yourself drunk on social media sites would prevent you from landing a job are subsiding and some industries are now actually poaching effective social media users to come work for them, he said.
Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young recently advertised for a replacement media advisor exclusively on Twitter, telling The Australian newspaper that someone who is not on Twitter probably isn't going to be the right person for the job".
Dr Carah said individuals were even using technologies to measure how influential they were in the online world and listing the scores in their CVs.
You can evaluate your own brand and get a score for how visible and how influential you are that not only measures the number of people following you or who are friends with you, but also whether those people are influential and are helping promote your brand.
Online tools that analyse your social media influence include, Klout, Twitalyzer, Backtype and PostRank.
Dr Carah's tips for creating a strong personal brand are:
Presentation - use leaders in your industry as a model for how to present yourself.
Interact reply, re-tweet and use #tags that will help make you visible. Pro-actively engage and don't just send out a stream of information.
Quality Updates be careful what you write and make sure that it is relevant to your industry and not a description of what you ate for breakfast.