How to Start a Social Media Business on WordPress

November 21, 2017| Frances

If you are a social media junkie then starting a social media business might sound like your perfect job. Getting paid to shoot the breeze on Twitter all day, come up with some memes and keep an eye on Facebook. You could become a digital nomad and do all this sat on a beach in Bali or Thailand. Sounds good. Where do you sign up?

In practice, social media business ideas are a bit harder to come by. Original ones, at least. There are a whole crowd of wannabes out there. Standing out from that crowd can be tough.

If coming up with social media business ideas is making your head spin, and you can’t pin down how to get started we’ve got some tips that will help.

It’s not complicated either. Just a regular WordPress site and the help of a powerful WordPress theme, some useful plugins and a great social media business idea.

Why a social media business still needs a website

Social media might be where it’s at but you still need a home base for your business. You might think blogging is passé and social networks are the future. But WordPress can do a whole lot more than blogging and serve as a real HQ for your business.

First up, and vitally important in a fly-by-night insta-update culture, is credibility. If anyone can appoint themselves a social media mogul just by typing it into their bio where does that leave credibility? It’s easy to “growth hack” your way to a thousand followers. But everyone knows that, so such signals are now taken with more than a pinch of salt.

A solid website will do much to separate you from the crowd. It’s a signal of your intent. It’s easy to do but still not everyone does it.

Similar to credibility is permanence. Vine was a bustling and popular platform. No-one would ever shut that down, right? Social networks get closed, their business models don’t work out, companies go bust. It happens. You can’t do anything about it so don’t be left stranded.

The permanence of your own website can’t be overstated.

You might love your favourite networks with a passion and devote hours a day to them. But they don’t love you in quite the same way. They are a business and they represent an opportunity for your business. Still, you can’t hand over your fate and fortune to them.

There’s more on exactly how to put together your social media business website and use it for your social media business ideas later in the post. Stay tuned, because it can be a lot more interesting than a static site, or even a blog.

Having your own website is also going to make the next point a whole lot easier…

Email still reigns supreme

Exclusively using social media to connect with your audience means you are relying on your audience showing up. They have to log on and check in. Millions of people do, for hours, every day. But you can’t rely on that.

Email, on the other hand, goes out and finds them. It’s more direct and more intimate. And it still reigns supreme.

How do you make the jump from your social media audience to email? Get your audience to your website and a landing page, or use a landing page service. Offer up a freebie to capture email addresses. Their email address is then yours until they unsubscribe – not until the social network they are on makes some random change or update, closes down or they leave.

There are lots of email marketing providers and demonstrating that you can make the jump from networks to email is a great skill for your social media business portfolio. Emails are much more valuable than followers – to you and to your clients.

Your email list is yours. The rise and fall of social media empires don’t affect it. Their policies, charges and updates don’t affect it. So make building your email marketing list a priority.

Turn your WordPress website into a social network

Tired of competing on crowded platforms? Want to take on Twitter et al at their own game? Start your own!

Okay, you probably can’t compete with Twitter. But you could start a popular site in a smaller niche. That might sound like a bit too much work with developers and coding and all sorts of money and time invested.

But it doesn’t have to be. You can use WordPress for your social media business idea and build it all on a regular installation.

BuddyPress is the go-to WordPress plugin for a social network. There’s bbPress as well, for more of a forum.

You can have a look at some successful BuddyPress sites in the WordPress Showcase. Featuring sites like Tasty Kitchen, We Heart This and Ghost Story Games these are fantastic and diverse examples of what a community site can be. Plus WordPress powers lots of educational communities, university blog platforms and online courses with multisite, BuddyPress and similar plugins.

How better to demonstrate your social media acumen than by starting your own social network? If you can pull it off you will have all sorts of skills to impress potential clients with.

Which is what we are going to get into now. A dive into some new social media business ideas that really will set you apart.

New social media business ideas

You can become an authority and influencer in your niche with just a little out the box thinking.

New businesses like Product Hunt and old favourites like Reddit build huge followings. Part user generated content sites, part content curation, part social network, they straddle all those divides with huge success.

Growth Hackers started off as a community for – you guessed it – growth hackers to discuss tactics. Now they offer courses, software, ebooks, consulting and more. Could you do that in your niche as a social media business?

There’s good money to be made with niche sites even before you factor in the social media experience. It’s a whole new kind of business.

There are themes that you can use to turn a simple WordPress site into a fully featured community site with social networking features, user generated content and content curation.

Find out more about how to build your own Growth Hackers style website or how to make a site like Reddit with WordPress.

Any niche or industry can benefit from that kind of community site – you would be providing a useful service. One that positions you as an authority and gives you amazing social network building skills that you can employ elsewhere.

Specialised social media business ideas

How do you differentiate yourself from all the other social media businesses?

Get into the nitty gritty and solve problems no-one else can. “Getting more followers” is a common offering, can be hacked, and is less valuable to clients than more specific services. Social media management is a skill but one that has a lot of competition – from free interns to cheap software.

Your social media business could specialise in turning followers into email subscribers, as we talked about earlier. Or other conversions, metrics and goals. What is it that businesses in your niche really want from their social media followers?

Or you can leverage your experience in building communities and niche social networks like we talked about above. That kind of a community is a valuable asset for your business and for any business so it is something you can offer your clients.

The best social media WordPress plugins

75 million websites use WordPress. Chances are you do, chances are your clients do. So knowing how to best link WordPress and social media accounts is absolutely key. Before we wrap up, here are some of our top social media WordPress plugins to help your site and your clients.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Which is good, because you can’t write a thousand words on most social media platforms. Put viral rocket boosters on your content and rake in the social media shares.

Find out how to get Facebook style images in WordPress. Get the skinny on WordPress plugins for social media image shares. Finally, what WordPress plugins do you need to go viral?

Epic Plugins has all the WordPress plugins you need to make the most of your content.

Those are our top tips on how to start a social media business on WordPress.

The rundown:

  • Get your website up and running as your HQ.
  • Build your email list.
  • Try doing something completely different: running your own community or social network.
  • Build skills that you can put to good use for your clients that are far from the same-old same-old social media business ideas.

There’s still plenty of room for your social media business out there. Don’t be put off by the competition. You can still do unique, interesting, valuable work and find clients if you have the right social media business ideas and a bit of vision.

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