Influencers want to make the most of their efforts to earn money online. They may be active on multiple social media platforms without knowing what financially moves the needle forward. Each platform has its own payout system, but which social media platform pays the most?
Don’t focus your content creation efforts on something that won’t earn you a solid return on investment. You don’t need viral content to earn money on social media. Here’s what you need to know to get paid on the top social media platforms.
Let’s get started.
If you want to make more money, you must create engaging content for your audience. Beyond that, you need to seek out the right social media platforms. But the question is: what social media platforms pay the most?
According to a survey by Epidemic Sound, the platform that generates the most revenue for the average content creator is actually a relative newcomer: TikTok. They found that TikTok presents a wonderful opportunity for people to earn more, especially at lower income levels.
You might be surprised at just how much you can earn creating short videos for TikTok. Remember that high-quality videos require a serious time investment, with filming and editing requiring hours of your valuable time. When you factor in how much time you spend, you may be surprised at how little you make.
However, the average TikTok influencer makes $121,675.
That being said, the number is skewed because of the extremely high-income earners (some of whom bring in seven figures from their work). It’s more common for creators to earn $15,000 or less per year.
All of this begs the question: how does the social media platform hand out money? It all starts with TikTok’s Creator Fund. This fund was designed to pay creators for engaging content starting in 2021 with an initial investment of $200 million.
While they aren’t exactly straightforward about how much you’ll get paid for your posts, the average is about $0.02 to $0.04 per 1,000 views.
If you want to tap into the TikTok Creator Fund, you must first meet their criteria starting with your account.
Eligible accounts must be Pro accounts with a minimum of 10,000 followers. If that seems like a lot, it’s because it is. It will require you to create lots of content and start putting yourself out there.
Additionally, you’ll need at least 100,000 views in the last 30 days.
Some people don’t want to completely rely on the algorithm to put money in their bank account. And so, creating merch is a way to have greater control over your revenue and generate more money. You can open a TikTok store to sell branded merch that takes your brand out of the computer and into the real world.
Consider using print-on-demand companies to lower your initial investment and only order what sells.
While most people are making money on TikTok, YouTube might be a better place for people wanting to become higher-income earners. This social media platform generates a decent income for someone considering doing it full-time.
According to Zip Recruiter, the average annual salary for a YouTuber is $68,714.
If your channel truly explodes, you could stand to earn significantly more. With one million subscribers, it’s estimated that you could earn just over $900,000 annually. Getting to that many followers will take a while, but it’s a great goal to strive for.
The YouTube Partner Program is the best option for those who want to make money creating content. It isn’t easy for beginners to reach the threshold where they can share in YouTube’s ad revenue, but it can be quite lucrative when you do hit it.
The criteria for access to YPP are:
4,000 public watch hours in the last 12 months OR
10M valid Shorts views
Once you start to share in their ad revenue, most people find that they earn roughly $0.01 to $0.03 per view, according to Hoot Suite.
Once you qualify for the YouTube Partner Program, you can also start channel memberships. This allows people to buy into your network in exchange for premium perks like extra content. Under the umbrella of this content, you can offer several tiers for your followers to opt into, so earnings aren’t straightforward.
However, YouTube takes a 30 percent cut of the funds.
Does it surprise you to learn that Facebook isn’t the social media platform that pays the most?
Despite its status as a giant for social connection, it doesn’t have the same earning power and potential as TikTok and YouTube.
Zip Recruiter puts the average salary for Facebook creators at $80,932 but most people earn less than this pie-in-the-sky amount.
As a content creator, Facebook doesn’t necessarily pay you simply for putting content out there.
Most people earn more here via affiliate marketing and brand partnerships (which we’ll look at in a minute). However, some people can make a solid dent in their living costs based on video views, which was a new addition to the social media platform in 2023.
How much can you earn from video views on Facebook? It all concerns the ads on your videos, which can vary depending on your niche and location. However, most people see between $1 and $7 per 1,000 views of their video.
Keep in mind that seasonality also impacts your earnings potential. The holiday season often comes with higher ad spending, which means you’ll likely earn more money. Be consistent with content creation year-round so you can be prepared for these more active times of the year.
If you’re wondering which social media platform pays the most, you might want to consider this unique revenue stream generated on Facebook. You can work directly with brands to advertise their goods and services, creating content that engages your existing audience.
It’s hard to identify exactly how much you’ll earn here because it depends on what you’re advertising, your number of followers, and the type of content you create (a post vs. a video, for example).
On average, influencers tend to charge right around $600 for sponsored posts.
Next up on our list of which social media platform pays the most is Instagram. If you can create content via videos and photos, this is one of the biggest social media platforms that pay on the market today. It’s estimated that people earn about $17 per hour or $34,624 per year.
Instagram allows you to earn money in several key ways: in-stream ads on IGTV videos, sponsored posts, and badges are all options. It’s a flexible way to earn money and diversify your income streams all in one convenient social media app.
Be sure to check out our article on how to make money on Instagram without followers here.
Once you start creating content on some of these popular social media platforms, you may get faster at its creation. Churning out high-quality videos regularly will boost your follower count and prime you for increased ad revenue.
Like most other platforms here, this top social media platform doesn’t have its rates set in stone. It varies depending on number of followers, type of content, time of the year, geographic region, and other complex factors.
That said, most current social media superstars earn about $0.01 to $0.05 per view.
Much like sponsored content on Facebook, Meta (the parent company including Instagram and Facebook) also allows you to create the same sponsored posts on Instagram. You can create exclusive content for a brand deal that pays based on the number of followers you have.
Worried that you might not make anything as a micro-influencer? Fear not! Even smaller accounts can make some money on sponsored videos and posts. With 500 to 10,000 followers, you might earn roughly $10 to $100 per post.
Once you clear this initial hurdle, accounts with 10,000 followers or more can earn approximately $500 per post.
Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram allows creators to give their audience recognition for supporting them by buying badges. When you go live on Instagram, your audience can purchase badges for $0.99, $1.99, and $4.99.
In turn, they get to have the telltale hearts next to their name on your livestream, letting everyone know that they supported your content creation.
The best part is that you earn the entire amount of your badges purchased, minus any applicable taxes and fees.
Last but not least, Twitter (X) is worth mentioning among the best social media platforms for content creators to earn. And while their monetization program isn’t as robust as the others, you can still tap into their Twitter Tip Jar feature to earn some money from your short posts.
But because the platform’s payment system is still relatively new, there isn’t much data out there to tell you how much you could earn. But if you have a solid following, you should find a way to monetize content via X instead of letting that hard work of building a following go to waste.
Which social media platform pays the most? While X doesn’t come in at the top of the list, it does have an interesting way of paying content creators. You can enable the Twitter Tip Jar feature that allows your followers to financially support you via a tip.
It may not be the most reliable way to earn a living as a content creator, but it’s great if Twitter is your social media platform of choice.
Of course, you can also earn money from sponsored posts. Whether they want video creators or simply short and sweet tweets like X is known for, companies are willing to pay for those who have a great (and engaged) following.
A sponsored tweet usually earns somewhere in the ballpark of $0.50 to $1.50 per 1,000 followers.
So, which social media platform pays the most?
The answer may depend on the content you’re interested in producing, ranging from video content to high-quality images to sponsored tweets. While TikTok and its Creator Fund are some of the most popular ways to earn money, other platforms might be worth a second look.
Remember that choosing one doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive to joining others. If you have the time to spare, you can create content for several platforms, expanding your opportunities to earn money for your efforts.
Where will you double down on your efforts to monetize your social media following?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to further improve in 2024, with large language models poised to advance even further. 2023 was an exciting year for AI with Generative AI, in particular those employing Large Language Model (LLM) architecture with the likes of the models from Open AI (GPT 4), Anthropic (Claude), and Open Source Community...
Like so many millennials, I entered the online world through AOL Instant Messenger. I created an account one unremarkable day in the late nineteen-nineties, sitting in the basement of my childhood home at our chunky white desktop computer, which connected to the Internet via a patchy dial-up modem. I picked a username, “Silk,” based on...