Sex Work & Social Media: Marketing Your Business

Social media marketing tips, challenges and solutions for your sex worker business

Growing your business means marketing and promoting it. Doing this successfully involves a marketing plan and that takes time and energy, and some marketing strategies require financial investment, too.

When you’re self-employed an obvious way to market your business is by using social media. It’s mostly free and lets you:

  • build sales leads and revenue-driving followers to your paid-for content
  • brand awareness — increasing traffic to your business and gaining new customers
  • building relationships — humanising your brand
  • offering customer service and answering questions
  • learning about your customers and audience
  • position yourself as a leader in your industry

As you can see, there are plenty of plus points to marketing sex work on social media. In this complete guide, we’ll begin with easy-to-do tips. These are ideal if you’re new to sex work and are still growing your business on social media platforms, or even if you’ve been promoting your business on social for a while our ideas may spark a fresh perspective.

While this all sounds great, we’re not blind to the fact that social media marketing for sex workers and the wider adult industry isn’t always easy. So, in the second part of the article, we’ll address some of the challenges, overcoming them, and ongoing work to improve conditions for SWs on social media.

Ready? Then let’s get stuck in…



9 social media tips for adult businesses 🤓

Get ahead on your social media marketing by looking at what’s working for other adult industry professionals and companies. And we’re happy to share!

Based on our own experiences, tips from AdultWork members and the latest research stats about social media marketing, here are nine social media marketing techniques to promote your business and profile.


Tip 1. Be consistent 📊

Showing up and engaging in conversations is a must. Barely used social media accounts look lost and unloved.

As member Hannah Brooks recently explained in The Ultimate Guide to Webcam Modelling, the biggest help to her business is consistency. “Whether it’s when you turn up on cam or on social media. Always set yourself a schedule and treat your business time with respect.”

How frequently you post depends on the platform. Answering this question properly is difficult (there are so many variables), but as a general rule try posting once or twice a day. The exception is Twitter. The immediacy of this platform and high churn means you can post more often.

If you’re just starting out try posting at ‘best times’, as recommended by Sproutsocial. Here’s what they suggest.

You may want to tweak these to better suit your audience. Also, try free scheduling software so your posts go out at these key times and you don’t have to remember each one. Tweetdeck is Twitter’s own dashboard application that will allow you to do just that.

All this said, the goal should be to post quality content rather than worry about quantity.


Tip 2. Know where to play 🔞

There are lots of social media channels available. Trying to keep up with them all is exhausting, so be selective to make the most of your time and get the best return.

According to the latest available data on social media use in the UK, Facebook and YouTube continue to dominate. Instagram is increasing in popularity, with an estimated 24 million UK users. Snapchat currently has around 14 million users, but reports suggest declining numbers of UK 24-34-year-olds using the platform.

Knowing what’s popular with the public is only part of the battle. Some social media platforms are more adult-friendly than others. For example, Twitter is a little more liberal compared to, let’s say, Facebook.


Tip 3. Track your efforts 📈

Use a platform’s built-in analytics to track your posts and understand what is and isn’t working. For example, on Twitter, if you click ‘View Tweet Activity’ on one of your tweets, you’ll see statistics such as:

  • total impressions,
  • how many media views,
  • the number of hashtag clicks,
  • likes and engagements your post received.

More insights are available. Take the time to understand how they can help your business.

Check your insights each month and build an accurate picture of how your channel is tracking. If you’re serious about promoting your services on social media, set up a spreadsheet containing your key metrics so you get a total overview of what’s going on.

Tracking click-throughs from social to your AdultWork profiles

See click-through-rates (CTRs) to your AdultWork profile or My Adult Site (MAS) from social media by using our referral scheme and Developer’s Area, MAS. Copy and paste your Google Analytics code into the appropriate field in the Developer’s Area.

AdultWork tip: find out more about managing your own MAS.

By analysing your social media activity, you help yourself because you learn how to optimise the time and effort you put in.


Tip 4. Content is King 📸

Each platform has its own style and caters for different audiences. For this reason, certain post styles work better on some platforms than others. Insta is best for high-quality photos, quotes and creating stories,

Consider these different audiences when thinking about what to share. This will help you avoid posting content that either goes down like a lead balloon or feeds the trolls.

Carefully curate your social media posts so they bring people to your AdultWork Profile Page where they can browse (and pay for) your content. You should always:

  • post safe (but suggestive) pictures in line with the platform’s rules
  • reply to your mentions
  • mark your media as ‘containing material that may be sensitive’
  • put the 18+ emoji in your bio
  • use your referral link in your bio
  • use a positive and upbeat tone in your posts.

Save yourself some time. Whenever you upload new content to use the auto-tweets, share links or — in the case of blogs — the permalink. Auto-tweets are set-up where you upload pictures or movies, look for the Twitter logo. DirectCammers can configure all sorts of tweet-events via their DirectCam Settings Page.

AdultWork tip: Auto-tweets are simple to set-up and maintain social media activity even when you’re offline. Switch them on here.


Tip 5. Video is a must 🎥

Video content dominates social media. YouTube is no longer the only channel for video. You can go live on pretty much every platform.

Reports suggest that Instagram videos earn 21.2% more interactions compared to images. And 58% of consumers prefer visual-first content which includes graphics, images and produced video. (Source: Sproutsocial)

Use videos to tempt and tease potential customers so they visit your profile where they can buy your clips. If video is on your to-do list, but you need a little inspiration, take a peek at what these AdultWork members are doing:

  • Rebecca More – @more_milf
  • Hannah Brooks – @HannahBrooks25
  • Danni Marie – @Danni_Mariexo

Tip 6. Have backup accounts 🔙

Unexpected account closures or suspensions are a reality. To avoid losing months and possibly years of hard work, many adult performers register backup accounts. This way when the worst happens you still have a platform populated with some of your best SFW content (so it’s less likely to be deleted as well) and have a portion of your client base.

While going through the process of trying to get your original account reinstated you can continue with social media promotion. This isn’t a perfect fix, but it is better than nothing. Promote your alternative handles in the bio of your main account so fans know where to go in case of an emergency. A backup account will also help limit catfishing attempts because your fans know which alternative accounts are authentic.


Tip 7. Do a shadowban check 📵

Feel like your social media stats are going down? Then you might be full or part shadowbanned. This can affect how easy it is for people to find you and whether your account turns up in search.

Find out if you’re shadowbanned on Twitter by following these five steps:

  1. Log out of your account.
  2. Go to
  3. In the search box type ‘from:’ and then your username. You don’t need to put the ‘@’ and don’t add a space after the colon.
  4. Click search.
  5. If you show up, YAY! You’ve not been full shadowbanned.

You might not be completely out of the woods, though. Use this tool to find out if you’ve been part shadowbanned.


Tip 8. Make the most of bigger opportunities 🚀

Growing your social media following is hard. Improve your opportunities by using established adult industry channels — especially if you’re just starting out.

For example, we’re happy to repost and share content by members to help increase their reach and bring them to the attention of new clients.

As your following grows you can flip the tables. Add links to your profile, gallery or film clips for purchase so the audience you’ve built on social media is encouraged to explore your business channels. This could increase your revenue opportunities.

You can also interact with other AdultWork members on Twitter by retweeting each other’s tweets. This will help you quickly grow your audience.


Tip 9. Plan, create and schedule 📅

Social media can become a distraction which impacts other important business tasks. Avoid being lured in. Set time aside for creating and scheduling social media content, and stick to only working on it at these times.

Around two hours per week is enough to organise your social media activity for the following week.

Keep the job of planning, creating and scheduling your content, easy. A social media and content planning diary, will help keep you in control. You can also use calendar reminders on your phone to prompt you to post and an application like Tweetdeck lets you schedule your posts ahead of time.

There are lots of time-saving tools to help with social media. Play around with different combinations until you find what works best for your business.



Challenges and pitfalls of marketing sex work on mainstream social media 👊🏼

Social media marketing will help your business to grow. However, due to the nature of our industry, there are some likely challenges ahead.

When launching your social media marketing plan be aware of shadow banning, account closures, trolls, vague T&Cs and double standards. Learn how these can impact your efforts.

It’s certainly worth researching the social media challenges sex workers from around the world have faced. (Pop ‘sex work social media’ into Google and you’ll quickly see.) Understanding the difficulties other sex workers have encountered and the outcomes may help you dodge the same pitfalls.



Shadowbanning: a common obstacle 📵

Shadowbanning is when a social media platform places blocks on your account so your details and posts don’t show up in searches or hashtags. Your account isn’t deleted, but anyone who isn’t already following you is unlikely to find you or see your posts.

How is this damaging?

A shadowbanned account may struggle to increase their following and amplify their message because potential new audiences can’t find them or their content. For your sex worker business, this could result in missed social media engagements with potential new clients wanting the services and content you offer.

Existing followers continue to see your posts as usual.

Can you get yourself un-shadow banned? Some believe it is possible.

Being pushed to the back of the queue in the form of a shadow ban is one thing. The alarming number of sex workers having their accounts suspended or deleted is quite another.



Double standards and the damage of account closures 🚫

Remaining on social media means playing by the platform’s rules. The problem is that those rules are often vague. In Instagram’s case, the Community Guidelines in relation to posted images states:

As a result, many SWs are self-censoring in an attempt to keep their accounts. Although compliance isn’t always enough.

There’s growing unrest at the unfair treatment and apparent discrimination of SWs on mainstream social media. When a fictional sex worker became Twitter verified there was uproar amongst actual sex workers. The problem? Twitter has said it’s verified account program is on hold.

Sex workers and pro-sex-work advocates are reaching the end of their patience, as recently demonstrated by adult model Rebecca Crow who continues to campaign for fairer rights for SWs on Instagram.

We asked her why she’s reaching out to Instagram in particular and she explained: “Instagram is vital to sex workers businesses as it’s currently the most active social media in the world. Therefore, has the largest reach.

Instagram knows this and advertises its platform as a tool for businesses, but despite allowing other 18+ businesses (gambling, alcohol, cannabis) they are allowing their algorithms and users who don’t like our work to decimate our industry on the platform.

After having her own account deleted multiple times and getting little to no response or guidance from Insta, she reached out to others. A pattern quickly emerged that industry colleagues around the world were experiencing similar.

On 24th May she invited sex workers to join her in a peaceful protest outside the UK Instagram offices.

Her demonstration — publicised on Facebook — and a petition calling on Instagram to agree to meet with her to discuss the account closures, was reshared and has been supported by members.

At the time of publication, over 5,000 people have signed.

Speaking to Rebecca after the demonstration she said, “The demonstration was a huge success. We gained worldwide media attention via our Instagram live streams and post-demonstration photos and videos. [There were] a core group of 50-60 UK sex workers speaking to members of the public and appealing to Instagram for an audience. This was not granted.

Instead Instagram hired extra security for their building and for a period of 15 minutes they blockaded the doors with wooden wedges and more security as I approached the reception to request a meeting.

Without the opportunity to speak with Instagram it seems little will change in the near future for sex workers. The frustrations are set to continue. “The extra scrutiny means we always try our best to comply with the terms of service, but Instagram isn’t keeping its own rules,” explains Rebecca. “There are people who are at risk from gambling, alcohol, even social media addiction, but Instagram doesn’t seem worried about that.

All we want is for Instagram to acknowledge how their policies disproportionately affect sex workers and to learn and grow with us to make Instagram a fair place for all.

As well as account closures leading to loss of earnings, they can also damage your brand. In a report for Vice, model Melody Kush explains that as soon as her Twitter and Insta accounts were suspended or deleted, catfish accounts tried to capitalise on her absence. According to the article, fake accounts began using her photos and content in a bid to scam money out of potential clients.

Has SESTA/FOSTA made the situation worse? We believe so because it has closed down other SW-friendly marketing channels, placing more emphasis on the need to promote and market yourself on social media. But as we’ve heard, the playing field is far from even.



Your social media experiences 💬

How to market an adult business on social media is an ongoing conversation. Platforms can change their terms of service as they see fit, which means social media marketing best practise changes at their discretion.

We’d love to be able to update this article or create a piece with up to the minute tips and advice on how best to push social media marketing for adult industries.

Whether you’ve run into difficulties with shadow banning or account suspensions, we’d like to hear from you. How did you overcome the challenges? What was the impact on your business?

If there’s a particular platform or technique that’s propelled your business forward, let us know. Which one and what type of content has worked? (And what’s fallen flat on its arse?)




How to talk to us 📧

It seems appropriate to discuss all things social, on social. So, why not send us your thoughts about marketing sex work on social media to our Twitter or Insta.


Follow us on Twitter @AdultWorkcom and @AdultWorki

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