Can social media networking improve your affiliate marketing strategy?

Last updated: Monday March 11th 2013
Reading time: 5 minutes

This post was written by Ben at Clicksure. The author’s views below are entirely their own and may not reflect the views of Laurence Caro.

Can Social Media Boost Your Affiliate Marketing Strategy?

Success in the affiliate marketing industry depends on finding a large audience for the kind of product or service that you are promoting.  It makes sense to use social media to reach that audience. For some niches, social media comes naturally – everyone likes to share trailers for their favourite movies, or photos of places they want to go on holiday.  Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for every niche.  How can you use social media to grow your audience for boring, or embarrassing products.

Persuading People to Share

If you’ve chosen a less glamorous niche – perhaps weight-loss products, medication, financial services, or tax software, then you may find it difficult to get people to share your links on Facebook and Twitter.  Few people will publicly “like” a product that solves an embarrassing medical problem, and while people will post a photo of their new phone on Pinterest, they’re hardly going to Tweet that after buying the phone, they took out a pay day loan.

Instead of trying to persuade people to talk about things that they usually prefer to keep private, take a different angle.  Post nutritious recipes on your Facebook page which happens to be about weight-loss products.  Write about saving up for a holiday instead of talking about loans or financial services.  Create content that people will feel comfortable sharing, and let those who are interested explore your site to find out more about what you have to offer.

Avoiding the Echo Chamber

One problem with many social media channels is that they’re echo chambers.  You may have tens of thousands of views on your YouTube video guides, but hardly any of those viewers come to your site.  Many Facebook communities turn in to standalone forums, where people discuss things in comments, or post their own content, but never actually come to your site. A lot of Pinterest users only look at photos on that site, and never click through to see where the photo came from.

You can overcome this issue, to an extent, by including calls to action in each piece of content you upload.  Consider breaking videos up into series, or posting a few photos and suggesting that users check your site to find more photos.  Hopefully, you can turn some of those social network users into people that regularly access your site.

Tracking Your Campaigns

One of the most difficult parts of using social media for affiliate marketing is figuring out whether your campaigns are working or not.  If you’re posting content to several different websites, how do you know how many people are seeing those posts, and how can you tell whether that article about saving up for Christmas has persuaded anyone to use your mortgage price comparison tool?

Try not to think of social media as something that results in a direct revenue stream.  Instead, track shares, likes, and re-pins, and try to tie engagement with social media to users in Google Analytics.  Use different short links for each platform you post to so that you can count the number of clicks coming from each platform.  If your content is good enough, those clicks will turn into regular readers, and hopefully buyers.

About the author
Laurence

I am a 26 year old WordPress Web Designer and SEO Consultant based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK. I have designed and maintained sites with over 20,000 pages on large corporate websites, smaller small business sites, and tiny personal websies and blogs. I provide freelance WordPress web design services in my evenings and weekends and also work full time at Toast Design in Banbury. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and on Google+.