Social media provides one of the most effective ways to promote an affiliate program. The social networking sites are the most popular destinations online right now. In fact, according to recent reports, US users spend a cumulative total of over 53 billion minutes on Facebook alone every month. This means that, if you want to reach someone about a product, you’re going to have to use social media for some of that effort.
There are good and bad ways to go about using social media. To understand how to market an affiliate program using social media, you’ll have to understand the conventions of the format.
Don’t Be a Pest
The most important thing to keep in mind is that social media is not actually designed for advertising. It’s designed to provide a way for people to keep in touch with one another online. On the Facebook system in particular, people are generally not very receptive to being advertised to unless they opt in to an advertiser’s newsfeed. The last thing you want to do on one of these networks is to advertise so much that you become a spammer. This will get you in trouble with the service and the people on it will quickly hide your posts or remove you from their feed. That being said, there is a lot you can do to promote an affiliate program using social media. Here are some of the basics.
You’ll want to either make a page for your business or add an affiliate program to your own profile. The key is that you have to make this profile interesting. You should include images, posts and so forth so that there is a lot of content that users can explore.
If you’re using the Facebook system, remember that social media is all about controlling your image online. This means that you’re not doing hard selling. What you’ll be doing is trying to portray the program in a positive light and the product as an attractive one. You can do this by posting user support information, posting about new features and so forth. Make sure that your posts offer the reader something. If they’re just advertisements, they’re not going to listen.
Twitter can be used to promote a product. Your Twitter feed is useful because the post format is so small. You’re not asking people to take a lot of time out of their day to read a Twitter feed, which makes it attractive to the people to whom you’re advertising.
The thing to concentrate on with Twitter is gaining followers. You can do so by participating in other people’s feeds and by generally being present on the system. Twitter has an element of getting to know the person behind the Twitter feed personally, so give the people on the system a chance to get to know you better by posting information other than sales info on your feed.
When people think of promoting affiliate programs over social media, they rush right to Facebook, in most cases, which is unfortunate. YouTube is a more natural environment for marketing. It also allows you to take advantage of a very powerful type of advertising: viral marketing.
YouTube advertising is usually integrated with your other social network advertising. Whenever you post a new YouTube video, you advertise it on your social networking profiles so that it gets more visibility.
Your videos have to be interesting, obviously and, if they are, there is a chance that they can go viral. The way this happens is that the video ends up getting passed around between users over and over until it goes viral. Even videos that don’t go viral, however, are great marketing tools. A video that offers great insight on a product can be very popular and may get you quite a few followers. There are endless possibilities for this site, so be sure to investigate them all and to make the most of what this powerful networking platform has to offer.
Google+ had a lot of fanfare when it launched, but statistics show that user participation has dropped considerably since its July 2011 launch. It may or may not pick up again but, even if it doesn’t become exceptionally popular, it does have a lot to offer.
Google+ is integrated with the +1 feature on Google’s search engines. While their social networking effort may not have taken off in a particularly impressive way, there’s no way to argue that you don’t need to target Google in your search engine optimization efforts. Encourage users to +1 the posts you make on Google+. It’s a good way to generate exposure for your site.
Optimizing for Social Media Marketing
SMO stands for social media optimization. This is similar to search engine optimization. The idea is to make your site as noticeable as possible on the social media sites, and there are several ways you can do it.
First and foremost, be sure that any websites you use to promote an affiliate program have your social networking profiles linked from them. This makes it easy for users to find your social networking profile and makes it more likely that they’ll add you on the service.
Adding social media icons is a very easy way to make your site more visible on these networks. These are small links that allow a user to like your page or to +1 your page by clicking them. There are also social media icons that allow users to add your site to social bookmarking services with the click of a button, which can be very useful.
Integrating social media functionality into your site is a necessity if you want to stand out among the millions of other sites out there. Using social media to market an affiliate program is a great way to make sure that you get the most out of the program itself and to make sure that potential customers can find you and add you to their own social medial lists, giving you a word of mouth endorsement in the process.