For anyone who has been living under a rock then you might not know this but 2018 has had a very bumpy start for CPA affiliates and advertisers running social media traffic. (Even some of you ecommerce guys and gals can attest to this.)
In the first quarter of the Year Facebook has cracked down significantly on fake accounts, fake news and content that is just plain rubbish. Even some of the ecommerce sites that push out cheap products from AliExress/China are getting closed down. No Facebook marketing strategy is working for them.
As I sipped my morning coffee yesterday I read an article that said Facebook had shut down over 583 million fake Facebook accounts in the 1st Quarter. Now that’s what I call a Sweep!
Most would argue that the reason for this crackdown is a result of Mark Zuckerberg being questioned by the Senate due to a snowball of problems which started around the dissemination of fake stories, the election of Donald Trump, and the leak of information to third party app Developers.
Many Affiliates and advertisers alike use Facebook as their number one traffic source for getting sales and leads. While many of those 583 million Facebook accounts were complete blackhat facebookers, some of those accounts were real white hat advertisers who also took a beating.
Many would attest that 2018 has began on a very bumpy road when it comes to social media traffic, and it’s only going to get harder to game the system.
So now what?
Well it’s only going to get harder to game the system of Facebook for Facebook lead generation and fruitful rewards. By the end of the year they promise to hire over 20,000 people specifically for making sure that advertisements and links out are compliant with their terms. Considering the amount of ads that are submitted on a daily basis, 20,000 people may not be enough, but combined with their AI I think they will be able to keep most people away and force them to find better business practices.
Many Affiliates have been waiting on the sidelines for an opportunity to get into Facebook marketing and I think now is a great time for people to jump in with the right Facebook marketing strategy, in spite of this bumpy road.
The big move to E-commerce Whitehat and International offers.
From all the conversations I’ve been having with other affiliates it’s clear that the shift is happening and people are moving to offers that are more stable and long-term. There has been a lot of people looking for international offers, straight sale diet/muscle/skin & e-commerce, and lead generation style offers. By running these types of offers your Facebook advertising account your business will be more stable, you’ll have less complaints, and you can keep your campaigns active longer.
The purpose of this post is to spark discussion around how others are approaching this new Facebook advertising environment. Please join us in the Forum discussion to provide your comments and insights and questions around how you plan to take advantage of the biggest traffic Source online this year!
How to Do Social Media Affiliate Marketing – Easy 10-step Guide
To be successful at social media affiliate marketing, you just need to do TEN simple things in regards to your posts and social media channels.
In this article, I will explore, step by step, how to set up a successful social media affiliate marketing business.
For affiliate marketing, social media is one of the most widely used tools. When done right, you can create a successful stream of income for yourself.
For an in-depth outline of marketing affiliate products through social media, read this article. For detailed understanding of all kinds of affiliate marketing tools, feel free to sign up for Powerhouse Affiliate’s free affiliate marketing course.
Quickly Jump to any Section:
- Sign up for an affiliate program and choose products to sell
- Identify your audience for social media affiliate marketing
- Choose a social channel for affiliate marketing
- Create quality content
- Engage audience through two-way interactions
- Use photos and videos to engage audience
- Post actively
- Promote quality products through social media affiliate marketing
- Use short and clean redirect links
- Promote you social posts
Here’s how to use social affiliate marketing:
1. Sign up for an affiliate program and choose products to sell
Choose one of the many affiliate programs out there. Choose an affiliate program that is reliable, offers good commissions, has a good brand value, and has a good affiliate cookie duration. You do not have to tick for all the criteria while choosing an affiliate program. Decide what’s important to you. One feature of the program might make up for another. So, evaluate various programs like Amazon Associates, PowerHouse Affiliate, and CJ Affiliate, and choose one or more for yourself.
Ensure that you do not fall in any scams. We have written an article on identifying and avoiding affiliate marketing scams.
2. Identify your audience for social media affiliate marketing
Identify the audience that you will target through social media affiliate marketing. Learn about their age group, their interests, geographical location, etc. After that, learn about the kind of social media channels your audience is using and engaging with. For example, your audience might be Women aged 25-45, who use Instagram and Facebook and have interest in startups, cooking, and home decor. Learn such details about your audience before you go for social affiliate marketing.
3. Choose a social channel for affiliate marketing
The next thing you do in social media affiliate marketing is to choose a channel to promote through. Once you know which channels your audience prefers, choose social media channels you think will be the most effective and profitable to work with.
You can choose all or a few relevant channels to work with, depending upon your execution capacity. It is best to stick to one or a few channels and work on them properly. Here are a few popular social media channels to work with for affiliate marketing:
3.a. Facebook affiliate marketing
Facebook affiliate marketing is straightforward. This platform offers a lot of opportunities and features to sell affiliate products. Facebook has 2.37 billion active monthly users.
Affiliate marketing on Facebook is used to create a user base that is influenced by your recommendations on the channel. It is a good way to reach a wide audience that can be engaged well through various features of Facebook. Facebook analytics also help you narrow down your audience and help you create informed Paid Ads on the channel.
To learn how to affiliate marketing on Facebook, you can explore our Affiliate Marketing Course or read Point 10 below.
3.b. Instagram affiliate marketing
Instagram is a fast-growing platform. It had 1 billion monthly active users in June 2018, as per Statista. These users have varied interests and demographics. You can easily target your prefered set of audience on Instagram through features like sponsored Ads, organic hashtags, insta stories, verified Instagram accounts, collaboration with other influencers and high user engagement.
To learn tips and tricks on how to affiliate market on Instagram, Jump to Point 10 below.
3.c. Twitter affiliate marketing
Twitter affiliate marketing is also very popular. In this era, where opinions and news can be shared and people can be influenced in as little as 280 characters, Twitter is gaining popularity among affiliate marketers.
Affiliate marketing on Twitter can be very effective with little effort, as the platform had about 330 million daily active users in Q1 of 2019, as per Statista. Like other social media platforms, it also offers various paid and organic modes to reach a wide audience.
3.d. Pinterest affiliate marketing
Pinterest works like a charm, when it comes to affiliate marketing. It’s where you can use powerful imagery to attract users to your affiliate products. The platform feeds users with posts as per their interests, which helps marketers reach their audience automatically.
Affiliate marketing on Pinterest can be very lucrative, considering the platform reportedly had about 322 monthly million users in the 3rd quarter of the year 2019. You can add meaningful content and links to your posts to ensure that they reach the right audience.
4. Create quality content
It’s cliched, but the content is the Key! Post regular educative and entertaining content on your chosen social media channels. Your generic and affiliate posts should in 80-20 ratio. Do not post too much promotional and affiliate content. Create videos, images and articles that educate and entertain users in your niche. Once you have gained the trust of your audience, you’ll easily be able to influence them to purchase your affiliate products.
5. Engage audience through two-way interactions
Aim for high engagement rates to keep audience interested in your content. Your posts shouldn’t be a one-way communication. Use features like polls, comments, and reactions to get your audience’s opinion. This helps in people being able to relate to you and trust you as a content creator. Actively reply to comments and reviews to show that you are listening. Modify your content to suit your audience’s preferences.
6. Use photos and videos to engage audience
Photos and videos tend to get better response on social media than text-based content. Link relevant images to affiliate products to get a better click-through rate. Videos are great to hook users and, hence, are great to motivate users to purchase your affiliate products.
7. Post actively
Persistence is important. Make a schedule and stick to it. Your audience needs to understand that you are actively serving good content. Give them a reason to stay connected to your channels. If you go missing in action for long or if your posts are sporadic, then your users might lose interest in your channel over time.
8. Promote quality products through social media affiliate marketing
One important thing to keep in mind is to put your name to products that are of good quality. Refrain from marketing low-quality affiliate products. People will trust you in the long run only if they have a good product experience after making a purchase. Good quality products will earn you a good word of mouth, adding to your follower base.
9. Use short and clean redirect links
Affiliate links are generally untidy and long. Try to use clean redirect links from your website to ensure that people are comfortable clicking on them from your social media pages and posts. You can also use link shorteners to make the links look clean.
10. Promote you social posts
Once you have created good content, you need to promote your posts for three reasons—get more followers, higher content engagement, and more affiliate sales.
Here are a few ways you can promote posts on different social media platforms.
10.a. How to do affiliate marketing on Facebook
Create quality content (pictures, text and videos), add affiliate links, join relevant groups on Facebook, share posts on relevant groups, and create paid ads and optimize them.
Affiliate marketing with Facebook can also be done through Facebook stories. Create a product catalog on Facebook and promote it. Write and promote entertaining and educative content for your niche to build audience and to gain your audience’s trust. Invite people to like your Page. If you are learning how to start affiliate marketing on Facebook, then you can try our Free affiliate marketing course.
10.b. How to affiliate market on Instagram
Instagram affiliate marketing can be done by adding sponsored affiliate links to your Instagram posts, reach a ‘verified’ status to add links in Insta Stories, or add a link in your Bio to get traffic to your affiliate links.
Use the right hashtags to organically reach your audience. Reply to comments to improve the engagement rate of your posts. Overall, affiliate marketing on Instagram will work only if you are regularly posting interesting and engaging content for your users and not just selling.
10.c. Affiliate marketing on Twitter
Twitter affiliate marketing can be done by promoting your posts using the right hashtags, choosing a theme of posts, creating a story with your posts, and promoting through Ads. Add links to affiliate product images, so that users can reach your products to purchase them.
10.d. Affiliate marketing on Pinterest
To promote your posts on Pinterest, you can add the right keywords to the titles and descriptions of your posts. Understand the interests of your audience and create content around it. Relevant keywords will help Pinterest show your posts to the audience with an interest in the content and products that you are promoting.
Add links to your posts to direct users to your affiliate products. You can also use Paid Ads on Pinterest to promote your posts among users who search, browse and discover content.
Social media affiliate marketing can be very effective when done right. It gets you a higher ROI as you are able to engage users easily and frequently.
Affiliate marketing through social media can be done through channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Choose the channels your audience prefers, create quality content, and promote that content organically and through paid Ads.
Choose quality products to promote through social media affiliate marketing. Create educative and entertaining content to engage your audience. Publish affiliate product posts only 20% of the time.
Build audience, brand, engagement and trust to be successfully able to sell affiliate products.
Besides social media marketing, you can also sell affiliate products by creating a website for affiliate marketing or making an affiliate marketing ebook.
The 3rd Social Traffic Titan of 2019 (Part Three: Pinterest)
We’re going to keep this super simple because Pinterest is probably one of the most basic and beneficial ways to drive traffic in terms of social media sites in 2019. Sure, there are little ‘insider tips’ you could spend hours and days reading up on, and by all means if that’s what you wish to do then have at it but you’re going to find out really fast that the ton of extra work will only result in minimum benefit, it’s best to stick with what’s proven to work and let the rest go.
Why Pinterest is Good?
Simple… Pinterest has the potential to drive traffic to your websites for months and in some cases even years after utilizing it properly. Yeah, you read that right… YEARS!!!
The great thing about it is just how easy it is to use the features of the website without diving too deep into details. Don’t think too far beyond just these things:
- Stunning images
- Brisk & clever descriptions
- Your website (of course)
- A tool to write pretty letters with (will show you a free one soon)
It’s really simple to take free images which relate to your niche, use a free tool that has awesome fonts for free and mix it all together resulting in free traffic for you… provided you do the few things we’re about to cover right now.
Make a Free Pinterest Business Account
Yeah, it’s free so don’t worry about it. Doing this will give you access to additional tools you just won’t get with the default account such as better analytics. You can CLICK RIGHT HERE to go straight to their sign up page. If you’ve already got an Pinterest account then it is possible to convert it to a business account but you might want to just start from scratch with a new one.
Quick note on Ads for Pinterest.
This article is NOT about buying ads on the website. Although that is an option which may work for you it’s not the focus of this read, we’re only interest in generating traffic from Pinterest for free. Hopefully there’s no confusion about that.
In order to get your Pinterest business account all set up and ready to work for you, you’re going to need to verify your website with them. Additionally to the improved analytics you’ll have the option to join their ‘Rich Pins’ program granting you more tools you can utilize from right within your pins.
- Real time pricing
- Location details
- Extended formatting tools
- Product pins
- Recipe pins
- Article pins (this one is very useful)
- And more…
Although Rich Pins in Pinterest are not a requirement and you might not even need them, they are an option only available for those who have verified business accounts so keep that under consideration. The ‘Article Pins’ are very valuable in our particular case as they can help with SEO even better than your average pin. With snippets taken straight from your blog posts, option to utilize logos, bigger headlines and even links back to your site it all serves to put your own webpages front and center directly inside of a neat little pin right on the Pinterest website.
Use Descriptions Wisely for Pinterest Strategy
We’re in this for the traffic which means you need to compel anyone who is looking at your pin to want to click over to your site. This is where those ad copy skills of yours come into play. Pinterest isn’t like most other platforms, most people who are browsing pins are either looking for things to buy and are browsing pins for ideas, or they’re looking for something they can share… and sometimes they just enjoy killing time on their favorite image-based website but we’re not really concerned with these folks right now.
You only have a split second to capture their attention with your image and then convince them that they need more information which can only be found by clicking the link to reach your website. Here are some tips and Pinterest Strategy to help maximize engagement with your pins:
- Intriguing to the reader, appeal to curiosity and tug a few emotional strings if it fits the cause.
- Detail key points, you don’t have much space so use it wisely by packing essential details in as few words as possible.
- Helpful descriptions which hing there’s more to be learned by clicking a link work best in most cases.
- Actionable descriptions where the reader wants to find out more is your best bet so use a strong call to action in every single description.
Don’t forget to use SEO friendly keywords in your descriptions wherever possible, but don’t stuff them to the point your words stop making sense. Remember, this is something actual people are going to read, we’re not only trying to appeal to a search algorithm here.
What & When to Pin
This one is going to require some trial and error on your part, you’ll have to pin things every day of the week at different hours of the day to see which times and days are getting the best results.
To find out what you should pin you need look no further than on Pinterest itself. Start searching for your preferred keywords and see what’s showing up near the top of the results. Don’t copy but do emulate success. Watch the video embedded below to learn in greater detail how to do this more effectively.
It’s very important to use images in your pins which will catch attention and make people actually want to click on them. Using pretty fonts directly on the images which are legible in thumbnail form are essential to get the best results.
There is an extremely helpful software called Canva which you can use straight from your web browser. All you have to do is create a free account and get started. This tool grants you access to both free and paid stock photos as well as an entire suite of handy tools you can use right away to begin making beautiful pins as well as many other types of graphics. This was the tool mentioned earlier about the “tool to write pretty letters with” so give it a look and try it for yourself. There is a paid version but you honestly don’t need to use it unless you feel it would benefit you.
Join Pinterest Boards
This is where the social part comes into play. Quite possibly the most powerful tool available to you on Pinterest is the group boards. This is where you’re going to find people congregate which means you now have access to many people all in one place who are interested in one thing, that’s powerful. Think of it in a similar way to groups on Facebook, people intentionally join groups to be in a collective with like-minded people.
Once a member of a group board you’ll be able to pin to that board which is how you get exposure. The more frequently you pin the more opportunity you create to be discovered. This isn’t an invitation to spam the Pinterest board but it is suggested to pin regularly. If people like what you pin (and many of them probably will) then they’ll follow you and will be notified when you post new stuff. An easy way to track down group boards is to use the website Pingroupie which indexes a ton of boards all in one place with a handy search function.
Utilizing Pinterest and creating a money earning ecommerce strategy is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. It does take effort, sure, but as mentioned near the top of this article, if you set things up and put that effort in then it can pay off for months and potentially years. Popular pins often times get shared around the internet and they get a lot of traction on the Pinterest website itself. More exposure means more traffic which is our goal.
The 2nd Social Traffic Titan of 2019 (Part Two: Instagram)
Last time we discussed how it was possible to use the Social Media Titan YouTube in order to syphon free traffic into your webpages and offers. It’s time now to jump into the second social media titan of 2019, Instagram to generate even more qualified traffic for your business for absolutely free.
You’re probably going to hear a lot of opinions on getting free traffic from Instagram, might even stumble across plenty of folks who just don’t think it’s possible, lucky for us they don’t know what you’re about to learn so don’t worry about them, they can keep shaking their heads in disapproving fashion while we’re busy earning those affiliate profits from the best Instagram Marketing techniques.
First thing’s 1st – Instagram Account Setup
Set yourself up with an Instagram account… obviously.
We’re not going to walk you through the most basic of details in this guide as you can find all of that with a simple Google or better yet, YouTube search! Once you have your account set up it’s time to get the show on the road and this is how it’s done.
Your Account Name
Change it so it’s better suited for SEO directly on the platform. This is not the URL of the account which is what you created your Instagram account under but instead the title of your account… see the image below for a visual example if you don’t understand what we mean.
Right in that header section on your page there will be a blurb about what your feed is about, think of is as a mission statement of sorts. Here is where your title or ‘name’ will also appear as is circled in red. This can help you to be discovered by folks who are searching Instagram for whatever they might be looking for. Take advantage of this opportunity by placing a very relevant keyword here for either brand recognition or niche association.
Aside from the mission statement and your accounts name you will also have a small space to insert an active hyperlink. Instagram does not allow you to use links directly inside of your posts so you will have to get clever with your calls to action in the future. Lucky for us however, the culture of this social platform is already well aware of this shortcoming and instinctively know to look for links in this area on each account.
Discoverability And You
This is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to people actually finding your small business using Instagram or not. Hashtags are a huge part of Instagram culture and if you aren’t using them properly then you’re putting a severe handicap on your performance. You need to make yourself as easy to find as possible while you’re building your following otherwise growth will be slow and painful.
Just above is what a typical search for keywords and hashtags looks like on Instagram, notice that the number of posts associated with each tag is also listed in lighter gray just below the search term. The goal is to land within these searches on at least a handful of hashtags that way people will click through and check your posts out. It’s a two-step process which looks something like this.
First a keyword (or hashtag) will be searched just like has been depicted above and then the user will pick the one they want to expand upon. Once that’s done they’re going to see a new page which looks something like the picture just above, notice how the hashtag and the number of posts are circled in red.
What you’re looking at is the feed for that particular hashtag and it’s where you want to show up when certain searches are performed. It’s not a guarantee that your posts will be viewed even when they do show up in this list of related posts but it’s a fair shot at getting discovered by your target audience.
Instagram Marketing Strategy – What Should You Post?
The idea in many cases is to treat your account as a micro blog, keeping things inspirational and direct. Instagram Marketing is all about pictures and short video clips, but you also get a small space to write some kind of description and that is where you can really shine.
Make your images fall into one of 3 main categories:
- Interesting / Weird
Now, these main categories are very broad but they’re also very different in the types of emotion and action you provoke in those viewing them. The best way to see what works for your business Instagram strategy is to start searching hashtags which are closely related to your niche and see what others are doing. You don’t want to copy them exactly but the popular accounts have it right which means you do want to emulate the mood of that account’s feed. The feed is just the pages and pages of posts made on that account, much like how Facebook has a feed you can scroll through, Instagram has a similar thing.
Using Hashtags Appropriately
This is a bit tricky in the beginning but you will find as time goes on it becomes easier and much quicker. You need to take the time to seek out useful hashtags for your market, make a list of them and use them for your own needs often.
Fortunately Instagram gives you a powerful insights tool right on the search box itself in the form of post counts. You get to see how many posts are listed under a given tag so you don’t bother wasting time on those tags which will bury you under a sea of other related posts… more often than not by accounts which are probably far more popular than yours.
Use different sizes of hashtags to maximize your exposure. Think of it like a keyword which people can search and then browse a list of related Instagram feeds. If you are using only very broad and popular hashtags then you will be buried under the mountain of other accounts also using those same exact hashtags. Instead, you want to mix and match from small, medium and large hashtags.
Focus primarily on tiny, small and medium tags as that’s where your posts stand the best chance of sticking around longer as well as having a better chance of reaching people who are more interested in the type of things you are sharing. The best way to find hashtags is directly on Instagram by following influencers in your niche, seeing what tags they use and manually testing them out to compile a list of tags which fall under the guidelines listed below.
Yes, it takes work but over time you will build a long list of hashtags you can recycle over & over again thus speeding up the process gradually while maintaining high quality hashtags for your posts. A word of caution about using the same hashtags over and over again… switch up your tags between posts, don’t spam the same tags too often as Instagram may detect this as spam activity and decrease your reach to the general audience.
The reason why Instagram is still viable for free traffic is do to the fact it’s yet to reduce it’s organic reach in the way of Facebook’s pages and groups, you can still post something and have it go out to a very large population of people without having to pay for ads. Here is a quick list of the hashtag sizes to aim for, remember that using tags with smaller posts counts means you have a greater chance of sticking to those searches for longer.
- Tiny = Under 50k posts
- Small = 100k or fewer posts
- Medium = 500k or fewer posts
- Large = Over 500k posts
A Call To Action
Keep it simple and slightly ambiguous and do not be afraid to skip a direct call to action every now and again. Instagram is all about entertainment value through pretty pictures, fancy “feel good” quotes and short videos. If you’re not following that trend then you’re going to be left behind as the crowd won’t see you as part of the community.
Since we’re not able to use links in the captions of an Instagram post we have to rely on sparking intrigue in those looking at us. As mentioned before, you are allowed one single link on the entirety of your account and it’s at the top of the page… people who use Instagram already know this and will seek that link out if you inspire them well enough.
Again, look at what others are doing within your market-space and follow the good ideas from popular and successful accounts, it really can be just that easy.
If your interested in using Instagram to generate free traffic then chances are good you’re not looking to spark up conversations with your viewers. Consider this however, especially if you’re into something which involves high ticket sales or building a downline of sorts.
Engaging in chats with those who take the time to message you could lead to really strong positive prospects. These are folks who have taken a genuine interest in you or your offer and want to know more so why not take the time to give them a little one-on-one conversation and see where that goes? You’re going to want to manage your time and keep it professional but it’s a fine way to tune your skills as a sales person while building a list of potential leads.
It’s simple really. The idea is to build a real account which is followed by real people who you can inspire to take action, whatever that action might be. In this case we’re talking about driving traffic to other websites but the power of building a following on Instagram can extend well beyond that. You have the ‘stories’ feature which lets you upload videos direct to your followers letting them know just about anything you want. Use this to promote new offers, tease them with something new and intriguing or just check in to say a quick hello and share something fun or entertaining.
There are best marketing tools of 2019 that let you post to your account in a semi-automated fashion and though these can be really helpful you’re going to want to build your accounts manually in the beginning so you become familiar with how it all works. Who knows, maybe you’ll give it a try and decide that this Instagram Marketing strategy just isn’t for you, that’s fine. There are so many other options that you don’t need to feel stuck, just move on to the next and try that out instead for your business in 2019.
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