Social media is a tried and true method of driving traffic to your blog and affiliate programs. However, it is critical that you adhere to best practices. Writing a Facebook post may only take a few minutes. That is not to say you should be careless.
Most businesses enable you to share their items on social media, but some do not. Check to see what you can and cannot do. Remember to include a disclaimer whenever you share an affiliate link.
Your legal need to disclose your relationships with companies, products, or services does not end when you leave your website. You must offer a disclosure if you use an affiliate link. Because social media platforms have character limits, you don’t have to use the whole disclosure statement from your blog.
Simply let your audience know that a link is for an affiliate product. Here are some common practices people use to disclose on social media:
- The use of hashtags: #ad, #affiliate, #afflink, #affiliatemarketing.
- A quick statement: “This is my affiliate link” or “Please use my affiliate link.”
- Linking back to a blog post instead of using a direct link to the affiliate company. This means your readers have more places to click, but they will see your standard affiliate disclosure along the way.
There is no one best technique for showing up on social media. So, depending on the platform, you can use different methods. Always put partnership disclosure before the link, even on social media. First the disclosure, then the link.
This ensures that your visitors see the disclosures before they click on a link. Some affiliate networks ask where you want to promote their products.
This includes listing all of your accounts on social media. The good news is that you can adjust your affiliate settings in most of these programs, including Amazon. If you forget this step or switch to another channel, you can go back and enter the required information.
Eventually, the platforms will be changed. So stay on top of the blogging community and keep up to date. Check the correspondence you receive from your affiliate programs.
Also, keep an eye on the social media you choose. Pinterest, for example, did not accept affiliate connections in its early years. Now they do. Redirects, on the other hand, are frowned upon and occasionally classified as spam. Pinterest’s community guidelines state unequivocally that your audience should know where they are going when they click on a link. So instead of a hidden or abbreviated link, provide your real affiliate link.
2. Rotate Your Content
If you constantly post deal after deal on social media, your readers may not appreciate it. (Unless you’re a deal site, in which case go ahead.) But if you’re a blogger who writes in a certain niche, make sure you have a balanced social media strategy.
This means rotating the type of content you share. For instance, if you’re a food blogger, you might post the following types of content:
- A link to a favorite recipe from your site.
- Curated content from other people (that your readers would appreciate).
- An image-based post.
- An affiliate product.
- A behind-the-scenes post.
- A personal photograph of you or your family in the kitchen.
You may decide to rotate three types of content or add in additional ones. There are no set rules here, and it’s important to experiment. But for most people, direct affiliate links will only be a small portion of the content shared. They shouldn’t make up your entire feed.
3. Match the Platform
Take notice of what works effectively on each social media outlet while publishing. Instagram and Pinterest are both graphic social media networks.
The recommended image dimensions, on the other hand, vary. Instagram posts typically contain more hashtags. Twitter is better suited to short text messages, but Facebook is more suited to longer text posts. These are only a few of the distinctions.
Take note of the headlines you use in your social media posts as well. Some headlines will outperform others. You don’t have to match the title on social media to the one on your blog if you’re sharing a blog post. Experiment with various headlines for the same story.
This is an excellent technique to discover more about your target audience’s preferences. But, as always, avoid using clickbait. Don’t mislead your audience in order to increase the number of clicks on a post. When you devote more time to tailoring your content to each platform, you expand your reach and, as a result, your clicks and revenues.
4. Go Live
Live video is well received on social media. It allows your audience to connect with you in a way they did not before. Unlike reading an article, it feels more personal and authentic.
Since many social media algorithms favor live videos, they often have a wider reach than other post types. When used properly and consistently, live videos can help build an engaged audience and increase conversion rates on affiliate sales. It can be intimidating to post your first live video.
We both waited a long time before taking the plunge. But when we did, we found that going live was even scarier than we had imagined. When you think about exposing yourself, your mind can go into overdrive.
You worry about stumbling over your words and having to stop mid-sentence. Maybe you are worried that no one will like your movie… or, even worse, that they’ll leave negative comments. The truth is that none of these heinous events have happened to us.
And it will not happen to you either. Start right now and make your first live video. Then repeat the process. You may have one, two or no viewers at first. When you go live again, a few more people will join. Your confidence and security will grow as you become more familiar with the process.
Consider shooting a few pre-made videos first to help you get started with live videos. You can also go live and then delete the post immediately. Knowing that you have the option to delete the post takes away the fear of being caught on tape forever and looking silly.
The first three times Lisa went live, she hit the delete button when she was done. One of them was caught by her father. The other recordings, on the other hand, were practice sessions when she got the courage to post her videos online. Lisa now enjoys connecting with her audience through videos. Her imagination no longer runs away with her.
5. Plan Your Talking Points
A common fear about going live is freezing up and having no idea what to say next. If you struggle with this, try writing out your talking points ahead of time. Here’s a framework you can use:
- Determine your theme/topic.
- Think through what you want to say.
- Write down your opening. For example: “Hi, it’s [name] from [website name].”
- Write down the first thing you want to say after you open. For example: “Today I want to tell you about [topic].”
- Create a bulleted list of your main talking points. This will help you stay on track after you get through the introduction.
- Know what your final point will be.
- Write down what you will say to close. Always include a call to action, for example: “Thanks for watching! I’m going to leave that link in the comments so you can go click on it now.”
The directions above are not the only way to plan a live video. Some people prefer to wing it; they find this more natural. Others write a word-for-word script and then memorize it. If you do this, be careful that you don’t come across as too forced or staged.
Experiment with videos to find what works for you and your audience. See what you are comfortable with and where you get the most engagement. What you do the first time may not be what you do the next. Be flexible and adjust as you grow.
Regardless of how you plan, you must have a purpose for each live video you create. Don’t hop online and meander your way through 10 painful minutes. This wastes your time and your audience’s (if they are kind enough to stick around).
Be clear about what you want to share with people. And get to the point quickly. Your video doesn’t have to be long to be effective. While brevity is often appreciated, don’t forget to provide value first. In other words, don’t jump on and say, “I just have to tell you about this amazing product. It’s going to change your life, and you must go buy it now. See the link in the comments. Bye!”
Avoid sounding like an infomercial. Instead, seep value into your video. Give a tutorial on how to use a feature of the item you’re sharing. Do a review and show how the product has changed your life. There are many ways to promote an affiliate product while still providing useful information.
6. Camera Position
Have you ever seen a live video where the speaker wasn’t looking directly at the camera? It isn’t a good experience for the viewer. The correct place for the lens of the camera is at, or just above, your eye level. Use a tripod or your webcam and boost your laptop higher with a stack of books.
Before you go live, turn on your video recorder and put your finger over the lens. Make sure you know where it is. Then, look directly into the camera. This helps your audience feel a connection with you. Also pay attention to how you are framed.
You don’t need a studio to go live. You can do it inside or outside, or even in your car. But take time to check the background as it appears on-screen before you hit record.
Do you have a bookshelf sticking out of your head? Do you have something unusual in the background that people are going to be staring at while you talk? Remove any distractions before you get started.
7. The Right Equipment
You don’t need expensive equipment to start going live. You can record videos with the camera on your smartphone and a tripod. Or you can use the camera built into your laptop.
If you find you’re doing a lot of video, you can invest in a standalone webcam and microphone once your online business is profitable. But this isn’t necessary. Lighting, however, is important. Though, again, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on portable lights when starting out.
Instead, think about utilizing natural light. That’s why many people record in their car. They are surrounded by natural light, which helps them look great. Avoid standing under an overhead light or having your main light source behind you.
Both options can cast weird shadows. Ideally, you want to light yourself from the front. If possible, position a light on each side of you, outside of the camera frame, so that your face is lit and there are no distracting shadows.
But don’t stress too much over the details. It’s better to go live even without the best equipment and lighting. Your audience will appreciate the opportunity to get to know you better.
8. Remember Your Affiliate Link
When you’re ready to go live, plan what you want to say and decide how to integrate your affiliate product. And don’t forget to share the correct link. It’s easy to focus on what you are saying and how people are engaging with your video, then forget your original reason for going live. You still want to make some sales!
Here are a few ways you can share your affiliate link in a live video:
- Include the link in the comments below the post (Facebook).
- Overlay the text onto your video (Instagram).
- Ask people to comment, and you’ll send them the link.
- Spell the link out in the video (this usually works best with a shortened or cloaked link).