Social media is an important part of any affiliate marketing strategy and is a platform worth utilising regardless of your budget. If you’re not in a position to run paid ads to boost your affiliate conversions, social media can also be used to drive free, highly relevant traffic to your site.
However, as many affiliates may be fooled into thinking, social media pages cannot be set up and left to their own devices, nor will the odd link back to your site generate much interaction with your following – if you’ve even built one that is!
As with most things, if you’re going to make it work, you need to dedicate time and resources to actually making it work. If you don’t have a clear strategy in place for your social media channels, then they have much less chance of becoming a success… failing to prepare is preparing to fail, remember.
In this article I’m going to run over my top tips for setting up a successful social page on some of the most popular sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube. However, you shouldn’t feel like you have to be present on every single social site. Choose the ones you’re most comfortable with, for example if you don’t plan on doing any video marketing or don’t have access to the necessary resources, then don’t bother creating a YouTube account. Always wait until you’re in a position to run the channel successfully.
By signing up to too many social sites you risk spreading yourself thin, so choose around three key sites to begin with and expand on these once you have a successful strategy in place, but only if you feel it would be beneficial.
As mentioned, to run a successful social campaign you need to dedicate time and resources into making it work. There are also several things you should focus on in order to create a great social profile on multiple platforms.
Keeping your branding consistent across different platforms is essential in building a clear brand identity and to help in building trust with your followers. Inconsistent or random images and logos can cause confusion as to who you are whether or not a Facebook and Twitter profile are related, and will generally hold you back in building a clear presence for your brand.
By keeping your logo, imagery and messaging consistent across each social platform, you’ll begin to build a memorable visual representation of your business. This is necessary because it’s just as important for an affiliate to create a ‘brand’ as it is for an e-commerce business.
Despite not physically selling a product yourself, you are recommending products and driving users to a specific website to buy a certain product, so it is crucial that visitors trust your opinion and can see you’re a legitimate and respectable brand.
As you can see below, MoreNiche has done a fantastic job of keeping branding consistent across each social channel. This enables affiliates and new users interested in our brand to quickly and easily establish who we are.
For example, if you came across the MoreNiche website and were interested in becoming an affiliate, you could go onto Facebook the following day and see a targeted ad inviting you to like us on Facebook. Because you would recognise the logo, colour scheme and slogan, you would know exactly who we are and be more inclined to give us a like because you’d connected with us on another platform previously.
If you already have a logo which you use on your website, then you should also use the same logo for the profile and header image on any social channels you have. You may need to tweak the design to fit in with the particular page. You can see above that we have used the image part of our logo for the profile picture without any text, but included the brand name on the header image since there was room to do so.
If you don’t already have a logo, then this is something you should certainly consider creating. You can outsource the design if you prefer, or use Photoshop if you have access, or a free online tool such as Canva to create your own logo.
Remember to keep things simple and stick to two or three key colours to ensure your logo is memorable, unique and stands out. You should try to include your brand name. Ideally this would be the same as your domain name, however if your domain is fairly long you may want to use a shortened, snappier version for your brand name and logo.
Once you have created your logo, this can be used on social media, your website and anything else related to your affiliate business. For example, you should also add a signature to your email account which includes your new logo and a link to your website.
Posting regularly across each social platform is important to ensure you keep your audience engaged and that you stay relevant and up to date with industry news. While you should aim to post daily on your social media profiles, it is also very important to keep the type of content varied.
Providing the same link back to your website every single day quickly becomes boring and annoying, and will most likely result in people unfollowing you because your page appears spammy. Your content should entertain, help and educate your audience; if you’re not offering them anything of value then they won’t want to follow your pages. Simple.
To keep things varied you should aim to post some of the following types of content:
Inspirational quotes or images are hugely popular nowadays. Whether it’s a well-known slogan or saying, or a before/after shot of someone’s health, fitness or beauty regime, it’s likely to gain the attention of your followers. People love to be motivated and this can be easily achieved by sharing success stories.
For example, if you’re promoting CrazyBulk, sharing a before/after shot of someone who has excelled using this product is a great way to encourage others to try it and is proof that it works.
On the other hand, posting an inspirational quote late on a Monday afternoon could be the encouragement someone needs to make it to the gym that night and start the week off on the right foot. This type of content can inspire and motivate your audience which in turn gives your brand a positive association.
Educating your audience is another approach worth focusing on. If you can teach them something new or shed light on a topic of their interest, then there’s a good chance your audience will engage and be grateful for their new knowledge.
Informative content by no means needs to be boring. If you have a fact or a piece of information worth sharing, you could create an image with text to convey it in a more visually appealing way, rather than simply posting a status. Or if there’s a lot of text, post a snippet together with a link through to your site to find out more. In this case you could post a question or build anticipation to encourage people to click through and read on.
As mentioned above, posting a single link as your status is boring and looks spammy! So try to make sure all of your content engages readers, catches their attention and stands out amongst the hundreds of other posts in their feed. High-quality images, video content, and bright and bold colours are all ways to help your posts to stand out.
You could also go down the comedic route and create memes or funny videos; this will not only engage your followers, but will help to show your brand has a personality too! This will in turn help to build trust and loyalty with your followers.
If something big is happening in your industry you need to jump on the bandwagon and post about that topic too. Staying relevant and up to date is important on social media; news travels fast on the web, so being one of the first to post about news in your field will help to show your followers that you have fresh content and are ahead of the game.
For example, if you promote CrazyBulk and a story hits the headlines about steroid controversy or regarding a specific ingredient in some steroids, then this news is highly relevant to your audience. You should avoid posting word for word, but instead give your opinion on the story, provide an alternative view or ask your audience for their thoughts on the matter.
In some cases you may share a news story and add a short snippet of information, or it may warrant you creating an article of your own and linking back to your website.
If you’re really trying to make social media work for you then there’s a good chance you’re already following your competition. Whether it’s other affiliates in your niche, competitor brands or industry leaders in your niche, it’s definitely worth keeping your eye on what they’re posting. Which content has performed well and gained lots of engagement? Again it may be worth sharing their posts and adding your own input, or you may just want to use it as inspiration.
You should never copy others’ content and if you post very similar things to a competitor too often, people will pick up on it. However, if you see something works really well for another brand on social media, think about how you can replicate that and post content which engages your own audience in the same way.
These are just a few examples to bear in mind when creating content, and of course you also want to link back to your own website, either to generic content or branded reviews. This is very important as you want your social audience to visit your website and read your affiliate reviews.
The key is to offer more valuable content to your audience and every now and again, where relevant, post out a link to your site to remind your followers that they can find more great content on your website, not just in your social feed.
Managing two or three social channels can become a bit of a handful, especially when you have a website to run too! But there are plenty of scheduling tools out there designed to streamline the process of social posting and make life much easier!
Hootsuite is a fantastic tool for scheduling posts across multiple social platforms and enables you to spend some time gathering all of your social content for the upcoming week or month and then get it pencilled in for publishing on your desired date and at a specific time.
It’s an ideal way to ensure you’re posting at the most appropriate time. For example, if you’re based in the UK but the majority of your audience lives in the US, posting in real time would either result in your content being missed because your audience is asleep, or you having to stay up late to post at the ideal time. Scheduling tools such as Hootsuite offer the perfect solution to this, and once you’ve figured out what time your content should go live, you can get it set up.
BUILDING YOUR FOLLOWING
It’s important that you spend time building your following on each social channel too, after all if no one follows your page, no one will see your content! There are a few factors you should focus on to help you grow your followers and ensure those users are also relevant to the niche you’re promoting.
If users comment on your posts, send you questions or engage in any way at all, being responsive is key. If you can show your audience you are quick to respond, they are more likely to re-engage because they know they will get the information they need right away.
It also shows that the page is actively managed which again can help to build trust in your brand. As mentioned above, it also helps to build your brand personality. You could come across as being very knowledgeable or perhaps friendly, or you could even approach your audience in a comedic way, perhaps making jokes and being a little bit cheeky, which can really help to define your brand identity and allow your audience to connect with you.
Use Relevant Hashtags
Most social platforms allow and encourage the use of hashtags which means that users searching for those hashtags will see your post. So if you’re posting a before/after shot of someone’s weight loss journey, you could also add relevant hashtags such as #weightloss #fitness #workoutgoals and so on, to ensure that people looking for this type of content find it.
If a user stumbles across your content because you’ve used a hashtag they’ve searched for, they may check out the rest of your profile and if they’re happy with your content and feel it is relevant to their interests, they’re likely to follow you. So utilising hashtags can be a simple, yet effective way of finding highly relevant followers.
Run A Giveaway
Running a competition can be a fantastic way of spreading the word about your brand, especially if your existing followers are sharing your page as part of the competition. Asking users to like, comment and share not only increases engagement but also gets your post seen by a wider audience. These new people may also follow your page, either because they want to take part in your giveaway or simply because they have found your content to be useful or relevant to their interests.
If you share the content of other brands and other users of your chosen social platform, they are more likely to repost your content too. Perhaps not so much with the larger established brands, but like-minded users who are also trying to grow their following are more likely to repost content of yours if you’ve done the same for them. This is a great way of increasing your fans, since you can share posts which have already had a large engagement, therefore they’re likely to do well on your own feed and you’re likely to get their followers to follow you too.
I mentioned above about sharing industry news, and if you can be one of the first to share or post about news and events as they’re happening, then people searching for information on that news item are more likely to come across your page first.
For example, you may have Google alerts set up for relevant topics in your niche. You receive an email alerting you to a big news story and straight away you post more information on your Facebook page as it’s relevant to your following. Someone may use Facebook Search to look into the story and find your post listed there because you were one of the first to jump on the story. Keeping up to date with industry news can really pay off, so it’s worth setting up alerts to ensure you’re first in the know.
Running a successful social channel can be time-consuming so it’s important to try and streamline as much as you can. Create a content calendar and spend time each month creating posts that can be shared across all channels for the upcoming weeks and get things scheduled in.
You can post the same content across different channels and I recommend you do so to ensure consistency across each platform. However, each post can be tweaked to suit its channel, for example focus more heavily on the imagery used when posting on Instagram, keep things short and snappy on Twitter and go into more depth on Facebook.
If you’re interested in increasing your activity on social media channels or would like tailored advice on how to develop your existing social profiles, chat to an affiliate manager today!