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Five Social Media Marketing Rules

Social media marketing has produced some amazing results for major companies, small businesses, and even artists, but affiliate marketers have largely been late to jump on the bandwagon. With pay-per-click costs soaring and SEO marketing become more and more competitive, it is becoming increasingly smart for affiliates to invest in social media marketing.

A totally free traffic source, social media marketing gives affiliates room to experiment with different products and services, mix up marketing forms and sales copy, and even use traffic to split-test and optimize offers. However, there are some definite dos and don’ts when it comes to marketing affiliate products using social media traffic. These five rules should keep you on the right direction when you advertise affiliate products using social media platforms.

1. Contribute, don’t just advertise
Social media depends on real content for growth, not just marketing fluff and advertising copy. Whenever you are testing out a new offer or product, intertwine the promotional tweets, posts, or status updates with some valuable information. Besides, giving away great content is a good marketing strategy in its own right, not just a value-building tactic.

2. Do not try to push scammy offers
Let’s face it, there is a ton of scam-like affiliate offers out there. From eBooks that promise it all and do not deliver to shifty ‘free’ trial products, a lot of affiliate offers are not the type that would draw unanimous praise on social networks.

The best way to keep standards up using social media is to block out low quality products and offers altogether. Marketing high quality products on social media and keep your audience, rather than risking losing it all with a one-time low quality product advertisement.

3. Use third-party tracking programs
Smart marketers treat their social media campaigns like any other; with intense tracking and ultra-specific usability data. There is no point leaving social media marketing to chance, and without clear information on ROI and marketing value it’s easy to waste time on something that is not effective.

While there is no risk of losing money with social media marketing, there is a real risk of losing income through opportunity cost. Invest in great tracking for your social media campaigns, just like you would a major PPC campaign or advertising buy.

4. Do not flood Twitter with ads
Social media accounts that only offer advertising quickly get deleted, disabled, or ignored. While flooding Twitter with links to affiliate offers might provide some temporary sales and quick ROI, it is certainly not a long-term strategy. Invest in scalable social media marketing practices, not hit-and-run marketing floods.

5. Focus on low-barrier marketing offers
Social media audiences, on the whole, are not particularly responsive to per-sale affiliate offers. For affiliates working with limited amounts of time or ultra-low risk tolerances, it is best to stick to offers and products that have a low barrier to entry and completion. Simple per-lead affiliate offers, software downloads, and website sign-up programs are most effective for social media audiences.

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