Social media is the hottest sector on the Internet right now and only getting bigger and more powerful. This means, as an affiliate, you need to be actively using social media sites to promote yourself and your websites/blogs. Here are some practical ideas for using Social Media to enhance your affiliate marketing efforts.
Create Your Presence – I always recommend choosing a username that you can use to sign-up on all the best social networking sites. It usually has to be fairly short, ex. mine is experienceads. I use this username on the majority of the social media sites to keep things consistent. Use Username Check to see if your prospective username is available on all the social networks. It’s also a really cool tool to use to get signed up on all the top social networks. Once you get yourself signed-up for the social networks you should look to add friends or followers depending on the type of site it is. By “following” people on Twitter for example, they may follow you back and this is what builds your following. Also, the more content you post out there, the more people will follow you that read your content. You can also create other identities to promote in a particular niche. For example, if you are in the online dating niche, you can create a username like: EvansDatingAdvice and build out a following specifically talking about issues related to dating and singles. I recommend starting out with your main identity and branching out from there. The more identities you have the harder it will be to manage. Also, it’s important to complete your profile on each social networking site with unique content about yourself and what you do.
Join Ping.FM – Ping.fm is probably my favorite social media tool because it allows you to effortlessly update your “status” on all your social networks through one interface (and even through IM). How cool is that! Once you sign up at Ping.fm, they will ask you to enter all your usernames and passwords for your social networking sites. And, it also gives you the links to sign-up for new accounts on all those sites you aren’t on already, so you can get them into Ping.fm. Once you have entered all your usernames and passwords, you can then “ping” out your message, blog post url, site page url, personal update (what you are doing a the moment), and anything else you feel you want to share with the world. You have to keep it short though, usuallu under 140 charaters. This is known as “micro-blogging.” This is a great way to manage multiple social sites at the same time.
My Favorite Social Networks – I have been using social networks for years, before it was cool to do it. Now that it’s all the rage, it’s interesting to see how people go about connecting with each other and making friends and contacts. Some of my personal favorites for online marketing are: FaceBook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, and of course Twitter. There are many other niche social networking sites you can join to meet like-minded people to connect with and do business or just make friends. You will develop your own list of favorite social networks based on your interests.
Launching your Own Social Network – The Internet has come along way and the best things are still free. If you want to launch your own social networking site you should check out Ning. Ning is the easiest and fastest way to set-up your very own social network, with tons of great features. It truly is amazing so you should check it out and experiment with it. Here is one of mine for you to review: Cost Per New Social Network. You will see a link on the site to launch your own social network.
Social Media/Networking Etiquette – Social media, like anything else online, has the potential to be abused and mis-used. If you go about it the right way you will do well with it, however if you go about it the wrong way you are likely to not get far. Here are some suggested tips to maintain good social media etiquette:
– Don’t just go looking for people on Twitter asking for recommendations and pasting them your affiliate link or saying you have tried something and recommend it when you have not. This is very annoying and not genuine at all. People are usually hip to this and will drop you and not be friends with you. If you are going to respond to a users request for a recommendation on a product or service, make sure you are giving them good information and not just giving them your affiliate link. By providing good merchant or product reviews on your sites or blogs you can share the urls of your posts when it’s appropriate.
– Connect with People Genuinely – It’s always best to connect to people that will be receptive to your connection request. It’s not a contest to see how many people you can connect to, but a way to grow your network with quality connections you can do business with or learn from. Too many people try to build their networks through “open networking” which is not a good idea in my opinion.
– Share Stuff, Don’t Inundate – The whole point of social networking is to share information, links, news, and resources with people. Also, to keep them up-to-date on what you are doing in life. If you are constantly sharing items that are turning people off your network won’t grow and you will lose connections. Take your social networking seriously and it will be a great foundation to build on going forward.
Additional Benefits of Social Media/Networking – One of the biggest benefits of using social media sites are the SEO (search engine optimization) benefits. By announcing messages and sharing links through social sites you can get ranked in the search engines for those particular messages. Site’s like Twitter have excellent Google organic rankings and I frequently see my pings/updates ranking in Google. Also, when your connections and people on the social networks see your updates it creates traffic back to your site. It also causes your connections to comment on your post or update creating more interaction.
Social media and social networking are amazing tools for expanding your affiliate marketing endeavors. The more time and effort you put into it, the more you will get out of it. Let me know how you liked this article. I have many more tips and resources for using social media sites, so let me know and I will forward them over to you. You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!