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Turn “Likes” Into Love: Using Social Media to Build Your Affiliate Marketing Business

Link-Assistant.Com | Posted in category GuestBox Social Media

guest post by Christian Willis

Whether you like it or not, social media has become a valuable tool in any business's marketing toolkit. While you might think that sharing your most personal details on LinkedIn or Facebook is pointless, as an affiliate marketer you cannot overlook the business potential of these sites. The trick is learning to use social media effectively to build your brand and community.

Using Social Media –The Right Way

First, what counts as social media? Social media includes social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as YouTube, Twitter, and your blog, among others. It gives you the chance to interact with people who are interested in you and your products, and attract new customers to your business.

For some affiliate marketers, using social media to build a business means getting a bunch of followers on Twitter or Facebook, and then sending nothing but affiliate links, sometimes several times in a day. Can we say spam? This is not an effective way to use social media, since not only does it annoy and alienate customers and potential customers, it could actually get you banned from the social media site. Neither scenario is good for your business.

Using social media effectively requires more than just get people to visit your site. It requires engaging your followers, and giving them a reason to not only follow you on social media, but also visit your site. This means that you need to establish yourself as an authority on your subject, but also providing information, entertainment, and a chance to interact with you and with your community of followers.

Build Your Following

Quick – check out your Facebook news feed. How many posts are marketing related, either from other affiliate marketers, or from businesses that you have "Liked?" If you're like most people, there are a lot of them. Social media is crowded, and it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.

One way to effectively use your social media is to create an identity that is more than just that of a marketer. Not every message on social media has to be promoting your business or your affiliates. In fact, most of your messages should not directly promote the business.

Use your status updates or Tweets to let your followers know what you're up to, share quotes, ask questions, and generally appear to be a person, not just a company. Post regularly – at least once a day – and be consistent in the persona you have created for your business. Keep in mind that Facebook prohibits individuals from using personal pages for business (although you'll see some people doing it) so you'll need to set up a page specifically for your business. As a plus, this keeps your private life private. You can direct followers to the business page to learn about you and your business, while keeping your personal page personal.

Build a community among your followers by posting thought-provoking questions, news articles, or niche-related information. Encourage your friends and followers to comment, and interact with them. Even if you don't personally know each and every one of your followers, answering their questions, re-tweeting or liking their responses, and sharing their responses helps you build a relationship with that person – who could become a customer, or attract more customers. Try posting things that are likely to be shared – as your followers share your posts, others may be inclined to follow your page themselves.

A word about numbers: Sure, logging on to see that you have several thousand followers or friends might be an ego boost, but how many of those people are actually listening to what you have to say? Conventional wisdom says "the more the merrier" when it comes to marketing, but in social media, having a strong relationship with a couple hundred followers who look to you for news, information, and resources in your niche is better than a couple hundred people who hide your updates or block your tweets.

Building a Community

Maintaining a blog – and offering useful content on a regular basis – is a great way to build a following and improve your search engine rankings. Your blog is a way to offer interesting information related to your business and promote your products, and it's also a way to build a community around you and your business. End each blog post with a question or prompt for commenting, and encourage your readers to participate. Don't forget to respond yourself, and interact with your followers.

Your blog can also draw followers to your social media presence, and vice versa. Promote your new blog posts on your social media feeds, and include ways to connect with you on your blog. Offer different, but related, information in each spot to help attract and engage your followers.
As with any marketing effort, developing a social media strategy requires developing both short and long-term goals and objectives, so you know what you want to achieve and how to get there. Whether you want to boost SEO software sales, build an e-mail marketing list, or just expand your network, using social media – correctly – will get you on the path to your goals.

About the author

This post was written and provided by Christian Willis. Christian has been making a living from affiliate programs for the last 3 years and is a freelance writer for Clickbooth.com.

 



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