Affiliate marketing is an interesting line of work to engage in because you are, in one sense, running your own business, but it’s not actually your business. As an affiliate marketer, your job is to work for your chosen client, getting others excited about the product or service being offered. However, because this job happens on the Internet, your potential customer-base is massive, and the techniques you use to generate interest are very different from older 20th century marketing techniques.
One of the most powerful and vital strategies good affiliate marketers need to master is the use of social media. And Facebook affiliate marketing is the cornerstone of this strategy.
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Why Social Media Matters
It is precisely because social media is not expressly designed for marketing that it is one of the most effective Internet tools for doing so. Social media platforms—of which Facebook is the biggest and most popular—are all about people connecting and interacting with each other. Usually this means immediate friends and family, though social circles can expand well beyond that to Internet acquaintances or simply groups of people with a common interest or hobby, such as video games, or movies.
Because these are people with existing relationships interacting with each other, any type of good marketing that occurs in social media is the very best kind; an elaborate, digital form of word-of-mouth marketing with potential global reach.
Word-of-mouth is often the most effective marketing technique simply because when a person hears a reference or recommendation made from someone they know and trust, that makes the marketing much more credible, and the person hearing this is far more likely to seek out whatever has been marketed. We all do this every day. We may not have given much thought to a new pizza place in the area, but when a family member who’s taste we know and trust makes a glowing recommendation, we are now much more motivated to actually check the place out and try the food. Facebook affiliate marketing is merely the global-sized, digitally-based incarnation of this same marketing.
What Not To Do
Facebook affiliate marketing works at its best when it’s not marketing. Imagine this scenario; you are talking with your friend on the street, when a stranger approaches the two of you, interrupts your conversation and tells you both how they know a woman that makes $5000 month working from home, and you can too. Then the person walks away.
Most people in that situation will simply look at each other, perhaps laugh or joke about what happened, and then ignore everything the person said. The same is true in social media, because social media, as the name suggests, is social. If you do not socialize, do not interact, and simply act like Facebook affiliate marketing is about repeating names and putting up links, then it’s like being the panhandler begging for spare change in a subway station. Most people will just walk on by, because it’s clear you do not belong.
Traditional marketing techniques that are about volume, persistence, catchy advertising slogans and other old fashioned methods don’t work in social media. They can often have the opposite effect, and generate a negative perception of your affiliate. In many cases, the highly sought after “Likes” that drive the popularity of Facebook posts and make them more visible won’t be given to your posts simply because people don’t like them.
In other words, good Facebook affiliate marketing is about talking to people, not at them.
The old saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” very much applies to the approach you need to take with social media. Facebook itself has over one billion users, and you’re not going to be able to reach them all, nor do you want to. You want to reach the people on social media that would be most excited and interested by what your affiliate has to offer, so you need to target them specifically.
Once you do, you need to interact. Don’t be that random stranger that drops in, says a single message loudly to everyone, and then disappears. You need to like other posts, interact with people, and engage with them on some level beyond just marketing. If people don’t view you as a person they trust and respect, that same attitude will extend to your marketing efforts.
This is a longer term strategy, but, as with planting a tree, it yields fruit if you give it the time it needs. By taking the time to interact with people on social media like Facebook, you develop a connection, establish a relationship, and, when you start making subtle references to your affiliate, this is no longer looked on as an unwelcome intrusion because your Facebook affiliate marketing is not the first—and only—thing you say to people.
Your content needs to be genuine. You’re still here to promote your affiliate, but beyond that, you need to be a real person to others on Facebook and other social media platforms. This means liking other people’s posts, making posts of your own that are unrelated to your affiliate, and commenting and contributing to discussions. By establishing relationships, you are also building a base of loyal customers. Once you have trust and credibility, any recommendations you make, either as “off topic” advice on relationships, or an actual recommendation for your affiliate because someone on your Facebook friends list would genuinely benefit from the product or service, will carry real weight.
Success in social media about being social. And success in Facebook affiliate marketing is about understanding that this isn’t an e-mail campaign, or a banner advertisement on a website. The techniques and challenges of good Facebook affiliate marketing are unique and real. However, when you take them into account, you can garner that most valued of all consumers, a loyal, repeat customer-base. That kind of customer retention is always worth the effort involved, especially once they start doing your own marketing for you with their own, genuine, word-of-mouth recommendations to others.
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