A Complete Guide on How to Use Social Media for Affiliate Marketing

Secret tools and hacks

Micaela Leonard

Micaela Leonard

How to Use Social Media for Affiliate Marketing

Since affiliate marketing is mutually beneficial, social media content creators are in the perfect position to profit from affiliate marketing.

Jul 18, 2022
Update on
July 18, 2022
07 MIN.
Table of Contents

Affiliate marketing is a tried and true marketing method for online creators. From listicles to TikTok videos, content creators can make a modest income by recommending products to their followers.  

Since affiliate marketing is mutually beneficial, social media content creators are in the perfect position to profit from affiliate marketing. 

So, if you’re looking to learn everything you need to know about affiliate marketing and its trends, you’ve landed in the right place. 

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Image Source: MarketSplash

Affiliate marketing is when a content creator promotes a product in exchange for a commission. These creators incorporate a product into their standard content, such as a video or image of them using the product. 

Then, using affiliate links or vanity coupons, the creator’s followers can learn more about the product and hopefully make a purchase.

Affiliate programs are especially beneficial to a brand. Traditional social media advertising requires a lot of trial and error before achieving high click-through and conversion rates

Brands need to test audiences, keywords, ad text, and media until they find the best way to reach their target audience.

Now, instead of spending weeks toying with ads, brands can simply turn to affiliate marketers. Content creators throughout social media have specific niches filled with potential customers, making it easy to locate the right audience. 

Why is it important?

When you want to promote your business, it’s critical to put all your marketing efforts into reaching your customer base. However, in the 21st century, when most of the world is online, social media affiliate marketing is one of the most important.  

Affiliate marketers provide a low-cost solution to one of the downsides of online advertising–lack of engagement. A content creator’s followers trust their judgment and view the creator as someone who produces valuable content. 

That trust makes it easier to facilitate engagement within the comment section than in a social media ad. 

In addition to the boost in engagement rate, affiliate marketing also offers a high ROI. Its flexibility makes it easy to stretch your marketing budget by tapping into an audience you know will benefit from your product. 

The Benefit of Using Social Media for Affiliate Marketing

If you’re new to social media marketing, you might be surprised to discover how effective it can be at giving your brand the boost it needs. Social media affiliate marketing is excellent for reaching a wider audience, building your brand, and increasing conversions. 

1. Reach a wider target audience

Image Source: MarketSplash

By and large, the most significant benefit of affiliate marketing is reaching a wider audience. Take a look at these marketing stats from a 2019 study that highlights the importance of affiliate marketing:

  • For 20% of brand marketers, affiliate marketing is one of the most important customer acquisition channels. 
  • An impressive 19% of marketers have said that affiliate marketing was a reason for their lucrative revenue stream, and 51% stated that it was one of their top three most successful streams of revenue. 

Considering these statistics, it’s only logical to tap into the social media market via affiliate marketing. Users are more likely to trust an influencer who uses a product over an ad posted by the brand itself. 

The relationship with your influencers can be mutually beneficial, too. In addition to gaining commissions, the influencer could increase their following based on boosted posts and ads that utilize the influencer’s content. As their audience grows, so will yours. 

2. Build your brand

An online footprint is crucial in today’s digital world if you want your brand to flourish. Using social media is an excellent way to build up your brand, gain a following, and increase engagement. 

Popular content creators will shine a light on your products. In some cases, they’ll introduce new users to your brand. Or, they might remind users that your brand exists. In either case, the creator is helping bring awareness to your brand by wielding its influence on social media.

However, you can’t rely on affiliate marketing alone to build your brand. You’ll have to put in a lot of legwork, too. That involves having active accounts on the most popular social media platforms

Also, try to align your social media campaigns with the products influencers are sharing at the time. Don’t go overboard, though. Social media blasting is a surefire way to cause users to block your content or think poorly of your brand. It also does little to promote engagement. 

3. Increase sales conversions

Did you know that affiliate marketing efforts account for approximately 16% of sales? Potential customers spend hours scrolling through eye-catching social media posts, engaging videos, and other content each day. 

Due to the number of users online each day, social media marketing is necessary.

Social media is one of the most accessible traffic channels to direct your audience to affiliates. Your affiliates can make it easy for users to find your affiliate product and, in turn, you through hashtags and profile tags.

To increase your sales conversations, you need to ensure your affiliate creates a compelling CTA. In many cases, their reputation alone will facilitate a conversion. However, make sure you do plenty of research before choosing the right affiliates for your brand.

Best 7 Ways to Incorporate Social Media into Your Affiliate Marketing Strategy

An effective affiliate marketing strategy will use affiliates to promote products through various channels. Websites and blogs are two places to find affiliates, but social media will be the most effective avenue. 

1. Choose the right platform

When you opt to include affiliates in your social media marketing strategy, you’ll undoubtedly see an increase in sales. However, to see the most significant ROI, you’ll need to determine which social channels work best for your brand. 

The Pew Research Center has some helpful social media demographics that’ll be useful when choosing your platforms. A few key points from Pew’s 2021 research are

  • 77% of women and Millennials use Facebook
  • 61% of men use Facebook
  • 71% of users aged 18-29 use Instagram
  • 48% of users aged 18-29 use TikTok
  • 81% of all users use YouTube

As you can see from these statistics, social media has a broad reach. So, when you choose your affiliate marketers, examine the data and make sure they have a strong social media presence on the platform that will reach your target audience

For example, if you want to reach Millenials, Facebook will be your best bet. However, if your goal is to tap into Gen Z, you’ll be better off on Instagram or TikTok. At the same time, Baby Boomers tend to stick to Facebook or YouTube.

2. Have a clear vision

Another crucial aspect of social media affiliate marketing is a clear vision. You might start out with a general idea of your goal, but you should take time to fully understand your audience, what you want to promote, and how you want to promote it. 

Much of the vision-setting stage of marketing goes back to market research. You have a product you want to promote, but now you need to understand the people you want to sell to. 

For example, if you want to market a specific kitchen tool to men in their thirties, you’ll need to understand what they’d expect from your product. 

Once you know what your potential customers will expect, your next step is to promote. Online promotions include social media marketing, email campaigns, and, of course, affiliate marketing. Advertisements and emails should reflect your brand clearly and concisely. 

Most importantly, the content creators you approach should mirror your goals and connect closely with your audience. 

3. Connect with influencers

Content creators come in all shapes and sizes, and you shouldn’t discount the little guys. However, true social media influencers have a massive reach that’ll be invaluable to your brand. 

They often have millions of followers who absorb their content daily and influencer affiliate marketing is extremely popular, especially on social media sites like Instagram

Connecting with an influencer as part of your affiliate program is an excellent way to broaden your reach. They typically have a narrow niche, such as beauty or fitness products. They hold their followers’ trust, so they’re more likely to be able to increase your conversion rate. 

Although connecting with influencers is crucial, you could also consider reaching out to smaller creators. In particular, you want to seek out those who maintain a high engagement rate with their audience. 

Since these followers might feel a closer connection to the creator, you could also gain sales with them. 

4. Utilize social media analytics

Image Source: MarketSplash

One of the best things about social media marketing is that most platforms have analytics tools that offer data on your content’s success. With affiliate marketing, you have the added option of using affiliate marketing tracking tools. 

Google Analytics is a popular option because it’s easy to use and can track traffic to any site. Likewise, Google AdSense, AdWord, and WeCanTrack have tracking tools affiliate marketers can use to monitor traffic. 

WeCanTrack is a good choice for affiliate marketers as the platform caters to a variety of affiliate marketing needs, like conversion data tracking, data integration, and data attribution and reporting features. 

When you study your data, you’ll see information on impressions, clicks, and your cost per click. A successful campaign will have a high CTR, a low cost-per-click, and high conversions. To determine your conversion rate, divide your conversions by the number of unique visitors on your site and multiply by 100.

So, if your affiliate link is leading to 500 clicks and your website has 10,000 unique visitors, your conversion rate would be 5%. The ideal CTR varies by industry, so make sure you know your industry benchmarks when you start your affiliate campaign.

5. Use vanity coupon codes 

Have you ever noticed how bloggers, influencers, and podcasters often offer discount codes with their own names? These codes are called vanity codes and are an effective way to drive sales traffic to your site.

Affiliate marketers like vanity codes because a discount always increases the odds of a conversion. The more successful conversions you get through vanity coupons, the more money your affiliate makes via commission. 

In other words, vanity coupon codes are a simple, mutually beneficial affiliate marketing tactic. You gain a sale, your affiliate gets a commission, and your new customer receives a discount. 

6. Host giveaways

Giveaways are a tried-and-true method of boosting traffic and, in turn, sales. They’re also effective at increasing your follower and subscriber counts. The main downside to hosting a giveaway is ensuring people are incentivized to participate. 

So, if you don’t have a broad reach or your giveaway isn’t appealing, it’s unlikely to succeed.

A social media affiliate’s audience will guarantee a successful giveaway. The trust an audience puts in an influencer is often incentive enough to try out a new product or service. Your affiliate can test out the product for their followers, which helps incentivize followers to click through to your site.

7. Visuals are key

Social media is a vast and visual space. Visuals and the colors and palettes used will always be key no matter which social channels your affiliate marketers use. This is especially true on social networks like Instagram and Facebook, where picture and video content are the focus.

Before hiring affiliate marketers, develop a brand-specific visual to include in all of your content to promote your affiliate product. Then, consider including a promo code for your affiliate program to give your customer base the extra nudge they need to test your product.

An excellent example of an effective affiliate campaign is makeup company Il Makiage. If you wear makeup regularly, you’ve likely come across an ad for their foundation on someone’s Instagram stories or Reels. 

An affiliate discovers their perfect shade in each video while promoting the brand’s money-back guarantee. It’s a startlingly effective and successful affiliate program

The company nails the trifecta of promoting a product, offering a discount, and defining its brand in quick, 30-second affiliate videos. 

Using Social Media for Affiliate Marketing: final thoughts

As a whole, the marketing landscape continues to evolve with the online world. Social media affiliate marketing is a powerful marketing tool for online advertisers that shouldn’t go overlooked. 

There are plenty of great guides to social media marketing out there, including this one that’ll help get you started. 

Micaela Leonard

Micaela Leonard

Contributor @Iconosquare

SEO & Content Marketer @MarketSplash.

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