The Role of Social Media in Affiliate Marketing and How to Best Utilize It


Affiliate marketing and social mediaSocial media provides a unique opportunity for affiliates to quickly share discount codes, referral links, and promote a product or service. Affiliate marketing is no longer limited to creating long-form content but can be more effectively done using social media posts and stories.

Social media, therefore, is an important affiliate marketing channel that you simply cannot choose to ignore. 

But, how can you best utilize social media for affiliate marketing?

That is the question that this post will answer. In this post, you will learn six tips to best utilize social media for your affiliate marketing program.

Ready to learn more?

Let’s get started.

1. Create a Lucrative Affiliate Program

One of the important things that you should do when setting up an ecommerce store is to design an affiliate marketing program as well. Affiliate marketing should be an integral part of your ecommerce business’ marketing strategy.

But, how can you create an effective affiliate marketing program?

The first rule of creating a lucrative affiliate program is to provide the right incentives for affiliates. You should make your affiliate program beneficial for affiliates to encourage them to join.

This could be in the form of a percentage of profits for every sale that you make through affiliates. You could also create a tiered program where top-tier affiliates get commissions for every customer that their network of affiliates brings in. 

There are also pay-per-click or pay-per-impression commissions where affiliates get paid not just for sales conversions, but for other actions like clicks and leads. This, however, is not the most profitable option for your business.

When you design your affiliate program, make sure that you make it mutually beneficial for both your affiliates and your business.

Also, create a dedicated page on your website for this, where you clearly mention the guidelines for joining the program. The idea is to make it easy for potential affiliates to find and join your program.

Also, share the details of your affiliate program on social media to attract social media influencers to join your affiliate program.

You can also analyze competing affiliate programs from your key competitors to further enhance your program.

2. Choose the Right Social Media Influencers as Your Affiliates

Once you have successfully created your affiliate program, it is time to grow your affiliate network. You need to set some filters to recruit the right affiliates instead of allowing anyone and everyone to join.

When selecting social media influencers as affiliates, you should look beyond vanity metrics like follower count. In fact, the more important criteria should be the type of content that the influencers post and how much engagement they get on each post.

Some of the most important social media influencer selection criteria include:

  • Engagement rate
  • Niche/area of expertise
  • Relevance to your brand
  • Past collaborations success stories

As far as finding social influencers is concerned, you can hire one of the many agencies to find influencers. These agencies already vet the influencers on their platforms, so you will get to choose from the best options. 

You can also look within your social media network to find the most relevant influencers who already like or engage with your content. These influencers will be more likely to become your affiliates and their recommendations will also be more genuine as they already like your products.

3. Ask Your Affiliates to Mention Your USP in All Promotional Content

Affiliates promote brands in different ways and on different platforms. But, the constraint with social media is that the content often needs to be short and precise. So, you need a good content strategy to help your affiliates promote your products on social media.

With social media content, you don’t have the liberty to explain in detail each and every feature of a product that you’re trying to sell. So, you have to help your affiliates distill the key points about your product that you want to promote and use those in their social media promotions.

These should include the key features of your product, benefits that it will provide to users, and how it is different from other similar products. Make a list of these points and share it with all of your affiliates to help them create the best content to promote your product on social media.

This will help ensure that they clearly communicate to their audiences why your product is a good choice for them. This will help them drive more leads to your website, thus benefitting you both.

4. Use Short Redirect Links

One of the things that deter people from buying through an affiliate link is when the links make it obvious that the content is promotional. Ideally, this should not matter if the product that an affiliate is recommending is good, but it does. 

Affiliate links are quite easy to spot and give away the fact that the influencer promoting a product is making money online from its sales. This makes their audience lose trust in their recommendation.

To avoid this, you can create short redirect links that don’t give away the fact that it is an affiliate link. Make sure that your affiliate links are simple and clean, and do not deter a person from clicking on these.

5. Provide High-Quality Product Pictures and Videos to Your Affiliates

Another important factor for helping your affiliates create good promotional content for social media is visuals. The most engaging type of social media content is visual content and it is also one of the things to equip your affiliates with to create their best content.

So, make sure that you provide your affiliates with high-quality product pictures and videos to help them create stunning social media content. 

Product visuals are also important to show your prospective customers what the product looks like and whether it will be useful to them. Showing a product in use or adding visuals that explain how to use a product is especially important.

Why? Because it makes it easier for consumers to make a purchase decision.

Also, make sure that you provide multiple pictures of a product from different angles to give consumers a clearer idea of its dimensions and details. You can create engaging GIFs and videos if you want to make the content more appealing.

Ready to Improve Your Affiliate Marketing with Social Media?

Social media is an important channel for affiliate marketing as your affiliates can post more frequently on social media than create a dedicated blog post for your brand. These tips will help you leverage the power of social media for your affiliate marketing program.

So, what are you waiting for?

Use these tips to get the most out of your affiliate marketing program by incorporating social media into it.


1 thought on “The Role of Social Media in Affiliate Marketing and How to Best Utilize It”

  1. Awesome post Shane.

    Many newbie marketers get lost in the social media marketing landscape because they try to be a ‘player’ on every platform. It certainly doesn’t work that way. Your tips here provide a great roadmap to the right way to do social media marketing.

    Thanks for your informative post.

    And Geno is the consummate digital marketing pro as always. Never miss his content.

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