Engaging and Recruiting Affiliates Through Social Media – By Steven Shnayder

by Colleen on August 29, 2014

tl;dr – Facebook and Twitter should be used as an additional way to communicate with affiliates.

As an affiliate manager, I spend a lot of my time thinking of creative ways to communicate with my company’s existing affiliates, and how to recruit new affiliates into our program. feedfront-27-cover-small

With the daily barrage of email and other offers that most Internet marketers receive, it’s easy to see why maintaining a two-way stream of communication with affiliates can be such a monumental task. That doesn’t mean you should stop sending out newsletters—timely and relevant emails are an important part of any communication strategy.

But it makes sense to diversify your efforts across multiple channels, and we found that social media can be an effective strategy for increasing overall engagement and responsiveness.

Throwing social media into the mix not only increases the odds that your message will be seen by existing affiliates, but it also helps spread the word about your company’s affiliate program to people who may have never even heard of affiliate marketing.

Getting Followers

One challenge we initially faced was getting our affiliates to “like’ us on Facebook or “follow” us on Twitter. Let’s face it; if you can’t get your affiliates to follow you on social media, it will not be a very effective strategy for your company.

At first we thought about just sending out an email letting everyone know we were now officially “social”. However, knowing what motivates affiliate marketers, naturally, we decided to offer them an incentive bonus: a $0.50 bump in commission for connecting with us on a social network. This got us a few dozen followers.

Another way to gain followers is to share interesting content. It doesn’t matter if you or someone else writes it; people appreciate useful information. Including your Twitter handle and Facebook page in your signature is also a good way to let affiliates know that they can find you on social media. Again, the purpose of growing your audience on social media is to have another way to reach people.

Engaging Affiliates

Social media can also be a good way to ensure that your affiliates don’t fall by the wayside. Having been both a publisher and an affiliate manager, I know how easy it is to get discouraged when first getting started in affiliate marketing. There are so many questions involving hosting, website setup, links, content, and more. Being there for your affiliates when they need you most is a great way to build a lasting relationship.

One approach that has worked well for my company was to send this weekly tweet: “Anyone interested in a private 5 minute Skype session with an experienced affiliate manager with any questions about affiliate marketing?”

A bunch of affiliates took us up on our offer, and we both came away with new insights. An added bonus was that we received a few inquiries from non-affiliates about the program.

The bottom line is that, if done correctly, social media can be an extremely useful tool for connecting with your affiliates.

Steven Shnayder is an affiliate manager and digital marketing analyst
at GovernmentAuctions.org.

This article appeared in issue 27 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in August 2014. http://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-27

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