What You Need to Know about Social Media - What it is - Why it matters - How it affects you - How it can HELP you - How it helps others - How to plan a strategy - How to succeed
Social Media – What is it? Social Media is the democratization of information , a shift that has transformed consumers into controllers of information and influence.
Traditional Media – One Way Traditional media (print, radio and TV) are one-way roads to information sent direct from the medium to the consumer.
Social Media – users become drivers Social Media puts consumers in the drivers seat. They generate the content and make the decisions about what to like and dislike.
Why YOU (as an affiliate) should GET SOCIAL - it generates a LOT of traffic - it brings search engine attention, strong placements - it increases click rates to the site(s) you promote - it increases conversions (clicks, leads, sales, etc.) - it already has your competitors' attention - it will surely be the future of search engine algorithms Need more reasons?
Why YOU (as an affiliate) should GET SOCIAL - PPC restrictions are hampering your success - Social media entries are taking top organic listings - Link building doesn't work as well as it used to - Agencies are stealing your innovations - Competitors are pushing up paid search costs - Exclusive deals are getting harder to arrange Still need more reasons?
Why YOU (as an affiliate) should GET SOCIAL - Connect with consumers in a way that goes beyond traditional marketing, which they actively despise. - Provide the product reviews customers want - Interact and share Keep in mind ... - you don't have to be a professional writer - anyone can blog, Tweet or submit RSS feeds - it's easy to become an 'expert' - anyone can start a Facebook group
It's time to GET SOCIAL (if you aren't now) You can become an influencer by creating a presence for yourself in Social Media. As with any marketing effort, you need to be strategic: Who will you reach? Where? How?
Start by asking yourself a few questions - Who do I want to reach? - How much time will I devote to this each week? - Do I have time/technical know-how for podcasting? - Do I want to be on camera and produce videos? - Do I have the time and patience to build a news aggregation site?
A look at what others are doing ... If you're influenced by the actions of others, this look at how marketers were using Social Media as part of their marketing plans in 2010 might help you devise your own plan of attack.
Important step – Create your identity <ul><li>Your social media identity is important. Some things </li></ul><ul><li>to keep in mind: </li></ul><ul><li>- The identity should fit the brand(s) you promote - The identity should be real and honest. No fake IDs! </li></ul><ul><li>The identity should be consistent across all Social Media site that you join. </li></ul><ul><li>Use usernamecheck.com to make sure your login / userid is available across all social media platforms you're planning to target. </li></ul>
Making your Social Media Selections It's important that you target the Social Media sites that are the right fit for your identity, your brand and your customers. Some things to consider: - The 900-pound gorillas have ALL of your customers, so don't ignore Facebook or Twitter. - Find additional social media platforms that fit the image and demographics you want to target.
EVERY affiliate should be have a blog Why, you ask? Consider: - More than 346 million people worldwide read blogs. - 77% of active Internet users read blogs. - TechCrunch, a popular technology blog, has more than 1,750,000 RSS subscribers. - 59% of bloggers have been blogging for at least two years. Do you need to catch up? No time like now.
EVERY affiliate should embrace YouTube Why, you ask? Consider: - Nearly 1 billion videos uploaded so far - Half a million publishers have shared videos here - More than 100 million videos viewed here every day - The most popular video has received more than 112 million views. - Average age of a YouTube uploader is 26. - It would take you 412 years to view every video now available on YouTube.
EVERY affiliate should be on Facebook Why, you ask? Consider: - Facebook is now the No. 1 social media site in the world. - It has 400 million active users, half of whom log on at least once a day. - Users worldwide spend an estimated 5,200,000,000 minutes in aggregate on Facebook daily - Each user has an average of 500 friends. (Think of the potential referrals if you could convince just 1 to buy!)
Social Media Opportunities for Affiliate Marketers 18 Make Facebook friends with your customers Once you've joined you can create a Facebook group specific to your brand(s). As you add friends, so will your list of friends grow - and it will start to grow virally on its own as well. You can update the page and e-mail members directly, creating a pipeline to people who've decided they want to hear from you. Powerful!
Link back to your site from Facebook pages Don't forget to link back to your site. Use the Discussion Board on your Facebook Group page to link back to the latest news from your site or blog. This makes the writing you do twice as effective and should increase site traffic and conversions over time.
A few things to remember when Tweeting As you compose your message (or Tweet), Twitter will offer a countdown to the allotted 140 characters and will notify you if you've exceeded the limit so that you can edit then and there. Use tinyurl.com to shorten any URLs you want to include in your Tweet.
A cautionary tale regarding affiliate links The use of affiliate links in Tweets has become a controversy recently. To avoid raising eyebrows with your own Tweets, make sure to: - be clear (and honest, of course) in your Tweets. - disclose affiliate links when you use them - make sure people know when you're trying to make a sale. Don't conceal your intentions.
A cautionary tale regarding affiliate links In fact, to follow best practices as an affiliate you should ONLY use affiliate links in Social Media when: - The links are disclosed. - The links are directly relevant to the content provided or interaction taking place. - The links do not create a conflict with your duties if you are acting in a professional capacity and/or are using your employer's 'podium'. - You've provided something of value (eg. an honest, thoughtful review) that could contribute in some way to a purchasing decision.
Remember the Rules of Engagement Social Media has its own etiquette. Breaking these guidelines will harm your social media strategy. - Don't be selfish. You must give more than you take. If you always ask for things (like product reviews) and send out affiliate links in hopes of making a sale, you are not going to make friends and influence sales. - Quality over quantity. It's not a race to see who can get the most friends. Neither is it a race to see who can make the most Tweets in a day. Don't be so quick
Remember the Rules of Engagement to accept every friend invitation. Be selective. Also, make sure every post has some kind of value. Don't post something random just to make some imaginary quota. - Share information. Part of earning friends and gaining respect and trust comes from being a contributing member of the community. Share cool tools, helpful hints and the occasional personal story.