The impact social media has had on society is undeniable. For most it is the first thing we check when we wake up and the last thing we check before we go to bed. Ah yes, social media may consume our lives but no matter where you stand on the subject it has been a proven platform for many businesses to market their brand. Take Facebook for example, with over 1.59 billion (yes that’s billion with a B) users per month or Twitter, which currently has over 305 million active users (Statista, Statistics and Facts about Twitter and Facebook, www.statista.com). These platforms have the ability to target virtually anybody in the world. Couple this with their ability to target consumers based on your unique demographic and you’re able to design campaigns custom to your audience.
Affiliates have also found social media to be a valuable tool in reaching out to their customers. With a lot of the big names like RetailMeNot and Ebates utilizing social media you can now set up placements to promote your offers. Unlike a normal homepage placement or category placement, a social media placement is often times a simple post or tweet highlighting the offer you want to promote. The structure of the post depends on which platform you’re using so be sure to research any limitations before you submit your offer for approval. Once you commit to running a placement on social media you should confirm a few details. Most affiliates will let you choose the day you would like them to post your link. If this is the case, be as granular as possible. It is good to ask affiliates what days customers frequent their page most. You should also be able to see which times traffic is the heaviest. I have found that early mornings (7-8am) and evenings (4-5pm) to be the most successful in getting engagement. Another thing to consider before you commit to running a social media placement with an affiliate is the amount of people who follow them. You probably won’t see a good ROI if they only have 150 people who follow their Twitter or Facebook page. Make a wise investment and be sure to do the proper investigating by asking questions. In the end, you’re the one spending money to get the placement so you should be able to have some room for negotiation.
Before you jump into a placement opportunity you will need to identify which networks will work best for you. Ask yourself these questions, first, who am I looking to target? Realizing that although 45 – 65 year old females may be on Facebook, they probably are not frequenting Instagram and Snapchat. Knowing your target market is crucial when it comes to promoting your brand and products on social media. The second question you should ask yourself is what will your message be? Although you’re not the one posting you should have some say in what the message will be. A couple of things you should be mindful of when formulating a post. First, make sure your message and call to action are straight to the point. Consumers are not automatically drawn to your post so make sure you keep your message short but enticing. Second, if possible try adding some sort of graphic to grab the attention of your potential customer. Social posts that include some sort of graphic or visual typically receive more engagement then those without.
Finally, one of the most overlooked details is making sure that FTC guidelines have been met. We typically think of FTC when it comes to content affiliates but it also applies to social media as well. Because it is a paid endorsement you will need to verify that proper disclosure is met. What qualifies as sufficient disclosure really depends on which network you’re promoting on. If you received a placement on Twitter you will need to make sure they use #ad to signify that the post they published is sponsored. If you receive a placement on Facebook, you will need to make sure they have thoroughly communicated that the product or offer that they’re promoting is sponsored. If not, the FTC could find both parties liable resulting in a fine.
Hopefully this article doesn’t scare you away from social media. Don’t get me wrong it can be a little overwhelming if you’re new to the idea. However, it can be one of the most useful tools you will find for promoting your business/product. It is important to understand your target audience and be knowledgeable of how these platforms work. If you do, social media placements can become another useful tool you can use to capture the attention of a new audience.