All of my blog posts may contain affiliate links. This means I’ll receive a commission for any products/services you purchase through them. It’s not a lot, but enough to help keep this blog up and running! Thank you for your support!
The short answer to this question is YES. If you’ve decided to start sharing your affiliate links with your followers on Facebook and Twitter, you can. There are a few steps you have to take to ensure you are disclosing your affiliate links properly so that you are in compliance with FTC rules.
What Are Affiliate Links?
I’m assuming by now, if you searched for and are reading this article, you have already signed up with great affiliate programs such as ShareASale, and are looking for guidance on how to properly share your affiliate links on social media. In case you are completely new to it, affiliate links are links provided to you by merchants to place on your website, blog, social media, email campaigns, etc. that promote their products, and in exchange, reward you with commission every time a lead or sale is generated. Many bloggers use affiliate links to make a lot of extra income! For more information on how to make income using affiliate marketing, read my post, 20 Secrets to Affiliate Marketing Success.
How Do I Get Started Sharing My Links on Facebook and Twitter?
Become a member of an affiliate marketing platform. If you aren’t a member anywhere, I highly recommend ShareASale. Read my review of their affiliate marketing platform. It’ll give you step by step directions on signing up for individual programs and choosing the best links for your campaigns.
Sign up for merchant programs that interest you. You are going to be able to search for so many merchant programs to join, and you will be tempted to join them all. Let me stop you right there: Be picky. Be selective. Be smart. Only join affiliate programs to promote products you believe in and use yourself. If you go with ShareASale, here is a list of a few programs I joined just to get you started:
Grab a link. Now that you have signed up for merchant programs, you have access to all of their creative materials. You will want to grab a text link from the merchant’s affiliate marketing page that you will use to guide your readers to that merchant’s page. Before you throw the link out on Facebook or Twitter, I highly recommend using a URL shorter. Google URL Shorter is a very popular and free service you can use to do this. DO NOT manually try to shorten your affiliate link, or make any other changes to it. Doing so will prevent proper tracking of traffic to the merchant’s site, and more importantly, you’ll lose out on income!
Write a compelling post. Don’t just throw the link out on Facebook or Twitter and hit publish. Statistics show readers are more likely to engage with affiliate links if there is valuable information shared with them. Share how you use the product and all of its benefits you love. The more personable you make it, the better. Oh, and don’t forget to throw in that shortened URL at the end of your post. Many times Facebook will automatically include an image, but if not, you can save images from the banners inside the merchant’s affiliate site, or find some of your own to include.
Disclose your affiliate relationship. Now that you have a post written, don’t hit publish just yet. You must clearly indicate that your post is an affiliate link. What does this mean? You must state that you will receive compensation for any purchases made through the affiliate links in your post. If you want more information on what the FTC considers proper disclosure, I recommend their very own FTC Endorsement Guide. For Twitter, using #ad or #sponsored is acceptable.
Tag your merchant in Facebook. Facebook requires you to “tag” merchants whenever sharing affiliate links as they are considered “branded content.” You must sign up through Facebook to do this. For detailed instructions on this process, see Facebook’s Branded Content Policy and Tool. Failure to properly tag branded content in your post will cause it to be rejected.
Share at an optimal time. Do your research on the best times to share content on Facebook. I use Hootsuite to do this for me automatically. Scheduling your posts at the best times increases the chance of post engagement.
Don’t over share. You are going to be tempted to over share your links in an attempt to increase clicks and sales. Resist! Find a balance that works for you and your readers. The more links you share at one time, the less valuable your content will become.
Are you ready to get started? Go ahead and have fun! I’d love to hear your affiliate marketing success stories – especially ones that deal with social media sharing!
Interested in more about affiliate marketing? Maybe one of my other posts can help!
- Affiliate Programs
- Making the Most of Affiliate Links
- How to Skyrocket Passive Income Through Affiliate Marketing
- How to Use Affiliate Links On Your Blog
- Amazing ShareASale Merchant Programs You Must Join