If you’re like many marketers, this is an idea that will cross your mind sooner or later.
After all, you already have a social audience you’ve been building, why waste time getting them to click to your site before clicking the affiliate link? Why not just have them click straight through from Facebook?
In this post I’ll outline a few points for your to consider.
Your Social Network Is Sacred
The first point is that you should think of your social network as hallowed ground.
In general, people are finicky about who they follow (especially when it comes to following websites and businesses). If you post purely promotional content, you’ll alienate your followers.
Linking directly to an affiliate program is an obvious promotion that most users will see right through. It might not piss them off the first time, but if you continue to post such content, you’ll likely see your followers drop.
Furthermore, there is some thought that Facebook downplays affiliate content in its EdgeRank formula. While this formula isn’t public and Facebook doesn’t expressly forbid affiliate posts, it’s an understandable move from their business perspective: if you’re promoting sales content, they want you to pay them for an ad. Plain and simple
Facebook Isn’t Well Targeted
I know the thought of reaching out to millions seems like an extraordinary idea, but the fact is that those millions of impressions (if you get them) won’t do you any good if the audience isn’t targeted.
This is one huge mistake many small businesses make when it comes to social media marketing. They focus on the size of their networks, and forget about their relevance.
In my experience, it takes a lot of time publishing content on social media before you get any results. Not only that, but any bump in traffic or conversions you do receive is one time. If you stop investing your time in social media, you stop getting the traffic.
That’s not my idea of building a sustainable, scalable business, and a website content strategy is often your best bet. See this training for more details.
The Power of Your Website
I want to be clear that I’m not trying to downplay the merits of posting affiliate-related content to your Facebook feed once in a while.
But, when you do post social content with the intent of making an affiliate sale, you should still post content that directs users to your website.
That’s because your website is far more powerful than you might think. It gives you authority in your field, and helps you channel users to content that is appropriate for that user.
Think of it this way: if you post a single affiliate link with a catchy headline to your feed and a user clicks it, that user may or may not be relevant to the product. If he’s not relevant, he’ll likely drop-off, and you’ve lost the opportunity to make a sale.
If, however, you direct the user from Facebook to your website, you then have an additional opportunity to point the user elsewhere, should that first product not be relevant. You also have the opportunity to convert the user to an email subscriber, or any other call to action.
That’ll boost your chance of connecting with more individuals, which will positively impact your bottom line.