When was the last time you made an affiliate sale through social media?
Can’t remember? I’m not surprised.
Affiliate marketers have a love-hate relationship with social media.
Those who use it the right way, drive hundreds of thousands of visitors to their sites and make millions of dollars in affiliate sales.
For example, Millionaire Mentor, a popular brand account on Instagram, generated more than $7 million in affiliate sales. Minimalist Baker is another super successful affiliate site with more than 1.5 million Instagram followers.
There’s a really interesting finding from a survey of the world’s leading affiliate marketers by Affiliate Summit. It’s been summarised in this image below so take a close look at it and see what you find…
The study found that 67% of affiliate marketers consider social media as their top traffic source just behind organic search. Just goes to show the importance of social media traffic.
For most newbies, however, social media marketing means getting Likes and Shares from irrelevant pages, bombarding their followers with one affiliate offer after another, and buying fake social signals from Fiverr.
Needless to say, you shouldn’t waste your time and money on such crap.
Generating traffic from social media isn’t rocket science.
Every social network offers you ways to find your target audience, interact with it, share relevant content, and drive traffic to your site.
Most platforms even have paid advertising features that you can use to target laser focused audience segments.
Everything you need is already there. You don’t need outside help to drive traffic from social media. You just need to use the available platforms to their full potential and focus on building trust with your prospects. That’s the key to success.
In this post, I’ll give you a quick overview of the different ways you can drive traffic from some of the most popular social media platforms, Q&A sites, and forums.
Keep reading if you want social media to become one of your top traffic source…
What You’ll Learn In This Post
- The number 1 reason why most affiliate marketers fail at social media
- The single most important thing for success in social media marketing
- Why you need to quit being a marketer on social media to make sales
- Why today is the best time for affiliate marketers to master social media
Using the Top Social Networks to Drive Traffic
As I described in the previous segment, all social networks work on the same fundamentals.
However, every platform offers different ways you can promote your content and drive traffic to your sites.
Let me give you a quick overview of the ways you can use the top social networks and Q&A sites to promote your content and affiliate offers.
Despite all the bad press, Facebook is still the number one social network by a huge margin and no other network comes even close.
Just look at the stats in the image below, the numbers are eye-watering…
The sheer number of users on Facebook means your target audience is already using it no matter what niche you’re in. Plus, unlike some other social networks on this list, Facebook works well for all kinds of content (short-form text, long-form, images, videos, etc.)
Here are a few ways you can drive traffic from Facebook to your website or affiliate landing pages.
To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now…
1.1 Create a Facebook Page for Your Brand
Facebook Pages aren’t as effective as they once used to be, but they’re still the center of all your marketing and promotional activities on Facebook. Think of it as your site’s social media homepage.
This is where you brand your site, tell the world who you are, and the problems you’re going to solve for your clients. It will also be your content hub on Facebook where you’ll post your latest content and engage with your audience. You also need a Page because you can’t run Facebook Ads without it.
A recent study of Facebook Pages by HootSuite and We Are Social has some interesting findings, they are summarised in this image below so take a look…
Source: We Are Social
The study shows that running a Facebook Page isn’t as rewarding as a few years ago.
The average organic reach of a Facebook Page is just 6.4% which means more than 90% of your followers never see your posts.
The new Facebook algorithms automatically increase or decrease a Page’s organic reach based on its engagement levels.
Since most Facebook Pages use the platform as a broadcasting tool by posting links only the low engagement on their posts hurts their overall organic reach.
But there are also some great examples of hugely successful Facebook Pages with high user engagement that are driving a lot of traffic to their sites.
It all depends on your ability to create great content (videos, images, and text) and your willingness to actively engage with your followers.
Let me quickly walk you through the process of creating a Facebook Page in the images below.
Click on the “Create” button in your Facebook navigation bar next to your profile link.
In the next steps, choose your Page type (Business or Public Figure/Community), give your Page a title, enter your location details, and choose your profile picture.
That’s it, you have an active Facebook Page where you can start posting content.
1.2. Grow a Facebook Group of Likeminded People
With the organic reach of Facebook Pages on a decline, marketers have turned to private Facebook Groups to build closely connected and highly engaged communities of like-minded people and drive loads of traffic to their sites.
NicheHacks itself gets more than 10% of its total traffic from NicheHacks Private Facebook Mastermind group, which currently has more than 50,000 active members.
There are a couple of ways you can drive a significant number of visitors to your site with Facebook Groups.
1.2.1. Create a Group Around the Problems of Your Audience
Find out the core problems of your audience and create a Facebook Group around it.
For example, if you’re promoting weight loss products on your affiliate site, don’t start a group with your brand name. Instead, create a generic group for people looking to lose weight.
You can get ideas by searching Facebook Groups for your niche topic, like I show here in the image below…
One you have a few ideas, start your own group.
Simply click the “Create” button in your Facebook navigation bar and select “Group”
Next, choose your Group category, type (public or private), and add a few members to get started.
1.2.2. Promote Your Content in Other Groups
Alternately, you can become a member of other already established groups in your niche and become an active member by commenting on posts and responding to relevant questions.
But don’t go around sharing links of your content only otherwise most group moderators would kick you out.
Share your experiences and offer value to the group. When people start seeing you as a credible contributor, share your own content from time to time (but only when it makes sense).
1.3. Promote Your Content With Targeted Advertising
Advertising is the most powerful traffic generation feature on Facebook. It allows you to go beyond your immediate Page following and reach out to millions of Facebook users across the globe.
Facebook ads work so well because they blend naturally with the user’s timeline and appear just like other normal posts. The image below shows exactly what I’m saying.
Check out how discreet and natural this ad appears to be just like a Facebook Post…
Apart from a small “Sponsored” tag and a call to action, nothing indicates whether its an ad or a normal post.
Facebook Ads give you detailed audience targeting features using which you can promote content to your audience with pinpoint accuracy and find prospects based on their location, demographics, interests, and affiliations.
Look at this screenshot below and see the different data you can search for…
One of the most amazing features of Facebook Advertising is the “Lookalike Audience” option.
Using this feature, you can ask Facebook to find new users based on the interests of your existing fan base. This way you can reach out to millions of Facebook users who’re already interested in what you have to offer and route them to your site.
I have described all these features in super detail in my post about setting up high-performance Facebook Ads.
With more than 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is an ideal platform for affiliate marketers and e-commerce businesses. It’s is owned by Facebook but is completely different in terms of audience and content.
The majority of Instagram users are women whose purchase decisions are heavily influenced by the accounts they follow. Here are some really interesting Instagram stats that you can learn from…
As you can see, women make for nearly 60% of the total Instagram user base and are more likely to buy products than men.
The affiliate marketing methodology for Instagram is the same as any other platform.
- Start an account for a well-defined niche
- Build a following by consistently offering value in the form of high-quality visual content
- Promote relevant products that are useful to your followers
Using this simple formula, Instagram influencers are making millions of dollars through sponsored posts and affiliate offers. Most of them also route users to their websites or landing pages by sharing their links.
ThinkGrowProsper, a famous Instagram account about entrepreneurship, is a good example. Look carefully at their post in the screenshot here…
Look how they drive traffic to their site and podcasts with subtle references in their post descriptions
Instagram Stories and Highlights are other features to promote your latest content and drive traffic to your site. Stories are temporary statuses that appear at the top of your Instagram profile and get the immediate attention of your followers. According to Adespresso, 80% of Instagram users watch Stories every day. This offers a great opportunity to highlight your best content and drive traffic to your site
Highlights is a feature in which you can group different Instagram Stories together and place it permanently on your profile, as shown in this image…
Success on Instagram has a lot to do with the quality of your images and how effectively they can engage your audience. If you consistently publish high-quality visuals, you can take advantage of this platform and drive thousands of visitors to your site.
To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now…
Twitter is a fast-paced social network where people post quick updates about their interests and follow the latest discussion trends. It’s a great place to engage with your prospects and start meaningful conversations.
And look at what the Twitters stats show in the image below…
23% of the total internet population is on Twitter, that’s insane. It is also one of the fastest growing sites in the world as the stats above indicate.
Like most other social networks, driving traffic from Twitter depends on the engagement level of your audience. So it’s important to actually talk to your user base instead of just posting content links.
Here are a few quick ways you can use to generate traffic from Twitter to your affiliate site or landing page.
3.1. Use Relevant Hashtags: I’ve already talked about this at the start of the post.
3.2. Participate in Twitter Chats: People use different hashtags to run chat sessions on Twitter with hundreds of participants. By participating in relevant chats, you can increase your follower count and drive traffic to your site.
3.3. Follow the Trends: Tweet about trending topics to get more traction. Here’s a snapshot of the trending topics on Twitter today…
3.4. Time Your Tweets to Perfection: Tweeting when your target audience is online gives you a better chance of driving traffic.
According to research, below are the best times to Tweet (time zone of your audience), look at the image…
3.5. Promoted Tweets: You can pay Twitter to display your Tweets to your target audience. It’s not as effective as Facebook or Instagram ads, but it’s still a good way to get in front of your target audience.
YouTube is not only the world’s biggest video streaming site but also the second largest search engine with more than 1.3 billion monthly.
It’s an addictive platform where users spend millions of combined hours every month.
Just look at some of these stats shared in the image below to understand the scale of this platform…
Almost 300 hours of new content is uploaded to YouTube every day and users across the globe spend 1 billion hours watching YouTube videos daily.
The best way to drive traffic to your site from YouTube is by starting your own channel and consistently creating valuable and share-worthy content about the topics your audience cares about.
According to HubSpot the ideal length of a YouTube video is around 2 minutes. This means your focus should be to deliver lots of valuable advice and information quickly. The best way to do this is to break down a larger topic into smaller segments and create short videos focused on each segment.
However, a different study by Brian Dean found something different, check out his image graph below…
The research found that longer videos tend to rank higher in YouTube search results.
Two completely opposite studies, right?
In my opinion, it really depends on the quality of the video and the information shared in it. Nobody wants to listen to 10 minutes of useless blabber. But if the content is great and goes deep into a specific topic, people tend to watch such stuff with more attention.
Here are a few quick tips to help you drive traffic from YouTube
- Find the core problems, questions, fears, and aspirations of your audience and create short videos on each topic.
- If you’re camera shy, try using a screencast tool to create tutorials and detailed how-to videos.
- If you’re in a B2B niche, consider using whiteboard animation since it does a great job at engaging viewers.
- Optimize your videos for YouTube search by using search autocomplete suggestions
- Include your target keyword in the title of your video and also mention it your video description.
- Write a detailed video description using all the keywords related to your topic.
- Create an attractive thumbnail (like those in the screenshot above) for your video using Canva or Visme.
- Embed your YouTube videos in your blog content and actively promote your channel to your mailing list. Brian Dean often embeds YouTube videos in his blog content which gives his videos additional exposure.
- Ask viewers to subscribe to your channel, Like your videos, and comment on them because all three of these factors are closely related to higher rankings in YouTube.
Most experts suggest that growing a YouTube Channel takes at 6 to 12 months of consistent effort. So you have to be patient and stay focused so that you’re not discouraged by the early struggle.
Pinterest is another visual social network with a massive user base of 250M+ monthly active users. In the US alone, the number of active Pinterest users has reached 75 million almost 60% of which are women.
But the thing that makes Pinterest so attractive for affiliate marketers is shown in the graph below, take a look…
55% of Pinterest users visit the site specifically to search for products.
A recently published study by SerpWatch shows something along the same lines, see it below…
Pinterest users spend 50% more as compared to other social network users.
This alone should be enough for affiliate marketers to invest time and resources in building a solid presence on Pinterest.
Here are a few ways to do it.
5.1. Apply for a Pinterest Business Account
A business account gives you several advantages over individual accounts on Pinterest. For example, with a business account, you can view detailed Pinterest Analytics and enable Rich Pins.
So first up, create a business profile on Pinterest for your affiliate site.
Rich Pins, in case you didn’t know, display additional information with your product Pins and can significantly increase the CTR of your Pins.
To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now…
5.2. Pin High-Quality Images
Pinterest is a visual platform where your success is mainly determined by the quality of your images. To drive consistent traffic from Pinterest, you need to spend time and resources on creating eye-catching images.
You can use a tool like Design Wizard that offers thousands of free and premium images that you can edit and use for creating Pins that stand out.
5.3. Optimize Your Pins Using Pinterest Search Suggestions
Like other social networks, Pinterest is also a massive search engine. People use it to look for product ideas, DIY themes, dresses, apparel and what not.
To drive traffic to your site, you need to optimize your Pins for the keywords people are using to search for your products.
Fortunately, Pinterest Search gives you lots of pointers.
For example, just type a keyword in the Pinterest search bar and notice the suggested searches it shows. You’ll see in the screenshot below…
You can use these suggestions to understand what your target audience is looking for and include them in your Pin’s title and description to drive more traffic.
Once you click on any search term, Pinterest shows you related results. But it also shows you broad categories to further refine your search as shown in the image below.
In the snapshot above, I searched for “fat loss recipes” and in return, Pinterest showed me categories to further qualify my search. For example, if I’m looking specifically for recipes that reduce belly fat, I can click on the Belly category.
You can use this information to optimize your Pins and organize them in different Boards according to their end use and benefit.
5.4. Join Group Boards
Group Boards are a great way to drive traffic if you’re just starting out on Pinterest. Group Boards allow different users to Pin their images that are visible to all the Group members.
This can help you get Re-Pins and Comments quickly and generate early momentum for your content.
However, finding Group Boards is slightly tricky since there’s no exclusive option to directly search for them.
Your best bet is to look for the popular Boards in your niche and see if they have multiple contributors.
Here’s how to do it in the screenshot below…
Search for your niche keywords and select “Boards” in the search category
You can also find group boards is by searching for the top influencers in your niche and join the groups they’re actively contributing to.
Once you join a few group boards in your niche, read their guidelines and rules before you start Pinning your images.
LinkedIn isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you’re talking about affiliate marketing and traffic generation.
But perceptions can be deceiving.
LinkedIn is a traffic powerhouse with more than 500 million registered users and nearly 10 billion weekly content impressions.
Its audience is quite different from Facebook and Twitter as the image below indicates, look at the surprising stats…
Most LinkedIn users come from high-income corporate backgrounds.
It is particularly useful for anyone in the B2B or Saas niches since most LinkedIn users are interested in such products and content related to them.
So how can you drive traffic from LinkedIn?
Here are a few quick ways.
6.1. LinkedIn Video
Video content performs great on all social networks. But on LinkedIn, it can be a real game-changer for your content marketing strategy.
LinkedIn videos generated more than 300 million views in 2018 and their engagement rates are insane.
This screenshot below shows how videos appear on a LinkedIn user’s timeline.
And the best part?
Unlike Facebook, where most of your followers never see your posts, LinkedIn video posts are visible to all your followers.
So the best way to generate lots of traffic to your site is by creating original videos or repurpose articles into video slides and publish them to your LinkedIn profile with a link to your site.
Share tips and advice with your audience, ask questions, share product reviews etc.
6.2. LinkedIn Publishing Platform
LinkedIn opened its publishing platform for all its users a few years ago.
It’s a great platform to republish your blog content and catch new eyeballs by sharing it with your followers.
Here’s how you can access the publishing platform as shown in the image below…
Click on the “Write an Article” link below the status box.
Studies show that out of 500 million LinkedIn users, only 0.2% have published an article on its platform. Plus, the articles published on LinkedIn’s publishing platform get preference in user newsfeed over generic posts.
So it’s a great way to not only drive traffic to your site but also to stand out from the crowd and strengthen your brand image.
6.3. LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups is your shortcut to building relationships with different influencers in your niche and driving insane amounts of traffic to your site.
You can find active LinkedIn groups about every possible niche with just a few searches as you’ll see here in this screenshot…
The key to success with LinkedIn Groups is to become a part of the existing conversations and responding with genuinely useful answers.
Asking questions is also a great way to get the attention of the other members in a group and kick off conversations.
Quora is one of the world’s largest Q&A websites with millions of active discussion threads on every topic under the sun.
To drive traffic from Quora, find the questions and discussions that are relevant to your niche and answer them in as much detail as possible.
But here’s a shortcut.
Instead of searching Quora for the most popular threads (which takes more time) search Quora.com on Ahrefs and click on “Top Pages” under the Organic Search heading.
This will give you the top Quora threads in terms of search traffic.
Now simply filter the results for your keywords to find the top Quora threads in your niche as shown below.
Go to each of these threads, become a part of the discussion, and share the relevant links to your content to drive consistent traffic to your site.
Josh Fechter, the Top Quora Writer in 2017, generated 3000 email subscribers, 2000 new Facebook Group members, and over 100,000 visitors from just one Quora post.
There’s no reason why you can’t do it.
To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now…
Reddit is the secret traffic generator for many top affiliate marketers.
But you don’t hear much about it because it’s quite different from the other top social networks. There are hundreds of thousands of topics and subtopics (called subreddits) in every niche imaginable.
People visit Reddit to discuss different issues and seek help with very specific problems from the community.
For example, look at this Reddit community in the image below, where the members share their most memorable or traumatic experiences.
The secret to driving traffic from Reddit is not to think about traffic at all.
Forget that you’re a marketer.
Just be a normal Reddit user who engages with people, responds to their questions, and is a trusted source of useful advice.
In between conversations, share your content only when it adds to the discussion.
Trust me, Reddit users are pretty quick to identify link spammers who’re there only to drive traffic.
Make a routine of posting to 10-15 relevant threads every day. This can be new posts or answers to existing questions.
Also actively Up Vote posts that you find useful and interact with other users/
Give yourself at least a month to see the results of this exercise.
If you do it the right way, you can generate millions of visitors from Reddit in a very short time. Brian Swichkow, for example, got 1.5M+ visitors from Reddit to one of his sites.
I know Medium is not a social network like the ones I’ve discussed in this post so far.
But it’s still a powerful and massively underutilized traffic source that can send you millions of visitors every month and help you get more out of your content.
Medium is a publishing platform where people publish publicly visible articles about different topics. The articles with the most viewership are promoted to its homepage which gives them additional exposure.
Users can follow different topics and authors on Medium and can comment or share their content with their respective followers.
Ali Mese, the founder of GrowthSupply, is a Medium publishing expert and has driven 11M+ visitors from the platform to his sites. He believes that storytelling alone is the biggest growth driver on Medium.
If you can write compelling and engaging content that resonates with your audience, Medium can be a great place to publish it because it already has millions of visitors.
But you need to be patient and consistent.
Follow the golden rule of giving massive value so that people start trusting you and your recommendations
The Common Success Factors on Every Social Network
Tools, platforms, features – they all matter.
But what matters more is your strategy.
Don’t think of social media traffic in terms of numbers only. They’re real people with emotions, likes/dislikes, fears, aspirations, needs, and problems.
They’re actively buying products online and social media has a HUGE impact on their purchase decisions. For instance, look at this image sharing research by GlobalWebIndex below…
54% of customers use social media to research products.
There’s real money to be made from them.
But only when you think of them as real people, not just numbers on your Google Analytics dashboard.
When you align your social media content strategy with the needs and wants of your audience, the magic starts happening.
Without a strategy, even the best tools and features are useless.
Now that you’re aware of the different ways you can drive traffic with social media, let me share a few success factors that are common i all these platforms.
No matter what platform you’re using, you need to keep these points in mind to succeed.
Determine Your Brand’s Voice and Unique Selling Proposition
What makes you different from your competitors?
That’s a key question which defines your whole marketing strategy. But it has an even greater impact on your social media strategy because everything you post on social media is there for public scrutiny.
If you come across as just another affiliate site selling shoes or electric shavers or any other product, you’ll be easy to ignore.
To become memorable, your brand needs to have a unique voice and offer something that makes you different from everyone else in your industry.
It can be anything like the tone of your voice, the quality of your images, or the fact that you test every product thoroughly before recommending it.
Wirecutter, for example, frequently highlight this point in their social media posts as you can see below…
They’re a hugely successful affiliate review site and people trust them because they only recommend proven products. That’s their USP and it reflects in their social media content as well.
Invest in Visual Content To Stand Out from the Crowd
No matter what social media platform you’re using, eye-catching visual content will help you stand out and generate more traffic to your content.
Just consider these stats.
- According to a study by Buffer, Tweets with images get 150% more engagement on average as compared to simple text-only Tweets (source)
- A study by BuzzSuo found that Facebook posts with images receive 2.3x more engagement (source)
- The same BuzzSumo study also found that articles with an image every 75-100 words received 200% more social shares as compared to plain text articles or the articles that had fewer images. (source)
Why are images, videos and other forms of visual so effective on social media?
The following quirky image explains it quite well, look at this…
The human brain responds quicker to visuals than text which is why most of the top affiliate marketers consider visual a key part of their strategy.
I mentioned MinimalistBaker earlier in this post.
Look how much time and effort they put into creating awesome images for their Instagram audience.
As a result, look at the engagement level on their posts.
With so much content being published on social media every minute, using more visuals is a proven way to capture the attention of your target audience.
Be Normal, Be Approachable, Be Human, Be Social
Social media is different from conventional media (like TV, newspapers, etc.) where the flow of information is one-way. Most marketers fail to drive any engagement on their social profiles because they use it as a broadcasting medium only.
You can’t expect people to comment on your posts and share your content when you only post links to your product pages and blog articles.
Automation is important (I’ll talk about it in a bit) but you should never come across as a bot.
Be social on social media.
Talk to people, ask them questions, answer their queries, have a good laugh with them.
She talks to her followers like any other normal person. She engages with them, responds to their questions, and is genuinely helpful as the snapshot below shows.
Most of her posts are about her life (aka the benefits of blogging) which builds trust.
As a result, her audience responds positively even when she posts about her products or new blog posts.
For example, below is a screenshot of one of her Instagram posts promoting a training program, do you notice anything?
Look at the number of likes and comments.
Her formula is simple.
Attract followers with relevant, enjoyable, and engaging content and pitch your products only once in a while when it makes sense.
To discover 200+ profitable niche markets click the image below now…
Use Hashtags To Extend Your Content’s Reach
Social media hashtags first started from Twitter but now work on almost all social networks.
This infographic highights the key benefits of social media hashtags.
Hashtags are like search keywords on social media and can help you increase your content’s reach by exposing it to the relevant social media users outside your immediate following.
Use relevant and trending hashtags in your social media posts to drive additional traffic to your content. But don’t overdo it (2 to 3 hashtags are enough) otherwise you’d start resembling spammers.
Build Partnerships to Grow Exponentially
Want exponential growth in your social media following?
Build partnerships with other social media marketers and accounts in your industry to support each other.
Millionaire Mentor, the hugely successful Instagram account I mentioned earlier, did exactly this to amass 1M+ followers in just a couple of years.
They joined hands with other Instagram accounts in their niche and other closely related niches that had a similar number of followers and started promoting and sharing each other’s content.
As a result, all of them benefited and grew their audience very quickly.
You can do this on every social network.
However, a social media account that already has a huge following is unlikely to partner with an account that’s just starting out.
You have a much better chance of finding partners if you target the accounts that are slightly higher than you in terms of followers and engagement.
You can find them by either searching manually on your target social network or use BuzzSumo to search for relevant accounts in your niche, the screenshot below shows you where to click…
Sort the results by “follower count” and reach out to the accounts that are close to your level.
The more partners you can find, the better for your account’s growth.
Automate Your Posts to Reach Your Audience When it Matters
You can’t stay online all the time.
By automating some of your social media posts, you can post content at the right times of the day when your audience is online.
Automation will also help you share the same content multiple times on different social networks so that it gets the maximum possible exposure.
Here’s a good illustration below of how you can share the same content multiple times using automation, can you see how powerful that can be?
You can use tools like Buffer, CoSchedule or HootSuite to automate your posts on most of the top social networks.
Time To Open the Traffic Floodgates
Tens of millions of people around the world are addicted to different social media platforms. It’s their window to the internet from where they find new content, build relationships, spend time with friends, and buy products.
By using the traffic generation tools of all the social networks I’ve featured in this post, you can easily align your marketing strategy with your target audience and tap into this unending supply of qualified traffic.
The question is whether you have the patience and the consistency required to succeed on social media.
Because remember, all good things take time.
If you have any questions, I’ll be waiting for you in the NicheHacks Private Facebook Mastermind.
The post 27 Ways To Drive Traffic From 9 Top Social Media Platforms appeared first on NicheHacks.