How to Use Social Media Community Building for Affiliate Marketing

Facebook Community Building For Affiliate Marketing

Article contributed by a Facebook Associate operating a niche interest-based social media group

Clearly, creating and nurturing a vibrant and buzzing social-media community will give you a solid base for your affiliate marketing. While there’s no set rule for ‘growth hacking’ your community/subscriber base, here, we share some tried-and-trusted tips from experienced affiliate marketers…

Know Who You’re Adding

While it’s tempting to add as many members as possible to your Groups, make sure you screen your prospective members thoroughly. Otherwise, you could end up spending a lot of time cleaning up spam, irrelevant posts, ads and so on. Moreover, if you allow a lot of people to join your Group just to boost your numbers, the reach of your posts on platforms such as Facebook may actually decrease, due to your lower percentage of ‘engaged’ members.

How To Detect Fake Profiles

A significant number of join requests you receive may be from ‘fake’ profiles – users only interested in spamming your members, or spreading controversial and polarising posts in your community. Here are some usually reliable indicators of a potentially fake profile on Facebook:
  • A small number of friends
  • Generic profile photos… of nature, movie actors and so on
  • Membership of 100-plus groups
  • Very recent Facebook joining date
Also, Facebook enables you to ask questions to members trying to join the group. Select your questions carefully, to enable you to distinguish between interested people and bots: the latter will provide random answers irrelevant to your question

Ban Affiliate Links By Members

Sooner or later, you may encounter members posting their own Affiliate links. These could have a damaging effect on your earnings, so it’s a good idea to nip this in the bud by stating in your pinned post that you won’t allow any other Affiliate links. However, before deleting any post or comment containing a third-party Affiliate link, message the member who posted it to politely explain why you’re deleting the comment.

If the post or comment is actually a genuinely good deal, or contains info that might be useful or interesting for your other members, you can ask the person to repost it after removing the third-party Affiliate link. However, if you think the post contains an offer that deserves to be promoted as a main post instead of just as a comment and the group has restricted posting rights, don’t use your own Afiliate link in the post. Exploiting someone else’s effort won’t sit well with your members.

Managing Posting Rights

If you’re restricting posting rights to just the admins and moderators, then be clear about the reason you’re doing this in your pinned post. At the same time, honour requests from members wanting to put up posts around topics that may be beneficial to your community

Give Back To Your Community

If you’re earning a decent amount from affiliate commissions thanks to your community, you should consider giving a proportion of it back to them. You could arrange giveaways at regular intervals, or at community milestones, such as anniversaries. These giveaways will increase the engagement with your posts.

How Often Should You Post?

To answer this, you should understand your audience, why they have joined the Group, and what their expectations are from your posts. If you’re primarily a deal/discount Group, where people have notifications on for each post, then don’t post too many deals which only a very small segment of your community will be interested in. Doing this too often will likely make members switch off their post notifications for your Group, which will affect your engagement rate. Instead, try to put more important deals as main posts, and minor ones as comments.

Beware of the platform’s spam detection algorithm. If you post and comment repeatedly with links, the platform may confuse your posts with spam or malicious posting, and may bar you for a period from posting any links. So, if you have a lot of links to post, instead of putting them in comments, group them together in a main post. If you need to post them in comments only, maintain proper intervals and post them one by one.

Curation Is The Key

Try to curate the products on sale, and create a curated list which removes any products that are irrelevant to your audience. Spend some time creating a ready-to-view list for your members, instead of asking them to do the filtering themselves. Some of your members might be pushed for time – your clickthrough rate and commission will be higher if you do the tedious work for them.

Leverage Other Platforms

Don’t depend on Facebook alone… Each platform comes with its own advantages and potential uses, for example:
  • Twitter: It’s a really good platform to consider as it can rapidly expand your reach, via loyal followers who are willing to spread your posts. Also, of course, its far quicker and easier to retweet a message than to share a post on Facebook
  • Instagram: While it doesn’t support links, Insta is still a great platform to attract a relevant audience to your posts via the clever use of hashtags
  • Quora: Posting Affiliate links is frowned upon on Quora, but that doesn’t mean the platform can’t help you increase engagement with your content. Put out a detailed and helpful answer to a query on an area related to your community, and you can attract plenty of views for your answers. You can legitimately add a small intro and a link for your community at the end of your answer, so that interested people can join
  • Telegram Channel/WhatsApp Broadcast: If you are primarily involved in offering deals and discounts, consider exploiting the power of Telegram Channels and Whatsapp Broadcasts to reach your users when they’re not on Facebook.
Aside from increasing traffic and sign-ups on your original web platform, these alternate engagement channels can also come handy if there are any issues with or disruption to your original platform.

With Great Communities, Comes Great Responsibility…

You should always strive to create a safe space devoid of trolling, sexism and other antisocial behaviour, so that everyone can participate freely. Never give misleading or inaccurate advice to attempt to ‘push’ purchases, in order to increase earnings in an underhand way.

And finally… Be humble. While you may be expert in your category, don’t treat any query with disdain, no matter how basic it may be. Answer every query the best you can, and make new members feel welcome. Good luck with building an engaging and profitable affiliate-marketing community online!
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