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07 October 2008

Social Networking: A useful tool for Affiliate Marketers

Social Networking has become a buzzword in the online marketing community in the last couple of years. But how many of us can confidently claim to understand it well and market our products using it as a channel?

Referred to as Web 2.0 sites, Social Networking sites are an enhanced version of community based websites. A discussion board, a forum, a blog and an opinion site can safely be said to be the best means of social networking available today. Groups of people with similar likes and dislikes form the user base for these sites.
With the advancement of technology, these sites are becoming more interactive in nature. Now, we can broadcast message to all users, choose a specific group of people to communicate to, upload pictures, audios, videos, chat to people, share bookmarks with others and even start our own threads on discussion boards.
Each such site has its set of rules in place. Affiliates may get an option to link directly to a product or program or lead traffic to their own blogs and websites. An affiliate should always read carefully the rules of marketing through the social networking sites to avoid confusion.
A social networking site that allows the affiliate to advertise links helps increase the sales by leaps and bounds. These links can be to a sales page, a blog or a website. The end result is greater traffic and increased sales. An affiliate can use a mix of promotional strategies to ensure an increase in inbound traffic to their sales page or website. Obviously, the conversion from there depends on how well structured the sales pitch is.
All social networking sites have a set of GBeric rules that it expects every user to follow. Forums and blogs for instance would require an affiliate to join them first before posting a message or advertisement. Frequency and credibility in these places decides on the quality of traffic that an affiliate gets from there to his site. The greater the number of posts and post quality, the better is the chance of making a sale.
For example, having a signature attached to every post keeps the brand equity up and the quality of information that the signature offers helps in attracting traffic. Avoiding clashes with other community members, replying to personal queries on time and feeding the board with the latest information helps in building and maintaining the credibility of the affiliate. With all these things put in the right place and the right way, an affiliate can certainly look forward to a richer tomorrow.

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