Consumers also increasingly turned to social media, and more than 316 million people were added to global social media platforms within the past year. 2020 saw a 43% increase in the amount of time adults are spending engaging with social media.

These two significant shifts make social media represent an even greater opportunity for brands engaging in affiliate marketing. Here are some of the ways companies can market their products and affiliate programs to leverage social media.

Go for Authenticity

For affiliate marketing on social media in‌ 2021, it’s all about authenticity. People are less likely to be influenced by celebrities and more likely to listen to influencers with expertise. It’s not about endorsements but rather about using influencers to create educational content.

This type of content is a perfect fit for affiliate relationships.

  • Look for niche experts, industry analysts, professionals, or category leaders to explain the benefits of your products.
  • Allow influencers to manage content in a natural voice rather than your brand voice.
  • Provide products or samples for review.

Looking for more authentic voices can also help you choose which affiliates you choose to sell your products. Rather than focusing on followers, you want to look even more closely at engagement.

This hyper-targeting trend is showing better conversion rates. While micro-influencers may not be sending huge traffic, consumers see them as more credible.

Provide High-Quality Images, Video, and Content

For years, social media was marked by its lack of polish. That’s changed. While you want authenticity online, you always want to position your brand and products in the best light possible.

Provide your affiliates with high-quality images and videos of your products. The easier you make it for others to highlight your products, the more social impact you’ll get. Video, in particular, is getting the most engagement.

You’ll also want to provide content that makes it easier for affiliates to spread the word. Consider creating bullet points that influencers and affiliates can weave into their social media discussions.

View our guides on tools for designing your own affiliate creatives or using one of the best graphic design subscription services.

Do a Little Affiliate and Influencer Coaching

While you want your social media influencers and affiliate partners to weave your products naturally into their presentations, a little “coaching” doesn’t hurt.

On social media, content needs to be short and sweet. For short-form content, try to encourage your influencers to always mention your unique selling proposition (USP). This helps provide a consistent mention that aligns with your branding.

Provide best practices for your affiliates. Since both parties are in this relationship to benefit financially, when you can provide better ways to increase performance, you’re helping your affiliates make more money.

You should always be tracking, analyzing, and optimizing everything you do online. Being able to see exactly what gets results is one of the biggest benefits provided by doing business online. Share relevant information with your affiliate partners and influencers.

  • Help influencers and affiliates sell your USP.
  • Provide best practices to increase sales.
  • Share tracking, analyzing, and optimizing tactics.

Use New Social Media Channels

Don’t limit your social media approach to Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. There’s a growing audience on TikTok, Clubhouse, and Houseparty.

Channels like Quora and Reddit attract niche audiences that can be great targets for your affiliate marketing channels. People go to these platforms and sort themselves into niche communities built around shared interests.

New groups pop up on Facebook and other social media regularly. These are great places to find passionate people and a good way for you to find new influencers and affiliates to join your program.

  • Seek out communities that are fits for your product.
  • Answer questions and putting your brand into conversations.
  • Identify influencers that are immersed in your category.
  • Check regularly for new or emerging communities or social groups.

Use New(er) Social Media Tools

While they’re not actually new tools, Stories continue to gain traction. Created by Snapchat in 2013, a version of the concept has now been adopted by Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Twitter.

Since 2018, the Stories format has grown 15 times faster than the rest of social feeds. Affiliate marketing on social media should include Stories.

Watch Your Links

When links are clearly promotional, it can become obvious. It’s the same reason why people avoid clicking on a paid link for a company on Google and opt to click on the organic link even though it delivers them to the same place.

Affiliate links can be easy to see and may dissuade potential buyers from clicking through — even if the product is the right fit. Consider redirecting links that mask affiliate links. While you’re not trying to fool people, you also don’t want to provide a roadblock to conversions.

Don’t Forget the Basics

While you want to take advantage of trends and shifts in B2C and B2B buyer behavior, don’t forget the basics.

  • Make sure you offer your affiliates unique promotions and make them worth their while.
  • Design custom landing pages for affiliates.
  • Optimize your product pages for customer experience.

An affiliate’s job is to drive qualified buyers to your products. You may still have to close the deal. Don’t forget to give potential buyers solid reasons to convert.

Launch, Track, and Grow Your Affiliate Program

LeadDyno helps companies set up affiliate or referral programs in just minutes. SaaS platforms and e-commerce sellers can launch, track, and grow their own affiliate programs and integrate them with CRMs, email marketing solutions, and eCommerce platforms with LeadDyno. The right affiliate management program and affiliate commission software can make a significant difference in your success.