If all of us were earning hundreds of dollars for every second we spend on Facebook, maybe we’d all come closer to reaching the net worth of Mark Zuckerberg.
Sadly, that’s one big if.
However, you can still earn money using the largest social media platform through Facebook affiliate marketing. Here’s our three-step guide to get you started!
What is Facebook Affiliate Marketing?
Facebook affiliate marketing involves the use by affiliate marketers to leverage Facebook’s platform to drive more traffic to their respective Facebook groups, pages, and affiliate website/s.
With over 2.8 billion monthly active users, it’s easy to see why many affiliate marketers would want to leverage its platform to reach the goal of becoming a successful affiliate more quickly.
Before starting your affiliate marketing journey on Facebook, you have to acquaint yourself with its advertising rules that affect an affiliate marketer like yourself.
Facebook Rules and Why You Should Stick to it
Complying with Facebook’s advertising rules is mandatory to keep the user experience up to standards as social media’s market leader. It won’t tolerate ads that will send Facebook users to landing pages for fraudulent products and services.
Its Branded Content Policy contains the following statement:
“Ads promoting branded content must tag the featured third party product, brand or business partner using the branded content tool. Branded content within ads is defined as a creator or publisher’s content that features or is influenced by a business partner for an exchange of value.”
If you partnered with an affiliate network to promote a sponsored post of a third party’s Facebook page and didn’t have any hand in content creation, you are breaking this policy. Other than that, affiliate marketing is not specifically prohibited by Facebook.
The Step-by-step Guide to Facebook Affiliate Marketing
Step 1. Set Up a Facebook page or a group
Individuals and entities create Facebook pages to create an authentic presence online and build their own brand if they haven’t established one yet.
To set up a Facebook page, follow these steps:
- On your home page, click Pages, which you can find at the left-hand corner below the link to your profile.
- Click Create a New Page.
- Type in your page name, choose a category for your page and fill in the description.
- Click Create Page.
- Upload a profile picture and cover photo to make your page presentable.
- Click Save to finish the process.
Note: Once you’ve reached 25 likes for your page, you’ll be able to create your own vanity URL, which is a shortened and readable URL to fare better on search engines.
A Facebook page is more advantageous than an ordinary Facebook profile for affiliate marketing or other business activities. It allows its page owner to have unique access to Facebook’s Page Insights, which allows them to monitor three core areas: page likes, post reach, and engagement. You’ll also be able to track your followers, page views, and video statistics.
If you already have a website or blog, expanding your affiliate marketing efforts through a Facebook page is a sound and practical choice. You’ll be able to update your audience with each new blog post that features your affiliate products or link them directly to product pages.
As a general rule, don’t create a Facebook page if it’s the only vehicle for your affiliate marketing business. Opt to have a Facebook group instead.
Why? Users interact with their friends and groups more than they do with pages. More importantly, there is a dearth of organic reach on Facebook, which means you need to spend on advertising to reach your target audience.
However, certain niche pages are the exception to this rule and will fare better than a Facebook group. To determine feasibility, do a quick Facebook search on existing pages in your niche similar to the kind of page you want. Pursue your goal if you pinpoint generic pages with large followings that are not connected to a brand or company.
Once you’ve set up your page, it is crucial as an affiliate marketer to stick to your niche and promote products relevant to it, as you would with a website or blog. For example, if your niche is high fashion, post reviews or images of the recent fashion week and feature affiliate links on where to buy products, like clothing and bags, similar to what was presented by designer brands.
As an affiliate marketer, you should consistently create high-quality and relevant content so that your audience trusts you more when offering products, deals and discounts.
You also have the option to form Facebook groups, where people interested in a certain niche can interact and share ideas.
To set up your own, follow these steps:
- On your home page, click Groups, which you can find on the left side of your screen.
- Click Create New Group.
- Type in its name, choose its privacy level and invite your friends.
- Upload a cover photo.
- Set up its vanity URL.
Once you’ve built an engaged audience, it can be a valuable place for affiliate marketing. You’ll be able to moderate its activities and pin affiliate link posts or links to your blog posts that all your members can see immediately.
Since groups have a targeted audience, refrain from promoting products that are not related to the niche. Posting affiliate links for health products from ClickBank will annoy members of Facebook groups devoted to technology.
If you don’t want to create your own Facebook group, you can still join hundreds of existing ones to promote your products.
Posting your affiliate link in every related group is frowned upon in any existing community. The worst-case scenario is ending up getting banned by its moderators.
The way to promote affiliate links on a Facebook community you don’t own is by doing it indirectly. Depending on its rules, most groups will allow the posting of links to their respective users’ blogs or websites. Indirectly promote by sharing your blog post with the pertinent affiliate link.
Hit two birds with one stone and build your e-mail list as you share your blog with your Facebook group. If you’re offering valuable lead magnets on your blog post or website to allow visitors to opt-in to your email list, then you’re also increasing your opportunity to entice them with more products from your email marketing efforts.
Step 2. Build Engagement with your audience before promoting
The one thing you must remember before doing affiliate marketing on Facebook is engaging your audience and growing their trust.
Focus on building a loyal fan base by consistently creating high-quality content that provides valuable and practical information that they can apply to their everyday lives. This will enable them to come back for more and trust your insights and recommendations in the long run.
To build up engagement and form a lasting connection with each follower or member, follow the 80/20 rule.
This means that 80% of your posts must be valuable, high-quality, and shareable content, consisting of informative or entertaining posts presented in your own unique way. Affiliate marketing and other promotional posts should fill in the remaining 20%.
Consistency is also key to keeping people engaged. You don’t want to flood people’s news feeds and risk turning them off, but you also shouldn’t post very few updates and end up being overlooked. Sharing one to four posts per week is ideal, but amp up the frequency if you’re in a fast-paced niche.
Today, in any social media platform, the key to robust engagement and shareability is posting visual content. On Facebook, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click-throughs. Users will also share videos 1,200x more than images and text combined.
Direct or Indirect Promotions?
Generally, promoting indirectly should be your main approach in conducting your Facebook affiliate business.
Providing affiliate links directly can be the most convenient and time-saving way. Still, in the age of multiple and unskippable ads on Youtube and other platforms, you can’t blame people for being averse to blatant attempts to sell them products. Don’t expect them to click the affiliate link on your post, be directed to your landing page, and spend money on the advertised product.
Instead, you should share your blog post that features your affiliate product and how you can personally vouch for it. Through this method, you’re driving highly-targeted traffic to your website and increase your likelihood of converting.
Using direct affiliate marketing promotions on Facebook is a very slim exception. If you have very reliable fans, you have better chances of direct promotions. But most affiliate marketers still advise that indirect promotions are the way to go.
Tips in Promoting Affiliate Links
- FTC Disclosure
Always adhere to the rules of the Federal Trade Commission. Disclose your affiliate marketing efforts by always including a message similar to this: “This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you click on the links of the products and make a purchase.”
Under the Amazon Associates Program rules, affiliate members aren’t allowed to promote Facebook posts containing Amazon affiliate links.
You can’t insert Amazon affiliate links on boosted Facebook posts or promote them using Facebook Ads. Anyone caught red-handed will be kicked out from Amazon’s referral program.
The acceptable method is to indirectly promote and write your own content (on your website or blog) containing your Amazon affiliate links and promote it using Facebook Ads.
Although you can earn a lot as a ClickBank affiliate, the same restrictions with Amazon apply. The best way to promote ClickBank products will be by writing content on your website or blog and promoting your content through Facebook Ads.
Step 3. Maximize Facebook Ads
If you want to skip Steps 1 and 2, you can always run ads to promote your affiliate marketing links on Facebook.
You don’t need to have loyal followers to run Facebook Ads. You can promote products or services to a specific group of people based on demographics and interests. The more specific the niche you’re targeting, the higher the likelihood you’ll make affiliate sales.
However, if you already have an existing website, page, or group, investing in Facebook ads can also help you attract loyal fans much easier and make money faster.
The question is, is it really worth it to spend money on paid ads?
Organic vs. paid ads
The truth is, relying solely on organic Facebook reach will get you nowhere. Organic reach has been plummeting due to changes in the News Feed algorithm. Relying on what little remains of free advertising options, e.g., Offer option for Pages, will have limited effect. Facebook relies on ads to sustain its operations, so it’s only logical that free ads won’t reach as many people in the desired target market. We highly recommend you invest in paid ads for your Facebook affiliate marketing. You can use affiliate links in Facebook ads, but remember to make an effort on your landing page.
Check your affiliate program as well if you can promote via Facebook Ads.
You should also consider paying for “Like ads,” which shows people what Pages their Facebook friends are liking. The user will more likely check out the Page since many of his/her friends could have liked it as well.
Although you can resort to Facebook ads without a website, page, or group, many marketers will still recommend creating your own website or an effective landing page with an opt-in form. But if you’re only promoting inexpensive products or services, sending people directly to the sales page should be enough.
Pro Tip: Don’t Use Your Personal Space
It might be tempting to do affiliate marketing using your Facebook profile. You already might have hundreds to thousands of Facebook friends that can be potential customers.
But your friends won’t think twice about unfollowing or unfriending you for hogging their News Feeds with affiliate link posts.
The point is never to use your Facebook profile for affiliate marketing. Your friends added you to keep up with your life updates, not to become an unwilling customer of your products.
Facebook affiliate marketing is definitely feasible. However, it will take time to see a return on your investment, especially if you’re not an established authority. Having your own authority website is still the more sustainable business model since the only rules that matter are yours. But in any case, keep the right mindset and persevere!