Affiliate marketing is a marketing model where brands compensate third-party partners to advertise and promote their products. Nowadays, affiliate marketing is mostly done online, where these partners, called affiliates, use custom links to help drive traffic to brands’ websites and generate leads. It’s a big market; the global affiliate marketing industry is estimated to be worth $12 billion, with the US holding 39% or $4.5 billion.
Affiliates can earn incentives whenever someone clicks on a link they have posted on social media or other websites. Before advancements on technology allowed for artificial clicks and impressions, companies used a PPC model for affiliate programs. Today, however, businesses prefer a CPA payment mode. They pay affiliates for every sale made through the affiliate link, rather than just a click or impression. This minimizes the potential for fraud and pushes affiliates to create better promotional strategies to drive sales in order to receive payment.
Influencers are generally the ones who aim to become affiliates for brands, but anyone with a following on Facebook or other social media platforms can be an affiliate as well.
Affiliate Marketing on Facebook
Facebook is a great platform to begin affiliate marketing because of its global reach. According to Statista, it boasts 2.96 billion monthly active users, making it the most popular social media platform globally. However, you won’t be able to get all those users; the key is to identify your niche and engage those people in your target audience.
To be a successful affiliate marketer on Facebook, you’ll need to attract as many relevant users as possible. This involves a combination of creativity and strategy, plus the knowledge on how to leverage the platform’s features.
Facebook’s paid ads and boosting features can help you gain more followers, reaching people who would otherwise not be in your network. Facebook’s mother company, Meta, claims that their advertising audience can reach up to 2.11 billion people.
Tips on How to Do Affiliate Marketing on Facebook
Like any other marketing model, affiliate marketing on Facebook requires strategic thinking. Simply posting a link and hoping that your audience will find it interesting is not enough to generate leads or sales.
Read through this handy guide on how to successfully do affiliate marketing on Facebook in 2023.
Create a Facebook Group or Facebook Page
Using your personal profile as your main vehicle for affiliate marketing might seem easier and the most logical thing to do, but not quite so. Don’t mix business and pleasure and save your personal Facebook page for your friends and family. Create a separate fan page or group for your affiliate marketing goals.
A Facebook Group is a community of people who share a similar interest. For example, there are Facebook Groups for parents or for pet owners. The group can be a general interest group or a more specific one such as single parents or cat owners.
For a Facebook Group to serve as an effective marketing channel, it is important to be specific enough to attract relevant users, but broad enough to prevent alienating otherwise interested people. A Facebook Group that only accepts mothers of identical twins might be too narrow—a broader group welcomes parents of multiples, whether identical or fraternal twins, triplets, quadruplets, or more.
On the other hand, a Facebook Page is akin to a website. Unlike a Facebook Group where members can post and share insights with one another, a Facebook Page gives the administrator more control over the content. Posting can be restricted so that only approved admins can post. A Facebook Page is essentially an online bulletin board for your brand, where you can post announcements, links, images and videos, and other content relevant to your brand.
An advantage of creating a separate page or group for affiliate marketing on Facebook is that you’re more certain that the members or followers will likely be interested in the brand or products you are promoting.
Grow Your Audience
Your Facebook Page or Group will not generate income from affiliate links if nobody sees your content. The next step is to build your audience. Organic growth is ideal, but it’s rare to achieve huge growth using purely organic means. It’s possible to gain a lot of followers organically, but it’s a slow and long process.
A faster and more efficient way is to combine organic and paid growth. Before you delve into paid ads, however, you first need to invest some time and effort into making your page interesting.
Many digital marketers advise beginners to follow the 80/20 rule:
- 80% of your content should be fun, shareable posts that inform, educate, or interest other people.
- Only 20% should be promotional.
Too much promotional content may turn off existing or potential followers who may like your page because they share similar interests.
Once you have a steady rhythm of posts going on, you can harness Facebook’s paid features to boost the most interesting posts. Boosting allows your content to reach a wider audience beyond your existing network.
You need to have a solid idea of who your target demographic is. Facebook ads give you the option of defining your preferred audience, so your ad can reach the people most likely to respond positively.
Finally, you can join similar groups and communities on Facebook. This would give you a chance to meet and introduce yourself to potential followers. Through this, you can also check out the types of content that get the most engagement from a particular group.
When you’re new to a community, be sure to follow the rules and avoid spamming. Engage with other members genuinely so you can develop good rapport with them. Share relevant and interesting things with the group. Once you’ve established yourself as a valuable member or even an expert in your field, you can start to include links to your own page or website.
Engage Your Followers
In creating content, keep in mind that engaging your followers is an important aspect of building a responsive audience. If you want your followers to respond to your promotional posts and affiliate links, you also have to interact with them on your other content.
The goal is to build a long-lasting relationship with your followers, not merely to gain “likes.” Remember to respond to comments left on your page, especially when they are responses to a question you asked on a post. This increases your credibility and reputation as a good resource person, so the products you recommend will be received positively by your followers.
Engaging content provides value to community members. You can post useful tips and tricks about your central interest, life hacks, or helpful information. Depending on your identity branding and image, you can also post comedic content to lighten the mood. Value-added content doesn’t mean you always have to educate people. Sometimes, a light-hearted post that brings a smile to people can be even more engaging.
Create Contests and Giveaways
A good way to boost your engagement is to organize contests and giveaways on your page. This is one of the most common and effective strategies that brands use to get more followers and engagements on their page.
Some of the usual mechanics include tagging friends (to broaden your audience) and liking your Facebook page (to gain followers).
Prizes need not be big or expensive. You can partner with another brand that can serve as a sponsor for prizes, or they can be something small but useful. Collaborations with another influencer or brand are becoming common; it can introduce you to another network of followers and further establish your credibility.
Use Hashtags Prudently
Hashtags are an easy way to get your content out to more people. They’re more common on Instagram and Twitter, but they’re also used on Facebook.
Use hashtags strategically. Don’t flood your posts with random, popular hashtags that have nothing to do with the current post. You can create your own hashtag and also use one that is already popular but still relevant to your content.
Go for Quality, Not Quantity
As a beginner affiliate marketer, it might be tempting to post as many links as you can to different products. The more, the merrier, right?
However, when it comes to affiliate marketing, less is more—provided that the “less” is high-quality. Too many links will crowd your page, and your followers might just get lost scrolling through all available products. There have been studies throughout the decades that show that having too many options can cause a phenomenon called “choice overload,” the feeling of being overwhelmed when presented with a lot of choices and consequently not making a choice at all.
The better strategy is to research the types of products that get your audience excited, or things that they frequently look for. Offer quality products via your affiliate links, then spend some time monitoring their performance. Over time, you’ll figure out the best and most in-demand products to post to drive the most sales.
Share on Appropriate Facebook Groups
You can always share your affiliate links to groups other than your own. However, make sure that you post only to groups that are relevant to the product you are promoting. As mentioned earlier, be respectful of each group’s rules on posting and promoting. Some groups are purely for sharing tips and helpful advice, and don’t allow posting ads or affiliate links.
Create Video Content That Gets More Attention
One of the affiliate marketing trends in 2023 is a shift toward video content for eCommerce. Brands will increasingly look for affiliates who post videos for content.
Attract more people to your page by posting more videos. Video content usually gets more views, likes, and comments than text or image posts.
Creating videos will allow you to demonstrate the product you are promoting. People are more inclined to watch a demo video than read an entire article. Videos also allow you to get more creative, and establish yourself as a reliable resource person for whatever niche market you’re in. It’s an excellent way to build trust, which is imperative for affiliate marketers.
Use Affiliate Link Cloaking
Link cloaking shortens your affiliate links into personalized, branded URLs. This is a common practice among affiliate marketers. Not only do they get to promote their own website or branding, it is also an added security feature. Masking your affiliate IDs protects you from malware or other types of theft or fraud.
A shorter URL is also seen as more credible. Your posts will look more elegant and less clumsy. Imagine appending a link with a lot of random characters to your beautifully designed image—not really a good aesthetic.
The tools that provide link cloaking or shortening almost always offer tracking and analytics. This way, you can monitor the performance of your links and make data-driven decisions about your affiliate marketing strategy on Facebook.
Add a Disclaimer for Affiliate Links
Transparency is a necessary ingredient to build trust, which in turn is important for affiliate marketers. Add a disclaimer each time you post an affiliate link, so your followers will know exactly what you are posting, especially if you use a link cloaking tool.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) actually regulates endorsements and advertisements on social media to protect consumers from misleading posts. That’s why celebrities and influencers are obliged to disclose which posts are sponsored content. Affiliate marketers are covered by the same rules, so make sure you place a disclaimer any time you create content with affiliate links.
Facebook Ads and Affiliate Marketing
The policies surrounding affiliate marketing on Facebook Ads are quite imprecise and erratically enforced. While the Terms & Conditions do not specifically state that affiliate marketing is banned on their platform, Facebook has a history of rejecting and blocking ads that contain affiliate links. However, they’re not consistent, and these reports of blocked posts seem to be neither the exception nor the rule.
What you need to remember is that if you’re one of those whose affiliate links are blocked by Facebook, then you can’t use that same link again for any ad on the platform.
You can, in theory, use what is called a sandwich page to work around this policy, but the practice itself is a bit iffy. What happens is that you put a non-affiliate link on your Facebook Ad that directs a user to a sandwich page, which then automatically redirects them to your intended landing page. Because it involves mild deception (the user is ultimately sent to a page that is different from what they clicked on), it can get your Facebook Ads account suspended.
Affiliate Marketing Networks and Programs for Facebook
To start as an affiliate marketer on Facebook, you need to join an affiliate marketing network or program. The two biggest and most popular are Amazon Associates and ClickBank.
Amazon’s affiliate marketing program, Amazon Associates, is a good way to earn extra income. With Amazon’s inventory numbering in the millions, there’s definitely a product you can promote, whatever your niche market is.
Affiliates earn commissions on qualified purchases. Commission rates vary across product categories, which can be anywhere between 4% to 10%. The highest rate is for Amazon Games, where you can earn up to 20% commission. Keep in mind, though, that you can’t use your affiliate links in paid ads for Facebook. If you do and are discovered by Amazon, they can close your account.
Joining the Amazon Associates program is pretty straightforward. In most cases, they require you to have at least 500 organic followers on your social media page. For Facebook, open groups and fan pages are accepted, but not personal profiles. The groups and pages must be open to the public.
If you are already an established influencer on Facebook, then you can sign up for the Amazon Influencers Program, an extension of the Associates Program created especially for social media influencers.
ClickBank’s commission rates are significantly higher than those of Amazon Associates Program. But there’s an interesting thing going on in Facebook. Amazon doesn’t allow their affiliate links on Facebook Ads—ClickBank does. But this time, it’s Facebook that does not allow ClickBank links on ads.
An easy workaround to this comes from Facebook’s Branded Content Policies, equivalent to Instagram’s Paid Partnership label. Influencers can promote brands in their posts, and here they can include a ClickBank product if it is relevant to the context.
Another way is to create a separate post on your own website or blog about the product with the ClickBank affiliate link. You can then use a paid ad or boosted post to promote that page on Facebook. The downside to this is it would require an additional step for your followers before they ultimately purchase using your link.
Refersion’s affiliate marketing network is one of the largest, with thousands of brands included. It’s an ideal platform for beginner affiliate marketers to start from. Refersion’s marketplace allows publishers to connect with brands with more clarity and precision, so it’s easier to form long-lasting relationships built on trust and confidence.
Ready to begin your affiliate marketing journey? Create your profile on the Refersion Marketplace and start making money on Facebook.