Social Media is one the most powerful things we have at our fingertips, outside of our blogs.
These services reach around the world multiple times each day.
Anyone who has used Pinterest, Facebook. Twitter, or Google+ knows that they are all different. Each service is as different as the people who use it.
The beauty of social media is that there is a service that fits every one of us. The key is in finding which one, and then using it. Amazon Associate links are approved to use on some services, but not on others.
YES for now. Facebook is probably the first place most people go when they think of social media. It is also a common place to see promotional or affiliate links.
Facebook’s Community Standards page states “We take the safety of our members seriously and work to prevent attempts to compromise their privacy or security. We also ask that you respect our members by not contacting them for commercial purposes without their consent.”
In any other context I take this to mean don’t use your friends list to solicit sales. It is not clear about affiliate links on your wall or your Page’s wall. To be safe, always disclose if what you are sharing is an affiliate link, like this:
Hey guys, Certain Book Company.com is having a 30% off sale this week only! Check it out here! (My affiliate link) http://certainbookco.com
Remember, don’t bombard your friends or Page followers with affiliate ads or you’ll be marked as a spammer, and Facebook could take down your Page or maybe even your profile.
YES. Twitter allows affiliate advertising, just keep in the mind the FTC rules about the matter: Disclose before the link! This may mean you tweet something like this:
#PaidAd: I found the perfect bronzer for my skin type! http://amzn.shortlink.here
The difficulty with Twitter lies in the fact that over the last couple of years it has become barely more than a giant link farm, with everyone tweeting links to their blogs, their ads, their sponsors… and I’m not sure that is the best use of my time when it all starts to look the same. Choose your tweets wisely.
NO. In the past year, and Pinterest has become more mainstream, there has also been much buzz online about how Pinterest strips Amazon Associate links out of pins. The pin will go through but your Associate ID will be stripped from the URL. You are better off creating a post with a pinnable image, and pinning that to your board. It will generate the traffic to your blog AND the Special Links within your post.
YES. Google+ is still the purest of social media outlets. They want us to own our content. They want to give us credit for what we know, the connections we have, and the content we produce on our websites. They are also the most lenient when it comes to affiliate links.
Amazon links are okay to use on G+ as long as you aren’t behaving like a spammer and you contribute real content in your posts along with the Special Links. As with all the other services, the FTC requires that you disclose a material connection prior to giving the link. You can do this just like in the example I gave for Facebook.
What it comes down to is that you behave yourself!
DO disclose ahead of time.
DON’T spam your followers.
DO post lots of great content besides the Amazon Special Links you share.
DON’T neglect conversations and alienate your friends and followers