Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Affiliate marketing, Conferences, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Social Media, Twitter | Posted on Aug 24, 2011
Affiliate Summit Review – Social Media & Affiliate Tips
You all may have noticed that our blog activity has been lacking so far this week. The reason I haven’t had time to tell you all about the latest and greatest going on in the social and email world is because I spent the last three days in New York City at the Affiliate Summit. This conference is an amazing way to jump start your affiliate program, you will meet some industry leaders and get tip top advice in topics like Social Media, SEO, and Affiliate Marketing Management.
I was fortunate enough to speak at an expert roundtable during this summit, and I had an amazingly attentive crowd who genuinely wanted to learn how to leverage social for their marketing efforts. Anyone who attended my session I would love to hear what you thought of it in the comments section!
If you have never attended an Affiliate Summit, I would highly suggest going. If your company has not yet developed an affiliate program or has not taken it seriously, the Affiliate Summit will give you the knowledge and the tools to develop an amazing affiliate program. For everyone that didn’t get the chance to attend this years Affiliate Summit East, here are the top 5 tips I learned at affiliate summit
1. Twitter is Your Friend
Twitter is an amazing way to start finding new leads, partnership opportunities, and back links. During the keynote on Monday morning, Will Reynolds from SEER Interactive discussed new ways to build back links using Twitter and third party tools. His suggestions showed just how powerful Twitter can be, especially if you can build an active following.
Think of your Twitter followers like this, they are people who are genuinely interested i n what your brand has to say. Now that you have their attention they are more likely to post your content on their own website getting you those oh so important back links. Will had suggested using the export.ly tool to find out who follows you on Twitter and the SEOmoz tool to find out who isn’t linking to you. Twitter followers have already shown an interest in your brand, and if you reach out to the users who do not link to you and convince them to. View Will’s presentation HERE
2. Use Third Party Tools
There are all sorts of great tools out there to help build your social presence as well as generate leads from this presence. Here is a list of the top tools you can’t afford to miss:
I think these tools should get you off to a good start. Utilizing both tools in conjunction with one another works will too. Try cross referencing different types of data to really supercharge your targeting efforts.
3. Affiliate Marketing is all About Relationships
If you are developing a new affiliate program, this concept is fundamental to your program’s success. Affiliates want to work with people they can trust and they want someone to talk to when they have questions or concerns. I would suggest having a dedicated affiliate manager, who works directly with affiliates. Some services you could provide are banner ads for affiliates, some content they could use in their reviews, box shots, data feeds, and most importantly a direct email and phone number where the affiliate manager can be reached.
Essentially affiliates are another type of sales force for your company. They build their livelihood around developing new niche site and content, make sure to make their job easier and more pleasurable and you will turn your affiliates into product evangelists that will drive more traffic and conversions to your website.
4. Social Media Requires Forward Thinking
My talk at the expert roundtable was initially supposed to be about creating and designing Like Worthy Facebook Pages. We did discuss the best practices, but the discussion turned into a piece about social media and the mindset you need to have while using social media. Google+ came up a lot during the conversation, mostly companies asking ‘Why bother using it right now?’ This is how I replied:
“You don’t want to be second place on social media. Social media is all about forward thinking, it is imperative that you utilize all of the tools available in order to stay ahead of the crowd. If you are not on Google+ yet because it is not ‘business’ oriented yet, you are doing yourself a disservice. You have the opportunity to create an engaged community on Google+ and when (mind you not if) Google includes businesses to their platform you will be one step ahead of all the other people who said ‘Why bother?’.”
5. There is always a crowd for your product, no matter how lame [you think] it might be
There are always people who will think your concept is cool, no matter what the topic is. During one session Joe Soussa talked about the incredible size of the knitting community online. The name of the group escapes me, but he gave an example of a message board of over a million people who LOVE to knit. Now I know I don’t get excited about knitting, but just because I don’t get excited doesn’t mean no one else will. It is your job as a marketer to sniff out these leads, and leverage different types of marketing efforts to tap these lead wells.