Just like a blog or a website where you post information with affiliate links, affiliate marketing through Facebook is also a fantastic way to boost sales.
By tapping into its whopping 2.32 billion monthly active users (source: Zephoria Digital Marketing), we are looking at a tremendous potential pool of audience members for your affiliated products or services.
Whether you are promoting a book or a weight-loss program, there is an audience for every type of product and service on Facebook.
If you are already making an earning online as an affiliate, you have probably heard of the controversy pertaining to affiliate links and their ethically-questionable use across social media platforms.
There is a common question many affiliate marketers have been asking: is affiliate marketing allowed on Facebook? The short answer is yes. Affiliate marking is allowed on Facebook, but that does not mean you can spam everybody with your affiliate links in your Facebook posts or ads.
Careful consideration should be placed on both Facebook and the respective affiliate networks with whom you are collaborating. This will help minimize the risk of being penalized or banned from either party.
I will be sharing with you some of the dos and don’ts, as well as things to watch out for when attempting to affiliate market on Facebook. I will also be touching on affiliate marketing on Facebook for some of the major affiliate networks such as Amazon Affiliates and ClickBank.
Sustainable approaches to affiliate marketing on Facebook
While some of these approaches might seem tedious, it is definitely worth considering if you are serious about using Facebook as a medium to promote your affiliate products and services.
Create your presence
Consider creating your own page on Facebook. It does not matter how brilliant your products or services are; if you don’t have an established fan base, you will always be relying on paid advertising to achieve sales.
Gaining likes and followers is crucial in building your audience. How do you gain more likes? Instead of buying them, earn them organically through value-added ads posts. These are more likely to encourage users to like or follow your page. Place value before everything else. Opt-in for a freebie is another useful method especially if you are promoting a program or service.
Engagement before promotion
There are a number of ways to affiliate market your products and services on Facebook. To ensure sustainable success, you need a crowd of interested fans on your page to continue promoting your offers.
In the world of digital marketing, establishing rapport with your audience and practicing effective branding are more important than ever. If you had the choice to buy a similar product from two different marketers – a stranger or a person whom you have followed his fan page and think he is an authoritative figure in the field – who would you buy from?
The goal is to be able to increase followers who need your product and to make them listen to you.
Free or paid Facebook ads?
Creating your own page is a form of free advertising on Facebook. It establishes your presence and allows you to promote your product and services for free (i.e. the wall posts.)
Over the years, we have seen Facebook discontinuing their free advertising options. One of the remaining free promotional tools is the Offer option on your Facebook page. It is particularly useful if you have already established your fan base. Be careful not to promote direct affiliate links, which I will explain later.
Are free ads really effective? We all know that advertising is Facebook’s main source of income. The Facebook algorithm will make sure its free ads will never be as far-reaching and powerful as its paid ads.
Furthermore, unless you have an established massive fan base, paid advertising can be a quick way to build an audience.
It is also worth spending on “Like ads” on Facebook. It is a cool way to show your potential audience what their Facebook friends are liking. It helps to promote trust and encourages them to like your page as well.
The legal bits of affiliate marketing on Facebook
Increasing sales is our immediate affiliate marketing goal on Facebook. However, the longevity of your Facebook account/page is equally important. If you are spammy or run afoul of the rules on Facebook, your page is bound to be banned.
Unfortunately, Facebook changes its rules all the time and has been rather vague with their definitions. Below are two recent Facebook policies which are causing many affiliate marketers to panic:
Facebook defines its Branded Content as:
Facebook further states:
For now, these policies are created to address the sponsored posts. These policies target pages that make money from sharing clickbait viral posts without mentioning a paid relationship the Page owner has with a business partner.
If you, however, collaborate with an affiliate network to promote a third party’s page sponsored post on Facebook, in which the content you were not involved in creating, then you are breaking the current Branded Content Policy.
- Although Facebook is not a fan of affiliate links, there’s nothing specifically prohibiting them as of yet.
- Avoid using the handshake tool when sharing your affiliate links.
- Adhere to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guideline. Your safe bet is to disclose in your post a sentence along the lines of “This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission if you click on the links of the products and make a purchase.”
Other Useful links:
Promoting Amazon products on Facebook?
Amazon is one of the world’s most prominent online retailer platform. Its Amazon Associates offers an accessible-for-all affiliate programme which offers over a million products with which to affiliate and a competitive referral fee (up to 10%).
Promoting Amazon products on Facebook is a great way to increase your sales. Unfortunately, Amazon does not allow its affiliate members to promote Facebook posts that contain its affiliate links. You can place Amazon affiliate links in your Facebook posts, but promoting them using Facebook Ads is prohibited. A combo of direct linking to Amazon and placing it on Facebook Ads is a surefire way to get booted from its program.
To get around this, many affiliate marketers have opted to place Facebook Ads to promote their own content (i.e. website or blogs) instead, which contains Amazon affiliate links. This method is acceptable because you are not directly placing and boosting the affiliate links.
Promoting ClickBank products on Facebook
ClickBank is a global online retailer with an extensive affiliate network. It is considered one of the best affiliate programs for digital products and offers a lucrative commission ( up to 75%) to its affiliates.
Promoting ClickBank links in your Facebook posts or ads is also a big no-no. You will be blocked for doing so. It is not recommended to cloak or disguise your ClickBank links either, as the Facebook algorithms have now marked all links from Bit.ly, for example, as unsafe and abusive.
Posting ClickBank links on other users’ Facebook walls or sending them to their messenger is also a frowned upon practice. These methods will not generate good response anyway, and you will most likely be reported as spam. Furthermore, any successful affiliate marketers will tell you that they don’t use direct linking.
How do I approach potential customers indirectly?
As mentioned in the earlier section of this article, building rapport and trust on Facebook is the key to the long-term success of your affiliate business. There are many ways to approach your potential customers in a more subtle manner. Andrew Ansley of ASA Marketing recommends the following:
- Create a Facebook Fan Page or Group.
- Attract organic likes and follows through useful and value-added content (via free or paid Facebook ads).
- Build a good relationship with your followers by monitoring the page or group conversation and responding to them.
- Publish posts or videos which lead users to a landing page (you can use bonuses to entice your audience) and then link them to the affiliated Amazon product page or the ClickBank sales pitch page.
What is the cost to advertise on Facebook?
With FB, you are in charge of how much you want to spend on your ads. A Boost Post, for example, starts from $1 per day with an estimated reach of 31-130 people.
The cost is determined by the ad auction, and you can set to run an ad that suits your budget. Depending on your business objective, you can choose to pay for your ads by the number of impressions or conversions.
Can I get into affiliate marketing without a website or blog?
Yes, it is possible. Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram provide a good base audience for affiliate marketing. However, it is important to have a strategy before you rush into any of these platforms.
This is because each platform has its own sets of rules concerning affiliate links, and there’s no one-size-fits-all marketing approach to these social media channels.