How to Promote Affiliate Links on Facebook the Right Way
For many affiliate marketers, promoting affiliate links on Facebook or other social media platforms is considered the number one technique. The reason for this is that it is much easier to get started as you don’t need to have your own website.
Before we get to the techniques for how to do affiliate marketing on Facebook, let’s first quickly go over some basic rules.
Affiliate Marketing on Facebook - What Rules Should You Follow?
Affiliate marketing is allowed on Facebook, but you must always comply with Facebook’s advertising guidelines.
Facebook is just like Google: all about the user experience. It is not in Facebook’s interest to let advertisers send people to shady landing pages that offer "get-rich products."
Some people who purchase these products and do not achieve the promised results lose trust in all advertisements on Facebook. If Facebook didn’t have any guidelines in place, fewer and fewer people would click on Facebook ads over time, and Facebook would lose money.
Therefore, if you don’t want to breach Facebook’s guidelines, try to avoid making bold and specific promises in your ads. Titles like "Buy this program today; lose 10 pounds tomorrow" will get your ad rejected or even banned.
Also, don’t forget to add appropriate disclosure to your posts in accordance with FTC guidelines (or other guidelines applicable in your country). It should be obvious that your post includes an affiliate link. For instance, I have seen many posts on Facebook that utilize hashtags for disclosure: #Affiliatelink.
The question is whether one has to also add disclosure in Facebook ads or just in regular posts. Facebook ads are already marked as sponsored, so it seems unnecessary, but I haven’t found a definite answer.
It goes without saying that each social media platform has its own guidelines. If you decide not to promote affiliate links on Facebook, but let’s say on Twitter, be sure to become familiar with their guidelines as they may differ.
Lastly, you should also check if an affiliate program allows social media promotion.
For instance, you cannot promote Amazon affiliate links on Facebook utilizing paid ads as it goes against the program’s guidelines. The same is true for ClickBank.
Why You Should Promote Indirectly
Promoting your affiliate links directly on Facebook (linking directly to a sales page) may sound tempting as it is very easy. Still, I don’t recommend anyone to take the easy road.
Whether you are promoting links for free (on your Facebook profile/page or in a Facebook group) or using paid ads, you cannot expect many people to go for a direct sale.
Especially if you are promoting high ticket digital products. People will not click on your post, read a landing page and buy a $999 course.
A better way is to not post affiliate links on Facebook but draw traffic to a piece of your content where you tell people about the product and its benefits. People will be much more likely to click and buy from affiliate links included in your content than if you directly send them to a sales page from Facebook.
How to Promote Affiliate Links on Facebook
You can approach affiliate marketing on Facebook in a couple of ways, and they all have one thing in common. You need to build an audience; you need to establish trust.
If you don’t want to risk losing money on paid ads and therefore want to promote affiliate links on Facebook using one of the free methods, then you need to establish a fan base first. Focus on adding value to people’s lives on Facebook before you start doing any promotion.
The more people trust you and see you as an authority, the more likely they will want to hear about your recommendations.
Facebook groups are great as they allow you to find a very targeted audience. Let’s say you are promoting a ClickBank product that teaches people how to find cheap flight tickets.
There are literally hundreds of groups on Facebook devoted to traveling. In these groups, you can find people interested in traveling and thus are potential buyers of this product.
Of course, you should not join all relevant Facebook groups and spam your link everywhere. That would not get you any results and also would soon get you banned as it would violate the group’s rules. Directly promoting links on a Facebook group is simply not the way to go.
You will have more chance of success in promoting affiliate links on Facebook if you promote them indirectly. For example, if you promoted a product that teaches people how to find cheap tickets, you could write an article related to finding cheap tickets. Inside the article, you would include your affiliate links.
A lot of Facebook groups allow the posting of links to blog articles (read the rules of each Facebook group first before posting). If people click on your article about air travel, then you have a much better chance that they will buy from your affiliate link in the article.
Furthermore, if people from Facebook land on your website and you have an email opt-in on your page with some freebies, then you have a chance of getting their email and promoting the ClickBank product through email marketing as well.
Your freebie should be related to the product you are promoting. In our example, you could have a freebie like a "7-day course - How to Get the Cheapest Flight Tickets". You would create an email opt-in and place it inside an article + have an exit intent popup. All better email marketing software will allow you to create such opt-ins.
I know it’s a cliché to say, but doing affiliate marketing without collecting emails indeed means leaving a lot of money on the table.
You may be saying to yourself right now: "Hmm, I wanted to promote on Facebook because I don’t have a website, but I cannot do the above-mentioned without a website."
I will be completely honest with you. If you want to use Facebook for affiliate marketing and don’t want to pay for ads, you will need a website. If you don’t have a website, you cannot expect to earn much money doing affiliate marketing on Facebook.
If you don’t want to have a website, you can create your own Facebook group. As an admin of a group, you can pin a post with a direct link to the product you are promoting. The post stays at the top, and you don’t have to worry that anyone will ban you.
This sounds great, but it takes time and effort to build a Facebook group with a decent number of members.
Instead of creating and growing a group, you could buy a Facebook group.
Creating a Facebook page makes sense if you have a website. It allows you to keep your audience updated with your latest content. You can send your followers to your content that includes affiliate links or, if you have established trust, you can try to directly send them to the product page.
If you don’t have a website, I don’t recommend creating a Facebook page just to use it for affiliate marketing.
People, in general, interact with pages less than they do with groups so if you don’t have a website, create a group.
However, it is worth noting that sometimes Facebook pages work better than groups. For instance, if you were promoting dog or cat-related products, a Facebook page would be a great asset. People follow dog/cat pages simply because they like seeing pictures of their favorite pets and not because they want to lead a conversation about them.
If you are not sure if a Facebook page would work in your niche, just search on Facebook for similar existing pages. If you can find at least a couple generic Facebook pages (not belonging to any brand) with a bigger following, then creating a page might be a good option.
Running Facebook ads is another way in which you can approach affiliate marketing on Facebook. The benefit of running Facebook ads is obvious: you don’t need a fan base on Facebook. Facebook provides many targeting options like demographics, interests or behaviors, etc.
If you promote beauty products, you can show your ad solely to women who have expressed an interest in beauty products or who are, for instance, frequent buyers. You don’t need to take time to build a group or page around your targeted audience. You can target potential buyers right away.
As mentioned previously, Facebook allows the use of affiliate links in ads, but you have to be careful about the quality of the product landing page.
Furthermore, you should always check that your affiliate program allows promotion via Facebook Ads. Many people make the mistake and promote Amazon affiliate links on Facebook, although the Amazon Associates Program forbids it.
If you don’t have a website, page, or group in which you could promote your links, Facebook ads are an option to get started fast.
However, I would again recommend creating a website or a simple landing page with an opt-in form. If you pay for traffic, it should be even more in your interest to follow up with people who clicked on your ad but didn’t buy. You should always have some kind of opt-in form that allows you to do that.
Of course, this recommendation doesn’t apply to all products. If you promote very low-ticket products, then you can often send people directly to the sales page, as the buying decision process is much faster.
Conclusion: Should You Promote Affiliate Links on Facebook?
In my opinion, affiliate marketing on Facebook has great potential if approached correctly. If you decide to use Facebook for affiliate marketing only because it’s easy to spam your links everywhere, you cannot expect to be successful.
On the other hand, if you take the time to build a following for a page/group or leverage Facebook to send traffic to your blog posts, doing affiliate marketing on Facebook can be a game-changer for you.
Whether you decide to promote on Facebook freely or use Facebook ads, my best advice is to always have a website. You miss out on many sales if you don’t have one.