Affiliate marketers tend to gravitate towards whatever social network is in vogue.
But Twitter rarely gets a second look.
In fact, you’ll rarely hear an affiliate marketing “guru” talk about it.
Probably because they’re too busy posting pictures of their rented Lamborghini on other social media platforms.
So, viewed subjectively Twitter would appear to be a waste of time except for big brands.
It’s just far too “noisy”.
But viewed objectively, you have to at least acknowledge three things about Twitter:
- It has 330 million active users.
- Affiliates are making money there. In fact, 31.1% of affiliate marketers are leveraging Twitter, according to our affiliate marketing statistics page.
So let’s put our feelings to one side and take a look at Twitter through a commercially-minded lens.
Let’s nail down a definition though before we get started.
What is affiliate marketing on Twitter?
Affiliate marketing on Twitter is where you recommend products or services to your Followers via either free or paid Tweets. You can then earn a percentage-based or flat rate commission fee from that referral, depending on the type of affiliate program you’re promoting.
This is basically the process you’d use with affiliate marketing on any other platform.
The only difference here is that you’re promoting products to your Twitter Followers instead of people visiting your website.
So let’s take a look at how this particular angle on affiliate marketing works.
Guide to Twitter affiliate marketing
When building a niche or authority website one of the first steps is to choose your niche.
And then choose the affiliate programs you want to promote.
Twitter is no different in that regard.
Find your Twitter niche
Broad niches don’t seem to work well on Twitter, so be prepared to niche down if you want to make money.
For example, instead of promoting “diet” products, you’d only discuss Keto dieting.
That’s how you build an avid following, not by promoting a different affiliate program each day.
Not sure how to pick a niche?
Don’t worry, we’ve already researched more than 80 of the best niches out there for you.
Another option for choosing an affiliate marketing niche is to look at what people are talking about via the ‘Explore’ page:
You can also use some of the better affiliate marketing networks to find at least one affiliate program you can profit from.
Here are some of our favorites:
Or you can promote the affiliate program of one of your favorite brands.
There are plenty more to choose from, like ClickBank if want to promote digital-only products to Twitter users.
But it can be just as easy to pique your Follower’s interest in a physical product.
And then redirect them to your blog to read a review that contains an affiliate link.
Finding and signing up for affiliate programs that offer recurring commission is also something worth considering.
An important question to ask at this point is how does Twitter feel about affiliate links?
The answer is – “Just fine as long as you’re not spamming people”.
But they will automatically tag certain types of affiliate links as “Unsafe”.
You don’t need us to explain what affiliate marketing offers might get tagged in that manner.
So that’s your niche research and affiliate program stuff taken care of.
Now it’s time to build your audience.
Engage and gain Followers
If you’re not already familiar with the basics of Twitter it’s a “micro-blogging” social media platform.
Micro-blogging refers to the fact that you only have 280 characters (per Tweet) to get your message across to your Followers.
So you really have to focus on engagement first when it comes to making money with its user base.
Let’s get started on how you actually do that.
Your Twitter profile
Completing your profile is the first thing for you to spend some time on.
It helps create a positive image for your online business, and best practice is to also inject some of your personality into it.
That’s why brands make such a huge effort with their social profiles.
So if profiles matter to companies they should matter to you.
Also, use an actual picture of yourself in your profile.
The reason for this is that the majority of Twitter users use an avatar/cartoon on their profile.
So using a real photograph helps build trust and can boost your engagement rate.
Which will be critical when you’re recommending affiliate marketing products and services to your Followers later on.
Basically, make your profile engaging and make it memorable.
So let’s start with one of the most important Twitter marketing tips that far too many affiliate marketers ignore:
It might inflate your ego but it’s a waste of time and money.
Paid Followers will rarely engage with your Tweets – usually because they’re bots.
That’s why you’ll see accounts with 50k Followers that can barely scrape together 100 Likes when they post.
You’ll also get called out for being a fake which will directly impact your credibility.
And a lack of credibility means getting crappy conversion rates = your affiliate marketing links stand no chance of making money.
So how do you go about getting people interested in what you have to say?
Find popular Twitter influencers in tangential niches and follow them.
Retweet their content.
But take that extra step by Quote Tweeting them and adding to the original Tweet:
Quote Tweets are far more effective as part of an affiliate marketing strategy than just a boring old Retweet.
Basically, become active in their threads and it won’t be too long before some of their Followers become fans of your content too.
Not sure what conversations to become a part of?
Check out what’s ‘Trending’:
And then find a thread you think is at least somewhat related to your niche.
Remember, time is money to the affiliate marketer, so don’t get caught up in conversations that are worthless to you from an affiliate marketing point of view.
Which brings me to my next point.
Drama on social media is very much a thing.
Twitter just happens to be one of the worst places for it.
So make sure to not get caught up in arguments between people.
Angry people are not your target audience/demographic so don’t waste time on them.
This type of drama has caused major reputational damage to some companies, so always remember that social media is forever.
Use Twitter chats
These chats are a neat way to raise your profile on this platform
A Twitter Chat is like a moderated discussion but centered around one topic and a specific hashtag.
So, look for recurring Twitter chats related to your niche and take part in them.
Some of the people you “meet” will eventually follow you.
Or consider hosting your own Twitter chat once you have a few thousand Followers.
Most marketers completely overlook this method for generating traffic to their affiliate offers.
Tweet. A. Lot.
Twitter is a volume game if you want to get attention.
And clicks on whatever affiliate marketing programs you’re linking out to.
So be prepared to Tweet a minimum of 6 times per day if you want to stand out from the crowd.
A single, thoughtful Tweet might just, maybe get a lot of attention.
But it’s unlikely.
That’s why you see all the biggest influencers publishing content several times per day.
Style Your Tweets
Just because everyone else composes their Tweets as a single block of text doesn’t mean you should.
This style of writing is obviously influenced by the 280-character limit imposed on each Tweet.
But which of these writing styles is easier to read and more engaging?
Or this one?
You can still be an effective affiliate copywriter when using Twitter.
It can be as simple as using a lot of white space when sharing information with your readers.
Or not cramming your affiliate link down their throat.
Not formatting your Tweets the same way as other users is one way to make sure they stand out.
It’s not always easy to find the time each day to post multiple Tweets.
That’s why it makes so much sense to use a Twitter marketing automation tool – typically a scheduler of some kind.
And it just so happens that Twitter now includes one of these in the form of TweetDeck.
This allows you to get a week’s worth of content ready in one afternoon and then schedule it for when your Followers are most active.
TweetDeck is enough for the average affiliate marketing newbie.
But if you need to schedule content across several social networks then you might need to upgrade to something like Later.com.
You won’t mind the additional cost once you’ve reached that stage in your affiliate marketing career.
Twitter introduced the world to the idea of using hashtags as a means of categorizing Tweets on their platform.
But affiliates have a tendency to go way overboard with them.
The key with hashtags is to make them relevant.
Don’t cram your Tweets full of them “just because”.
Less is definitely more when it comes to using hashtags in your affiliate marketing effort i.e. use 2 – 3 hashtags per Tweet.
How can you tell which hashtags to use to attract new Followers?
‘Trending’ topics is one way to see what’s popular right now.
Doing some competitor analysis is another way to see what non-branded hashtags get attention.
But if you need something more specific to your brand or product there are dedicated tools you can use:
Keywordtool.io – this offers limited free searches
Hashtagify.me – this costs $29 per month
Measure your progress
It can be hard to know how far you’ve come unless you know where you started.
The number of Followers you have can eventually become a confusing blur if you’re doing things right.
That’s why having access to some kind of Twitter analytics package is important.
The good news is that every Twitter account comes with analytics built-in.
It’s not as detailed as Google Analytics, but again it should be enough for the average affiliate marketer.
But if you need more detail on your data or a suite of advanced tools, then Followerwonk is a popular choice.
Use paid ads
And the final option for building an audience on any social media network is – as always – paid ads.
Ultimately, this will be the only option available to businesses and affiliate marketers operating on social media platforms.
You can use Twitter as a free source of traffic for now…but don’t bet your future on it.
You can run several different types of campaigns from building brand awareness to getting more traffic to your website.
There’s even a campaign type designed to help boost the number of Followers you have.
If you’re looking for a pretty decent intro on how to use Twitter ads this Hootsuite article is helpful.
Twitter affiliate marketing examples
Now, let’s take a look at some examples of how you can use Twitter to earn affiliate commissions.
Because it’s easy to speculate about how people might be making money on Twitter, so it’s better to show you some concrete examples
I’m going to start off with Everyday Carry to demonstrate how a big affiliate site profits from active users on Twitter.
And they do a really good job of sprinkling their product reviews (which contain affiliate links) among the user generated content.
Here’s an example:
This link to a product review is surrounded by Tweets containing images of their Followers’ everyday carry loadouts.
Their affiliate content doesn’t feel jarring and blends right in with everything else on their feed.
So their Followers never feel that they’re being “sold” to.
But you don’t have to look and feel like a big brand to promote affiliate programs on Twitter.
Here’s a creator named Wario who Tweets about video games:
He has 600k Followers so that’s an audience big enough to monetize
Which is what he does when a new AAA game drops.
And he’s already covered his ass with an affiliate disclaimed in his profile.
And here’s one final example of a using Twitter affiliate marketing to earn money reviewing and recommending….sneakers.
So while most other “experts” are trying to push crypto and “get rich now” offers, these guys are flying under the radar promoting footwear.
And there’s a lesson to be learned here.
You don’t need a massive following on Twitter to make money with affiliate marketing.
Basically, mimic what other successful Twitter affiliates are doing to reach their “buyers” – don’t try to reinvent the wheel.
Pros and Cons of Twitter Affiliate Marketing
So with all that said, let’s try to give you the digest version of the key points to consider:
- 300+ million active users sending 500 million Tweets per day
- 80% of all Tweets are sent by 10% of users – you can be part of that 10%
- You only have to write 280 characters worth of affiliate marketing pre-sell
- Twitter is relatively untapped by affiliates, especially compared to Facebook or Instagram
- It has an easy-to-use interface – anyone can use Twitter
- Twitter is still affiliate program friendly
- It is slowly becoming a platform dedicated to online drama
- The level of commercial intent is questionable
- They automatically block any links they consider “unsafe”.
- 280-characters can feel very limiting
Should you start affiliate marketing on Twitter?
This isn’t an easy one to answer.
There are affiliates claiming to generate a full-time income from their Followers.
But the bulk of that seems to be pushing affiliate products on relative strangers.
So I have to assume that their conversion rate sucks.
The flip side of this is there are legit affiliate marketers using the platform, and they’re not active there for the good of their health.
Which means they’re making money from Twitter Followers either with their own products or products they’re affiliated with.
In my opinion, Twitter should be an optional spoke in your affiliate marketing strategy.
Use it to drive traffic to your website as a way of making money from it.
Just don’t expect to make sales directly through your Tweets.
Because the level of commercial intent on Twitter is impossible to gauge.
Which is why you shouldn’t dive in…without first testing the water.
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