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Social Media and Affiliate Marketing Connection

20 Nov

I’ve always ran away from having to deal with affiliate marketing as I’ve somehow associated it with  capitalism of the evil kind before. But now that I know better,  I have approached it with a more open mind and have began to see how indeed it can complement your social media addiction and even make an “honest” buck in the process.

To simplify this to the uninitiated, affiliate marketing is quite plainly any business offering an internet-based sales program to opinion makers and marketing persons, to help sell the businesses’  products or services through the marketer’s network. Smart business people know that nothing can exponentially grow their businesses better than a system of tapping  people or organizations to create marketing opportunities for their products through a referral scheme. The proverbial carrot of course is a substantial commission with every sale made through these sales partners. (one could expect hefty ones in the area of 25- 60% ).

This is done mainly through the following steps: 1) Interested parties apply or are recruited to help sell the online products or services 2) Business approves relationships and assigns specific and unique affiliate tracking codes for affiliates/ partners. 3) Affiliates help create marketing opportunities for the products or services THROUGH their online network 4) Downlines are introduced to products or services through various by the affiliates. 5) Business just mails the “check” after sales are completed through the unique affiliate codes or conduits 6) Hopefully, everybody is happy in the end.

I’ve greatly truncated the process but in a gist, this is how the system works for many successful affiliate marketers out there. And this is where we see the whole thing dovetailing so well with the great social media revolution.

In as much as social media operates on trust and engagements, it is not a completely bad thing for social participants to “evangelize” about good products or services through their facebook posts or tweets or links. Thanks of course to the phenomenon of  “tiny urls”, the whole  process need not look too “sales pitchy”.  A mere mention like- “Oh, I thoroughly enjoyed my new gadget (followed by the unique link), why don’t you try it out too. Thanks”  can actually lead to an easy sale for a business, and a much-welcome commis for our avid social media socialite.

Why don’t you try exploring these if so inclined. Check out that tiny footnote in the the home page of your favorite gadget or software product  and look for the inconspicuous “affiliate” text. Then you are on your way to starting your own social media- led business on the side. A little moolah is not at all evil if done in an authentic and helpful way. Otherwise, because social media are  truly accountable and leave a clear “paper trail”, all I can say is that you’ve been warned… and after all, Social Media and Affiliate Marketing done properly is a marriage truly made in “referral” heaven.

Special Sauce #3: Be Yourself

11 Feb

I remember having to take personality tests in school. They were quite long. Even if I wanted to skew the responses to my favor,  it was quite hard to try to fake it. The maze of ipsative questions,  somehow made sure that I would sooner or later expose my true self and give away my thoughts.

Flash forward to 2011, social media sometimes has the makings of a literally humongous personality test. Like the test I talked about before, we are in some ways led to make ” forced choices”, or similarly, instant responses to the tweets or facebook posts we receive. Although we try to put our game face on, something freudian slips out eventually.

We all know that there are “tools’ available today to aggregate data across contents and contexts, so that an almost accurate profile of the “persona’ can be extracted. Well,  we don’t even have to utilize  sophisticated software sometimes because  a lot can be gleaned even from mere choices of words and punctuations.  Like excessive use of  “… ”  perhaps to indicate someone who must have lived through the 70s (*wink*)

My best advise therefore if we  envision a life in Social Media, would be to simply just be ourselves. This will include putting our best game face on, for even that is truly part of  who we are. But remember… sooner or later, no matter how hard we even try… our slip will show.

Peace… man.

Special Sauce #1: Relevance

1 Feb

Social Media is a brutal game. Most of us come in with pristine intentions, trying hard to stay in the conversation. Yet, some of us leave bloodied when all we wanted was to get simply a pat on the back. We post, we tweet, we reach out to friends and faceless strangers alike. We bait, we cajole or worse, patronize. Then… nothing. It’s like that proverbial blue screen of death to battle-tested Windows veterans. No response.

Well, the usual advice has always been, get relevant. Okay, but what exactly is relevance?  Wiki says, pertinent, connected or applicable something is to a given matter. Umm, another one please… Definition: Something (A) is relevant to a task (T) if it increases the likelihood of accomplishing the goal (G), which is implied by T. (Hjørland & Sejer Christensen,2002). They are actually all correct except, they don’t tell much “the how” of it all. Well today, I might have a few ideas of my own to share, after many, many blue screen experiences. Like…

To be relevant, be recognizable. There are millions of images passing before our audience each day, all vying for attention. And they tend to respond only to stimuli they recognize. People, it seems, disconnect if they cannot make sense or interpret information. So don’t  discuss Hilbert’s 16th Problem in Algebra to Pre-School children. They may see flowers for equations, or cut you off completely.

The media in social starts with “Me”. Yes, me, not actually you… but them your audience. It sounds so simple but we do often forget that it is a conversation and not  an oration. What do they hope to get out of it, what’s in it for them? Relevant comes from the Latin word relevare, which means “alleviate or unburden”. So aim to be helpful and expect more dividends.

Be ready for change. After all, relevance is a moving target. Context, as my good blogger friend Albert Borrero would always say… is everything. So keep updated with movements in people’s reference points. “Bad” is not always necessarily so. Keep scanning the horizon for shifting sands.

And finally, sometimes, staying relevant means staying healthy like getting enough sleep. It happens too often that the quest for a Social Life in Social Media leads to otherworldly ideas at 3′ o clock in the morning. Then again, find some time to smell the orange blossoms whenever you can.

The Scent We Leave Behind

1 Feb

We always leave behind something with every interaction. In the days when face-to-face was the only way to go, we would give away inner thoughts and feelings with our body language, personality quirks with a stroke of the pen, and if we were to believe even our romantic intentions with something like a scent.

Going online may have limited some access to these “sense data”, but it’s not too far-off that we just simply overlay our learnings from let’s say Graphology to do predictive matchings, based on interest or temperament for social networks.  Communities of like-minded individuals through a mere signature? 1984 redux?

We are who we are. Online or offline. Peace.

Commensality: a social bond

1 Feb

Sauce in food is like candy wrappers. Food is what brings people together–off- or on-line.

Food is culture. Food is social. Food makes us human. And food is our social bond.

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