Affiliate Marketing: 3 Ways to Sell With Social Media

It's predicted that social media marketing will be the big thing for many companies in 2010. They're jumping on this particular bandwagon because they know they'll make sales. But can affiliate marketers make sales on these sites?

The major challenge with making sales on popular sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube is that the traffic is focused on entertainment. People don't visit the sites to buy, they visit to enjoy time with their friends. However you can certainly make sales if you approach the process in the right way.

Here are three ways to sell:

1. Integrate Twitter and Facebook With Your Website or Blog: It Increases Stickiness

Popular, fun sites can help to build traffic to your blog. Once readers reach your blog, your aim is to get them to read as much of your content as possible. Although they may not buy on their first visit, they're becoming familiar with you, and they may buy on a subsequent visit.

There are many ways to integrate Twitter and other sites with your blog. Most major blogging platforms offer plug-ins and widgets to display your latest postings on your blog.

2. Build Relationships and Sell

One of the benefits of the social media sites is that they help you to build relationships with prospective buyers. You become a real person, and buyers prefer to buy from people they know.

Ensure that most comment you make are simple friendly interactions, rather than pitches -- however don't stray completely off-topic. You'll need to stay on topic to increase your targeted traffic. Remember that by and large, this  traffic is of low value. So you'll need many more visitors to achieve conversions.

3. Listen to the Conversation: Can Your Affiliate Products Solve Problems?

Use the search tools which are available on the sites you've chosen. Set up alerts for keywords related to your affiliate products. Then just listen to the conversation, and respond as appropriate.

When you're responding, ensure that you avoid direct selling. Forward people to a helpful blog post you've written, or offer your own insights. Sales happen on your affiliate products' sales pages; you're offering fun, as well as information.