It’s been a long time between drinks here at Alexwhalley.com but a dinner with friends the other night prompted me to come out of hiding and share some insights into what I think is the Anti-Social side of social networking. Aaah the irony.
It’s not that Facebook and Twitter are a bad thing, on the contrary – if you own a business/product and/or service and you know what you are doing then the social networks can be a very profitable way to raise awareness and make sales, but this is where the confusion starts to set in, with many would-be affiliates jumping into the fray wondering how they can make it work for them.
The straight answer: They can’t! Now I am not being negative here, more matter of fact if anything, but if you have tried to use the social networks as a blogger and/or affiliate then let me explain why it’s just NOT working out the way you planned. (and I am assuming that it’s not or you would have stopped reading right about…. now )
Anti-Social Networking with Friends
So I’m out to dinner with some old school friends that I have not seen for a few years and one of them, James – spends a good portion of the night buried in his iPhone. Now I assume – as does everyone else at dinner that he is in the middle of some sort of business deal in which he is waiting on information/texts/whatever but after a few ‘chimes’ of his phone I realise it is the familiar tone one gets when they recieve a Tweet or a Facebook update. I ask what he is doing and James tells us proudly that he is Tweeting and Facebooking the fact that he is at dinner with some old school friends.
Are you shitting me?!?! That’s the stupidest thing I have ever heard. I can see the conversation later:
“So James, how was it seeing your old school friends the other night?”
“Not sure, didn’t really get a chance to talk ’cause I spent the whole time telling the rest of the world that I was at said dinner”
Really? Now that is what I call Anti-Social networking!
But how does this relate to Affiliate marketing?
I could be honest and say that it doesn’t but I’m a blogger – so of course it does… well I’m going to bloody well make it relate (so help me God)
Why Affiliates Should Avoid Social Networking
I mentioned in the first paragraph that Social Networking can work if you own a business that provides a product or a service and THIS is the key to why it does NOT work for affiliate marketing. Blogging is much the same in this regard as most bloggers (myself included until I can finish my Build Rank Profit Members site) do not actually promote their own product but rather try and seek an audience to then sell other peoples wares (aka: affiliate marketing).
It is for this reason and this reason only that I tell would be affiliates to avoid the social networks like the plague.
What is the primary goal of business minded people when they venture onto the pages of Facebook or LinkedIn, or even Twitter?
To advertise their services and promote their products!
If you are simply an affiliate (not that there is anything wrong with that of course) then all you are doing when you try to make a name for yourself there is indirectly promoting other people! Sure, you spread your own name around a bit and probably get a little bit of traffic from it too, but I bet if you could monitor that traffic – not many would convert into buyers.
It Takes Time to
crap on Socialise
Utilising social networks to build a following and get traffic can work, but when you look at how much time it takes to do so you will realise that the same amount of time invested in either link building or guest blogging (the greatest traffic generation method of all I might add!) will yield far better results.
And it’s Crowded there too!
Another reason affiliates should avoid the social networks is because of the competition that already exists there.
Every new Internet Marketer who comes along jumps straight into the fray with no actual idea what they are doing, and granted you as an experienced affiliate have the edge on them, it does not take away from the fact that there are simply too many of them to avoid direct competition.
Not only are you competing against 5000 other affiliates all pushing the same products and services, you are also now trying to sell to a customer that is overwhelmed and confused – a place that not many people will then purchase from.
Why try and sell Ice to Eskimos when you can take a few extra steps and sell them Cocktails instead?! (OK I just totally made that expression up and although it makes absolutely no sense, it still kinda works LOL)
The Point I am Making is…
When my friend spent the greater part of half an hour updating his status and Tweeting his whereabouts to the world it made me realise that as an affiliate, these Social Networks are the last place I should be spending my time. If you own a business that provides a product or service then sure – use these networks to extend your client base, let the world know what you have to offer and of course ‘network’ with potential clients. But if you are simply a middle man trying to spread the word about your new blog or even just a discreet affiliate promoting a profitable product then honestly, spending your time on these networks is akin to wasting it (time that is) and you are much better off expending the same amount of energy on writing guest posts, building backlinks and creating content. Trust me on that.