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Advanced Strategies for Sharing Amazon Links on Social Media

Looking to learn something new about sharing on social media? We've created a guide with advanced strategies for branching out and taking your social media game to the next level. Social media is a great way to build a close connection with your audience and offers creative opportunities to build new content - all of which can mean new sources of earnings for you as an associate.

Not ready for advanced strategies and want a refresher on the basics? Take a look at our 101 Guide for some recommendations to get you started.

Planning Content for Social Media

Since you're already an associate, you already know a thing or two about creating quality content and building an editorial calendar. It's simple to add in social media to your planning process, and use many of the same planning inputs. You still want to write pieces that are original, engaging, and relevant to your audience (and you still want to be careful not to bombard them with pointless, empty updates).

Pay close attention to each social channel you intend to use and think about how your content can be shaped to fit into the medium of that channel. For example, if you run a cooking blog, start featuring videos or images on Instagram of the recipes you share on your website (and link back to it!).

Regardless of the specific topic of your website or the specific social channel you choose, consider if there's any way that you can start incorporating video. There is plenty of data to suggest that video is the most popular format with internet users today, and will only continue to become more popular in the future. Just remember that users generally prefer to watch short videos (under 60 seconds) and that many users viewing won't have the sound turned on, so it's a good idea to add captions to your video and focus on visual storytelling.

Setting aside the particulars of each different channel, social media generally offers a rich experience for readers because of the level of personal interaction and connection that it fosters. You can make the most out of this connection between you and your audience by designing content that explicitly utilizes it. For example, you could give users the chance to vote on what features they'd like to see, and then actually do those features, or set up giveaways and contests for them to participate in.

Improving the Quality of Your Image Assets

Social media is generally a visual medium. With users scrolling quickly, you'll want engaging imagery to capture their attention and keep their focus. If you haven't put much thought into your image assets in the past, start taking them more seriously. Luckily for you, we've put together a few resources to help you get going with image creation: How to Use Images, Best Practices for Using Images in Your Content, and Tips for Creating Your Own Images.

In addition to generally thinking more visually, you'll also want to make sure you that have great assets - like profile pictures and banner images - for all of your profiles. Customize these images to mirror the style of your website in order to tie them together. Outside of that, you'll also want to build custom assets for each post, depending on the channel. For example, if you're launching a Pinterest profile, you'll want make a unique pin image for each of your blog posts. To simplify it, consider using images you might already be using for your website or on other social channels - there's no need to start from the ground up if you already have some of the work done.

Testing New Channels

Each social media channel offers different creative forms to work with. If you are already set up with a solid following on a couple of channels, that's great! But, there's always going to be something new and exciting just on the horizon. That's why it's a good idea to start branching out and testing new social channels once you've gotten yourself established with the basics.

Start by looking at what other social channels your peers are having success on. It's also a good idea to follow social-media focused websites for news about up-and-coming platforms - a few we suggest are Moz, Hootsuite, and Sprout. And don't be afraid to experiment! Not every channel you try will turn out to be the next big thing, but it's worth putting the effort forward to possibly be on the cutting edge. Just keep testing and going with what works. Which actually brings us to our next tip...

A/B Testing

Marketers use A/B testing to quickly identify what users respond better to. For example, you post two pieces of identical content with just one aspect changed and determine which is more popular with users. From there, you keep testing different aspects of your content until you've collected enough data to build streamlined, highly-effective content.

You can A/B test any aspect of a post, but the important thing is to only change one variable at a time when you run a test. The more you limit the variables in the test, the clearer it is when determining a winner. We recommend starting with things like text length, images, call-to-action and link direction - but there's plenty more you can test. Keep track of your learnings as you go so that you can use them to inform your future content.

Social channels like Facebook make A/B testing easy with paid ads. If you do this, we recommend testing everything with low bids and limited reach until you've whittled your content down into something that is highly effective, which you can then promote with confidence at a wider scale. Just remember that if you are running paid ads, you cannot include your affiliate tags in the destination link.

Strategizing with Links

Just because your end goal is to get users to click on your affiliate links, doesn't mean that every link you post or promote on social media needs to be an affiliate link. You should focus on providing quality content first. Because of this, think carefully about where all of your links are pointing. You might find that it's more effective for you to only promote your website itself on social and only place affiliate links in your blog posts. Experiment with posting links directly on social or posting links embedded deeper within your content and optimize your link placement based on your results.

You can also set different KPIs (key performance indicators) for different types of posts. A post that gains you lots of new followers, for example, may not earn you much money directly, but a large following is a valuable thing to have that could pay dividends in the future.

Building a Community

When you're managing your social media channels, focus on building a community with your audience. Try to engage with your audience when they interact with your posts, such as liking their comments or responding directly.

Unfortunately, dealing with criticism of your site and its content is also an inevitable part of life on social media. Be prepared to deal with negativity and always try to respond to any criticism of your work in a professional and constructive manner. Check out our guide to responding to online criticism for more tips on making this work.
In general, social media can help you gain a wider reach by connecting you with new readers and an invaluable tool for staying connected to your current readers. Since you already know the basics of making and monetizing content, using more social media in your strategy can boost your traffic and earnings.

And once you've become a total social media whiz, then it's time to start thinking about joining the Amazon Influencer Program for even more ways to recommend products to your audience and earn money.
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