Oh, Instagram. You turned an entire generation of people into professional photographers through the use of your handy, dandy app. In all my days, I never would have guessed that so many teenagers would be able to make so much content. It’s impressive really.
Unfortunately, the rise of Insta means that many affiliate marketers aren’t getting the memo. You know the memo, right? The memo. The memo that tells you not to act a fool on Instagram. We’ve all heard of people losing sponsorships and affiliates from saying or doing something stupid on social media.
Stupid can often be in the eye of the beholder. If you want to make sure that you don’t lose customers or worse, get dropped by your affiliates, keep reading. We’re going to reveal the worst mistakes marketers can make.
Note: For the sake of this article, we’re going to assume you use hashtags, analytics, and have a business account. If not, it might be time to research that before you start wondering what is going wrong.
1. Not Having A Specific Theme
You are not going to do well as a marketer on social media if you do not have a theme to your social media accounts. Social media followers tend to choose companies that are specifically geared towards a certain aesthetic. If your platform is totally generic and features a bunch of different stuff, people will check out.
Going after niches may be counterintuitive, but it’s the easiest way to get a large market and ensure that your potential buyers will be engaged.
2. Having Ugly Content
Instagram is a visual platform. People follow and engage with companies that put out visually appealing content. If your content looks like it was shot in a cruddy warehouse with bad lighting, no one will want to have anything to do with your company. It’s just that simple.
The cardinal rule of Instagram is to have gorgeous photos. If nothing else, invest in that! You will be glad you did.
3. Getting Negative
Have you ever shared a drink with someone who just couldn’t be positive no matter what they did? It’s draining, isn’t it? Most of us can’t take too much of the person who complains about everything at the drop of a hat. It’s rough on an emotional and mental level.
That’s why most people don’t like hanging out with Negative Nellies. Surprise—the same can be said about Debbie Downer Instagrams. Don’t be the person who complains about other products or makes people feel bad about themselves. Be the person who makes them feel empowered, or curious. “Dread game” only really works in writing.
4. Not Following Others
People are way more likely to follow you if you follow them first. It’s actually a major thing—following a bunch of people, then unfollowing them once they follow you. This can be time-consuming, but it pays off. In some cases, there are bots that can do this, but it’s best not to let it remain a bot thing.
5. Not Using Paid Advertising
I’m going to be honest with you. You can make golden content about affiliate sales stuff, but it’s not going to do much if you don’t pay for some advertising. You need that reach, my friend. While using hashtags and doing mass follows can help, it’s not the be-all, end-all of marketing.
The truth is that paid ads are a must, especially when you are trying to run an online store that will eventually carry your own whitelabel brand. However, there is a caveat here: you should only do this after you’ve otten at least 200 to 300 followers. It helps you look legit.
6. Saying Something Offensive
I know, I know. It’s going to be a rough thing to avoid doing in this day and age, but it’s the truth. We all know about cancel culture and how brutal it can be. In most cases, cancel culture is something that happens when you say or do something that’s discriminatory or otherwise makes you look bad.
Political discussions should stay off social media, period. Politics do not belong in business, unless it’s to show solidarity with a marginalized group. When in doubt, ask what top companies are doing and follow their lead.
7. Being Inconsistent
Bruh. If you are not capable of posting stuff consistently to your social media, how can people expect you to be consistent with your company? Most people will not trust in you if you do this, and won’t even want to follow you.
Studies show that consistency makes a huge difference when it comes to follower numbers and subscriptions.
The Bottom Line
Most of the time, people tend to follow people Instagram accounts that make them feel inspired and have beautiful content. They want to feel a connection to your ‘gram, which is why we want to emphasize that it’s best to create stuff that wants to make people feel connected to your account. Ya dig?
5 PR Disasters That You Can Easily Avoid
Recently, I picked up an article about a company that had a serious issue by the name of Black Rifle Coffee. The company was one that made a point of being pro-gun, pro-NRA, and backing GOP candidates. At first, the coffee brand fashioned itself as the “anti-hipster” coffee brand, going so far as to offer hipster cutouts for target practice.
Then, the bad press came.
As it turns out, their own fanbase ended up wearing their logos to the January 6th insurrection attempt on the White House. When people began to associate Black Rifle with the alt-right, people began to back away. After all, no one wants to be associated with a terrorist attack. I couldn’t help but think that PR disasters like this can be avoided pretty easily.
If you’re currently working to create a site and a brand of your own, you might be wondering what you can do to avoid a gaffe of epic proportions. Here’s how you can avoid disasters that have sunk others before.
1. Bad Clients For Your Brand
You know how people say that “clients choose the company?”
That’s only half true. Companies tend to market themselves towards a certain client base, and also retain the right to distance themselves from clients that make them look bad. This includes asking them to leave or banning them from buying your goods.
With certain businesses, such as bars, you have to take a hardline approach to this. For example, demanding that people dressed in white supremacist paraphernalia leave is a must. Otherwise, you might end up dealing with large swaths of them showing up simply because you tolerate them.
A good IRL example of this is Victoria’s Secret. A woman assaulted another customer, got recorded, then faked a freakout to avoid getting viral hate for her behavior. What did they do? Nothing. They asked the victim to leave. Guess who ended up having a major disaster on their hands? Yep. Victoria’s Secret.
Online, this often means taking a hardline approach to who you market to. When in doubt, choose tolerance and acceptance. The classier you look, the less likely it is that your brand will be stigmatized.
2. Unstable Social Media Posts
For the most part, it’s very rare that you will see a top company post something that seems unstable. However, if you remember Amy’s Baking Company from Kitchen Nightmares, then you already know how bad it can look to have an unhinged screed on your social media account.
While influencers can *sometimes* get away with it, the truth is that it undermines your credibility in a lot of cases. In some cases, it can even end up causing your entire brand to implode.
The solution to this is pretty simple. You just need to walk away from social media. If you’re still building your brand, you might want to hire a professional social media scrubber to help prevent you from scandal later on.
3. Being Caught Acting Out In Public
Ohh, this is a bad one. We’ve all heard about people who have been caught on camera acting out in a racist manner getting fired from their jobs as a result of internet outrage. We have also seen tons of stories about CEOs who, for one reason or another, were caught doing creepy stuff. (Looking at you, Dov Charney…)
In the past, you might have been able to get away with it simply because it wouldn’t get plastered all over the net. Moreover, we used to have a culture where people would be less likely to whistleblow. Today, you can’t get away with that kind of predatory or insane behavior—nor should you ever have been able to.
Most people who have been caught doing something egregiously terrible (like Amy Cooper, for example) are going to have a PR scandal on their hands. They may even have their entire careers ruined. However, this is easy to prevent. All you have to do is be a decent person!
4. Putting Too Much Control In Users’ Hands
Here’s something that many brands and celebrities are starting to realize. The internet is not a good place. Or rather, it’s a great place but people are total jerks. That’s why it’s so important to control the narrative that you allow your brand to have. What does this mean?
Well, why not ask Mr. Cosby? Or McDonald’s? Both the now-shamed actor and the fast food chain had major PR disasters that all started when they asked fans to make a meme of them or talk about their favorite memories at their establishment.
The results were devastating.
In the case of the epic fail known as #McDsStories, users began to rag on the worst experiences they had. It went viral because it backfired so spectacularly. In the case of Bill Cosby, people actually started to pay attention to all the stories about him drugging and raping women. It destroyed his name for the rest of his life.
The moral of the story? Don’t do what they did. Control the narrative. Ask them to send in stories via the DMs, or ask them to repeat something you post instead.
5. Attacking Your Audience
Trust me when I say that I understand the urge to clap back at people who pull your brand down or try to get under your skin. It’s only human nature to want to defend yourself, especially when they are picking apart your brand or making disparaging remarks about you.
The truth is, it’s not a good look to attack your audience. Even if they deserve it, it won’t do you any good. They will be happy to see that they’re getting to you, and worse, they will use your attack at them to further drag your company’s look down.
The best thing to do is to either be silent or release a neutral-toned statement about your company. After all, in a world where PR landmines are a dime a dozen, silence is truly golden.
How To Get One Million Followers On Instagram
Instagram can become a goldmine for anyone who has a good strategy. If you have many followers, you can promote products, get sponsorships, and build a brand. Today you will learn how to get one million Instagram followers by following the steps below.
1. Have A Great Profile
When you start on Instagram, the first step is to create a new profile. You need a nice image and a description. If you have a link, this is the right place to add it.
People will decide to follow you or not after discovering your account based on your profile. If they like it, they will follow you most of the time. So, you need an image and description that get their attention. They can scroll down and see your posts, so the images of your posts matter as well.
2. Post High-Quality Content
Instagram allows you to publish images, videos, and stories. When you publish a post, it goes to the feed of your followers. But they manually go to your stories that disappear after 24 hours.
The engagement and the followers you get from each new post depends on the quality of your images and videos. When you publish something of great quality or unique, you will get more followers. You can also check what already works in your niche to get ideas for your next posts and create something better.
3. Use Many Hashtags
Hashtags are a big part of your Instagram strategy. Each post should have at least one hashtag, but most influencers use multiple of them. According to a study, using 11 or more hashtags will generate 442% more engagement than using a few hashtags.
Most users don’t use many hashtags or don’t do their research to find the right ones. If you search for different hashtag ideas, create your own hashtags, and add them to your posts, you will win most of your competitors.
4. Engage With Your Audience
Publishing content is not enough if you want to get one million followers. You must put some extra effort and engage with your audience. If you spend a few minutes per day to reply to your followers, like their posts, and leave some comments, you will get better results.
A popular engagement strategy is the $1.80 strategy by Garry Vaynerchuk. He leaves his two cents, meaning his comments in ten posts under nine different popular hashtags in his niche. If 90 comments per day sound too much, you can adjust your strategy.
5. Promote Your Profile On Other Platforms
If you have a website, you should add your profile somewhere on your homepage. Many people that visit your site would like to check and follow your social accounts. It is a great way to create repeat visitors for your site and new followers.
Many social media profiles allow you to add your profiles on other platforms. For example, you can add your profile on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc. You don’t have to request a follow every time because some people will click on your profiles by themselves.
Lastly, you can use offline methods. If you want to build a business profile, adding your username on business cards and emails is a good strategy. You can also ask people that you know to follow you, like friends and family. A quick boost on your followers when you start from zero can save you a lot of time in the beginning.
6. Post Content At The Right Time
You need to publish content when your followers are online. They probably follow many other profiles that publish content like yours. If you publish something many hours before they get online, your content will below many other posts.
The best way to figure out the right times is by comparing your posts and keeping track of them. If you notice that publishing a specific hour gets more engagement, you keep publishing at the same time. The most active hours are between 9 AM – 4 PM from Monday to Friday. But you must figure out what works in your niche.
7. Use Paid Ads
You can promote your profile for more followers directly. Instagram uses the targeting options and demographics of Facebook ads. It means you can target potential followers based on their interests, accounts they follow on both platforms, and their personal details.
Paid ads require a small budget to get started, but they can boost your following and engagement. You can also use paid ads to promote any products on the platform or boost your best posts.
8. Use Analytics
If you upgrade your account into a business account, you will access specific metrics about your profile and your posts. These metrics can help you determine what works for you and what you need to stop doing.
You can see your posts, impressions, new followers, demographics, profile visits, and more. Analytics can reveal new details about your followers and your target audience. Also, there are free and paid third-party that provide extra metrics for your account.
9. Run Contests
You can run a contest on Instagram, set a prize, and ask the participants to do something. For example, you can request a follow, likes, comments, etc. You can also run these contests on other platforms and request follows on Instagram.
People love contests because they get free stuff or just want the competition. Contests can bring a lot of engagement and followers, even if these followers are not targeted because they find you for the reward.
Those who follow these steps have many chances to get one million followers. It is not easy to stick to everything, so this is your biggest challenge.
If you want a real-life example, you can check the profile of Gary Vee. He started with zero followers, and today he has over 9 million followers, publishes 2-4 posts per day with many hashtags, over 20 stories a day, and engages with his audience.
So, these steps actually work for those who apply them. But the results can vary depending on the niche and the quality of the content.
The difference between a profile with a few followers and a profile with millions of followers is their activity. If you keep publishing great content, have a nice profile, use hashtags, and engage with your audience, your following will keep growing. When your efforts are not regular, people will not find you online.
10 Ways To Use Facebook For Affiliate Marketing
Facebook is a platform that you can use both for marketing and connecting with other people. Many people already use it to make money or promote their businesses. We can also use Facebook for affiliate marketing in ten different ways you can read in this post.
1. Promote A Product To Your Profile
If you have many friends, you will be able to reach a specific number of people on each post. Many affiliate programs allow sharing your links directly on your profile, like Amazon Associates.
This is the simplest way to make money with affiliate marketing. If you have used a product or read a book, you can share your experience on Facebook and add your link. When another person purchases this product through your link, you earn a commission that depends on the product you promote.
However, posting affiliate links without adding value and explaining the product will not work and could negatively affect your account. Also, posting too many affiliate links is a red flag for Facebook.
2. Post Affiliate Links To A Facebook Group
There are many types of groups on Facebook. Some of them share important information about a topic, while others include only links and promotions.
You want to find and participate in groups with real people that need solutions to their problems. Instead of promoting directly, you can add value, help people, and then suggest a product that could help them. People buy products from people they trust. So, building a relationship before promoting something is critical to make a sale.
3. Create A Facebook Page Or Group
You can create a Facebook page about a website or a business. It will represent your website on Facebook, so people will expect to read relevant content.
A Facebook group could be about a topic or a problem. Groups focus on creating conversations, but they need moderation. You can promote your affiliate links during a conversation or adding the link of your website to the sidebar of your group. Your website should promote your affiliate offers and warm up your traffic.
4. Publish Video Reviews
Videos get more engagement on Facebook, so it’s a great way to use them for more direct promotions. For example, you can create a review video for a product you love. The video needs to be detailed and must present every part of the product.
You can also request video reviews from other people who have used it to build more trust with your audience. You can add your link to the description in both cases and invite your audience to learn more about it on your website.
5. Promote Your Website
Promoting a website that includes your affiliate links instead of promoting your links is a better option. First, your posts will not look spammy and don’t have to include a sales pitch on every post.
Next, a website can presell your offers. Many people use big sales pages or sales funnels that provide tons of information to their audience. When people get content and decide to click your links, they have more chances to convert into buyers.
6. Promote Pages Of Your Website
This is a common strategy for blogs and news websites that have many pages. If you have a blog, you probably monetize your content in various ways and include some affiliate links.
The best option is to say a few words about your content and then post the link to the relevant page. People click your link to read more information about a topic instead of a promotion. So, they are more likely to click your affiliate links if they are presented as the solution to a problem.
7. Find Influencers Who Want To Promote Your Website
Facebook influencers tend to have a Facebook page with too many likes or profiles with many follows. They can promote your content if they think it is relevant to their audience, but influencers will require payment.
Your budget will affect your options. A micro-influencer in your niche will request less money than a celebrity. But you can use their audience to get traffic and make sales.
8. Use Facebook Ads To Promote Your Website
Facebook Ads allow you to target different interests and demographics to reach your target audience directly. You will need a nice image or video, a description, and a call to action. Facebook has strict rules about ads on the platform. You must make sure you follow them before getting started.
You can create multiple ads to test different products and audiences. Ads are good for products with high commissions that can generate a profit after spending money on the ads.
9. Use Facebook Ads To Build An Email List
You can send traffic to a landing page or a website, as mentioned above. The same applies when you create ads. It can generate better results because you presell your offer and collect email addresses you can use in the future.
Then, you can send emails that include information and affiliate links. Facebook has fewer chances to ban an ad that sends traffic to a website with content than an affiliate link. Lastly, you can make improvements to your landing page and test different variations. Many online tools like ClickFunnels include A/B testing to figure out what works in your pages.
10. Promote Contests and Events
You can create events from your Facebook page and promote them on the platform like any other piece of content. The same applies to any contests that have a specific reward for your audience.
This option does not apply only to offline events. An event can be a webinar, a live video, or a product lunch. The best part is that people can register for an event, and then the event will become visible to their friends without any extra promotions. You can promote your links during the event with a strong call to action.
All these ways can generate affiliate sales, but the most effective ways are the ones that presell your products. If you have a website or landing page to collect emails, you can get better results. Building a page or a group allows you to build an audience on the platform. They are great ways to build trust and promote your offers over and over again.