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IN-DEPTH 15 December 2016
Five smart tips for socially savvy affiliates
ActiveWin Media Business Development Director Bernadette Kelly has the inside track on how to get your posts noticed through the social media clutter
By Gambling Insider

We live in a world that is connected like no other time in human history. Information is shared at a staggering rate. To put it into context, MBAonline.com estimates that there is enough information sent in 24 hours to fill 168 million DVD’s. That includes 291 billion emails and 2 million generated blog posts. Of course, social media takes up a big chunk of that electronic exchange. How much, you may wonder? Somewhere in the region of 4.8 billion minutes are spent on Facebook alone, with 532 million status updates shared. Every. Single. Day.

Needless to say, affiliate webmasters are competing with a lot of other media and content providers to keep those faithful readers coming back for more. A highly effective tool that can be leveraged to improve reader retention is social media. When used properly, you can increase traffic and foster viral sharing. The best part? Most social media is free. But it only works if you use it correctly. Here’s a few tips on making the most of your social influence:

Feed your readers

Search engines don’t take too kindly to under-nourished sites, and your organic rankings will suffer for not regularly updating content. Plus, there is little reason for readers to continue to visit your site if you have nothing new to say. Let people know you have just posted a great new blog or a generous offer on your site via social media channels. If you need a little help to get the ball rolling, paid promotions for your page or sponsored posts on social media are far more cost effective than you would think. Targeting options available on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube allows you to focus on your ideal demographic. More new views plus more uptake on your offers equals higher affiliate commissions.

Google it

Google has cornered the market on SEM as the biggest search engine in the world. Let’s not forget that the search engine giant is also the proud parent of Google+ and YouTube. As such, making sure you engage with your readers through these two channels will not just promote your new content, but gives you a few brownie points in terms of your Google SEO, improving your organic ranking. The use of relevant hashtags on each post will help bolster your relevance for keywords. Beware not to over tag; limit it to three at the most, since dozens of hashtags tend to confuse readers as to what the content is about.

No social snobbery

You may have noticed the trend to be "too cool for social school". It’s a strategy used by brands or businesses whereby they do not follow or engage with their audience. It’s like a popularity contest among brands, where the goal is having millions of followers whilst following little or no other accounts themselves. Smart brands know that fostering an authentic relationship with fans can lead to a small army of social soldiers who will share messages and offers to their friends and family. Follow back your avid Twitter supporters, and thank your Facebook faithful for sharing or commenting on your posts. It will pay off in the end.

Sharing is caring

Unless you have a considerable amount of time to crank out unique content every day, there is no shame in sharing relevant content from other sites. In fact, some very popular sites with lots of daily traffic rarely generate unique content of their own. They simply curate items of interest from other sites and serve it up on one handy platform. So if you do come across content that you think your readers will find interesting, feel free to share on your site and via social media as long as you give credit where credit is due.

Channel your followers

There are plenty of social media channels out there, you could literally spend all day posting on every platform. You need to decide which ones are worth your precious time. For the purposes of SEO, Google+ and YouTube are must-haves. The Facebook algorithm makes it very difficult for a brand to elbow its way into the timeline of followers. However, once a fan has liked a few posts, your messages will find their way in front of them. Plus, there are fantastic tracking tools on Facebook that allows you to analyse your traffic. Twitter posts are listed in chronological order for free posts, so the timing of your Tweet will be crucial. A nifty hack is engaging with Twitter followers when they reply to you, which bumps your message to the top of the queue again. So keep the chatter alive.

Follow these simple rules, and you should start to see the dividends pay off as your social media activity works in your favour.

Bernadette Kelly is originally from New York, and has spent the past 15 years in digital marketing. Now business development director for ActiveWin Media Ltd, she works with gaming brands including Betfred and Nektan PLC
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