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Affiliate Marketing on Twitter – Does it Belong?

Posted By Darren Rowse 8th of October 2008 Affiliate Programs, Social Media 0 Comments


What do you think about affiliate marketing on Twitter?

Lately I’ve noticed more and more affiliate marketers getting onto twitter. There’s been a real buzz about it actually in many internet marketing circles – almost like it’s the latest ‘new’ thing (I guess it is relatively new).

The unfortunate thing is that the model I’m seeing some internet marketers use on Twitter is quite spammy. Some have spammed Twitter so much directly that they’ve been booted off.

Today I got an email from Joel Comm. I’m one of his affiliates and have promoted some of his books and ebooks previously. We’ve met in person and I admire his knowledge of internet marketing greatly. However todays email didn’t really sit that well with me and I’d love to hear your opinion on it.

Joel is currently promoting an AdSense Secrets ebook. I actually like his writing on AdSense and some of what he teaches helped me a lot in the early days of getting into blogging.

I’ve promoted his AdSense stuff before and would probably do it again – but not in the way he’s asking his affiliates to do it this time.

The promotion he’s asking people to do is to Tweet a link to his book. Not only has he asked us to tweet about it (something I wouldn’t be anti doing to some extend) he’s given his affiliates a link to make the whole process automated.

All you have to do is click the link and it sets up a tweet in your own twitter account (if you’re logged in) and it embeds an affiliate link into the tweet automatically for you so you can earn money if people make a purchase of one of Joels products as a result of clicking on your link ($10 a month for each month they stay in his program).

Looking at Twitter Search just now it seems that his tactic is working – to some extent.

Picture 4.png

I wouldn’t call it a raging success (yet) but with 30 or so people tweeting about it (largely using the automated script Joel’s provided) there’s been some take up of it.

Now on some levels I don’t have a problem with Joel’s campaign. I am not against affiliate marketing, I’m not against promoting products in new media – however there’s something that has been playing on my mind about this all day.

To be honest I’m not completely sure why I don’t like it (as I say above I don’t have a problem with some of the principles behind it) but there’s something that doesn’t sit well with me about this.

Risky Behavior and Spam

I think one of my main problems with it is that it almost seems like Joels asking others to engage in a little risky behavior for him and putting them a little at risk. Twitter is pretty anti spam and while he’s not done it directly the search results do look quite spammy when you line them all up and see the exact same message over and over and over again. I wonder how Twitter will respond to this and who will suffer? Joel or those who tweet it?

Impersonal Marketing

Another thing that I am reacting against with this strategy is that the tweets Joel is suggesting seem very impersonal.

“Download Joel Comm’s Adsense Secrets For FREE! “

This just doesn’t resonate with me as the type of message that would do well on Twitter. A message out of the blue about someone encouraging a download. I’m not sure it’s where affiliate marketing is going online either.

My own experimenting with affiliate marketing over the last few years is that it works best out of relationship and trust with those that you recommend products to. I find that promoting products do best when you are able to give an honest review of them, when you’re able to tell people who they are best suited for etc

This is actually why I think blogging is an ideal message for affiliate marketing. It’s a great place to build trust, fully review a product and give a balanced recommendation – 140 or so characters just doesn’t seem enough to do much to do most of that.

I guess what I’m coming to is that a tweet like this doesn’t really sit comfortably with my style of affiliate marketing.

What do you Think about Affiliate Marketing on Twitter?

But that is just me – what about you? Does affiliate marketing belong on Twitter? If so – how would you do it?

To be clear – I’m not wanting to start an anti Joel Comm thread of discussion here – like I say, I like the guy and don’t have anything against his products, but I am interested to hear what you think about the topic of affiliate marketing on twitter (and other forms of social media). Over to you….

How Affiliate Marketers Should Use Twitter?

It’s pretty easy to say you don’t like affiliate links on Twitter and not say anything constructive. So tomorrow I’d like to attempt to put forward some ideas on how Twitter (and other social media sites) could be used by affiliate marketers appropriately and effectively. Keep an eye on my RSS feed over the next 24 hours to see when the post goes live.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. The volume of tweet spam is only going to increase. Whether or not Joel Comm is adding to it is less important than demanding intervention from Twitter to the whole phenomemon. Perhaps Twitter should incorporate a “report” command for flagging rogue updates. After a certain number of incoming report commands, a warning or account cancellation could be issued to the spammers.

  2. I’m not against promoting or plugging something on Twitter since those that follow me choose to do so and would hopefully appreciate something that I recommend.

    However, I am against the way that Joel is facilitating automatic, impersonal tweets. Why not just give affiliates a copy of the book prior to the launch, ask them to review it, and then have them post tweets that link to their review?

  3. Funny you mention this, I ran across a “twitter contest” yesterday which has elements of this in it (the mass linking of a site for exposure)


    I signed up in part for an entry. My participation was limited to simply following them on twitter and subscribing to the site feed, but you can also gain more “tickets” in the contest by twittering links on there as well.

    I just jumped on the twitter bandwagon recently, and generally just enjoy posting mundane nonsense on mine – nothing else. But I can see this kind of thing taking off on twitter, sure.

    Not sure how I feel about it – or whether it belongs.

    It’s easy enough to remove someone from follow if their spam gets annoying. So I guess it doesn’t really bother me as long as I have control over what I’m seeing and when I want to see it.

    It being used in these situations is inevitable though, I’d say.

  4. This is a great discussion. I did not participate in this, even though I’m an affiliate for Joel. I chose not to precisely because the message text would not resonate with my followers. It does not sound like anything that would come from me.

    Pushing affiliate links on Twitter is not a good idea unless your audience truly values the links. 140 characters doesn’t give you much room to build value. The value can only come from the trust your followers already have in you. That means you have to be very careful of abusing that trust. I have put affiliate links in tweets before, but it is RARE and it is ALWAYS manual, just like any other tweet I do. And I only do it if I can honestly say that the affiliate link provides just as much value as I always try to provide on Twitter. I can’t stress that enough.

    I very much agree with what Rae Hoffman said earlier in the comments, and Stu as well. I’m glad to see Joel here, too. It IS a cool experiment.

    PS – Joel, you didn’t need to say “nonsense” and “politcal rants” separately. They’re redundant in your case! :D

  5. Hmmm… Good topic.

    Recently, I posted several tweets with links to “FREE” resources that I believed would be beneficial to my followers. While these resource could also lead to a commission for a related product also being offered by the company providing the free resource, the affiliate commission was not my motivation. Sharing a useful, FREE resource was.

    In hind sight, I think it would be better to write a blog post regarding whatever resource I want others to see then just point to my blog post as a tweet. Any better? Perhaps, perhaps not. That entirely depends on the value the post ads. If it’s nothing more than a hyped up review and there is no value in it, then no, that wouldn’t be any better.

    Great post! I’m looking forward to reading more views on this subject.

  6. I haven’t seen these tweets, but my first thought would be that they are pure spam. If this is the thin end of wedge, imagine what the fat end is going to look like. Imagine your screenshot in multiples.

    It is a clever move by Joel Comm, it has got everyone talking and I am thinking of taking a look at his ebook because of this post, I probably wouldn’t have done that if I’d have seen the tweets though.

    Good marketers will exploit any avenue possible and Twitter is being exploited to death right now. I think it is wrong to use Twitter this way and I think action will be taken by the Twitter people.

    If they do not, it could be their downfall. Would you use Twitter if it was full of this kind of thing?

  7. Does affiliate marketing belong on Twitter? YES I think so, cause you got all requirements you need like friends trust are … follow me :)

  8. I think it can be acceptable to an extent like others have mentioned. Had Joel provided just the link and asked his affiliates to tweet about it any way they wanted, I don’t think many (or anyone) would have picked up on it. But since everyone seemed to be using the same message it appears to be more of a spam message. I think a good way to do affiliate marketing through twitter is to have a review of the product or other information on your site and than tweet about it linking to your page. Then people can get a full run down of the product/offer and go from there.

  9. I think it absolutely puts the affiliates at risk – although you can’t fault Joel so much for suggesting it as you can the affiliates themselves for engaging in it.

    Worse than the risk, I think, is that the message itself shows a gross misunderstanding of Twitter as a medium.

    A message much more likely to evoke response on Twitter would be “Ooh! You can download this free now! (url) <<– great adsense info!”

  10. This is a mistake. I am not against affiliate marketing on Twitter, but this is too passive for the venue. It should be part of a conversation. This is plain and simple lazy spamming. Anyone involved should be reprimanded.

    Joel should give the ebook away for free, and then those who read it can Twitter about it.

    “Hey, I just read Joel’s new ebook about blank blank. i highly recommend it. LINK. I especially liked what he said about blank.”

    It is then an endorsement, and your reputation is at stake. Put your money where your mouth is instead of taking the cowards way and becoming a spammer.

  11. I agree with many of the previous posts that state that if done selectively, tactfully and giving value to their followers, then fine, an occassional tweet to an affiliate product is ok. However, I can definitely see this getting out of control and spammers really overwhelming the twitosphere.

    I also believe that people will “police” it themselves by just hitting “block user” or “unfollowing” as mentioned previously. But spammers are relentless and will just keep creating new accounts and clicking on “follow” for everyone. Just don’t follow them back!

    That’s why I never follow someone who has 2,689 following, 24 followers and 3 updates!!! They are not serious and are there for all the wrong reasons (imho, of course!)… But, that’s just me.

    I agree with you Darren that referring to an actual blog post on a respectable looking blog is where an appropriate affiliate review should be posted and is the best outlet for the true full-blown affiliate markerting folks. Let’s not clog up the twitosphere with junk please!

  12. I would have to say… This is extremely “spammy”.
    I’m not a fan of the idea…effective or not….


  13. Well, I myself consider that as spam, If something comes in front of your eyes once or twice that’s fine but after that, it just starts irritating and moreover it kills the basic purpose of twitter too.

  14. I bought Joel Comm’s Adsense Code book and thought it was great. I subscribed to his email feed for a while. But I got very tired of the constant attempts to sell me stuff.

    The Twitters that have been spread everywhere are not only annoying, they’re misleading. The book is only “free” if you sign up for something else, that will cost you money if you continue past the trial period.

    If he wants to peddle something for free it ought to be truly FREE.

    I am so glad I stopped paying attention to Joel Comm.

  15. Well… there is and was no hard and fast rule as to what twitter might be restricted to. According to my point of view, I believe that technology changes quite rapidly. There was times, when (in our country) the people in the post office demanded restriction on the internet because of which they had faced lack of people who wanted to use the post office to communicate.

    This does not mean that I support or not support using twitter as a means of affiliate marketing. There has to be some limit as to upto how much should one be allowed to use twitter. Else ppl will definitely misuse it.

    As for me, I do update my twitter a/c (www.twitter.com/nepal) for my regular updates.

  16. Joel’s marketing is not misleading. It is a perfectly normal marketing method: something free plus a free trial. Joel knows–and you know–that you might like the paid subscription and keep it (or that you might be too lazy to cancel it on time). There is nothing misleading about that. It’s a trade-off, like anything else. You have to decide if the trade-off is worth it. Joel is taking a gamble that you’ll like the paid subscription and not just get free stuff from him. You are gambling that you’ll like the free stuff and that you’ll follow up on your good intentions regarding the subscription portion of the deal.

  17. Looking at your affiliate marketing tweet example, my immediate thought was: “Why should I click on the link?”

    I like following people on Twitter who don’t put their blog feed directly into Twitter. They tell you what the blog post is about or how they feel about the blog post they just wrote, and then the link.

    The same should apply to affiliate marketing tweeting. First, admit the link’s an affiliate. Second, tell me what you think of the product. Tell me who can really use this product. Or share a cool insight from it.

    Don’t just throw a link at me — that’s very Web 1.0. Twitter is about talking, sharing, and linking.

  18. All things in moderation, that being said there is not a social network that doesn’t use some form of affiliate marketing themselves.
    I don’t see any problem with it, I occasionally twit an affiliate link but more often link my last post which has affiliate links anyway. As long as the post has some useful and insightful content for the reader, fine and dandy!

    Twitter are already using follow links themselves to Hack the debate although they may be just promoting new threads and topics, What i don’t like is twitter ramming the current USA political message at me, no doubt they will evolve to include more Topical links, invariably spammers get into any system including social networks.
    Twitter will eventually get tough with spammers , so beware

  19. I’m just a simple potato…so I can’t claim to know Joe Cromm.

    What I do know is this: That is exactly the type of ad I would never click on.

    So he might be getting the ad all over twitter, but is it actually converting?

  20. I don’t like the idea either but it all depends on HOW you do it. I don’t personally do it or condone it BUT if your raving about a product or service most people feel they should get credit for that (affilliate). Copy/Pasting stuff like that is spam and looks like spam, you’d be better off saying something like. “I’m currently reading Joel Comm’s new book at ….http://linkhere.com

  21. I don’t really like it but Twitter is open for people to use it however they want. If you like the stuff Joel puts in his twitts you can look at it like a commercial. If you don’t like it, then his whole twitter account is nothing more than an infomercial. Unsubscribe.

  22. I don’t like sloppy affiliate marketing on networks like Twitter, and this was very, very sloppy. Too many people tweeting the exact same thing with that tool.

    I am much in agreement with those who would rather see a blog post that happens to have an affiliate link in it tweeted. Or, if you’re going to tweet an affiliate link, shorten it and have something interesting to say, just as I would hope the blog post would be interesting.

    It’s a lot like the people who just send unedited sales letters to their lists to promote the next mega launch, as many others have said. You aren’t going to stand out by sending the same thing as everyone else. You’re just an annoyance.

    Yesterday I was to the point with those tweets of considering unfollowing anyone else who sent me that ad. There was just no value to me there. I don’t read every tweet that comes my way, but I do read a lot of them, and I like to read interesting things, not just quickie promotion… unless it’s well done. This wasn’t.

  23. Affiliate Preacher brings up a good point. The question isn’t whether or not this belongs on Twitter, because anyone can unfollow anyone they want. This is a different issue from people creating tons of automated accounts (a practice that is not only distasteful, but should be a policy violation if it isn’t already. That’s the real Twitter spam. But if I don’t like what Joel (or anyone else) is saying on Twitter, I’m free to unfollow him.

  24. @Steven-Sanders:

    If you forget, alot of people are using automated tweets to tweet about their newest blog posts.

    I think it’s the exact same thing.

    Automated tweets are sent directly to the immediate follower. Joel Comm is asking his followers to relay his tweet to their followers, making it a pyramid. If this form of marketing does well and gains traction, it will roll back Twitter’s recent gains in scalability. Regardless of commercial intent, spam is fundamentally bandwidth pollution. That said, the affiliate who agree to participate in campaigns like this are more responsible than Comm for initiating it. Again, there needs to be a report mechanism for Twitter to take action against spamming their network.

    @Adam Christie: If enough people pull them up on it or unsubscribe they’ll get the message.

    At Twitter’s expense. Just like Google slapped MFA sites with their PR update in part to reduce the load of extra spidering incurred, Twitter’s going to have to take action against this kind of abuse or suffer more gripes about downtime.

  25. The technology used by Joel is effectively the same as having a “Tweet This” button on a blog post, only it provides a custom URL for each affiliate.

    It is quite possible that a large number of people might have mentioned the offer without the affiliate incentive, as happens with tell-a-friend scripts, some of which include Twitter now.

    I am honestly more likely to unsubscribe from someone’s tweets for tweeting every one of their blog posts (and nothing but) than for dropping an occasional direct affiliate link

  26. I think it’s fine to ask someone to tetweet if they like it, but the automated message defeats the personal aspect of social networking. I’ve blocked others who use this tactic, and if I didn’t have it on your word that this is a good resource, I’d block this one too. I think it could backfire way too east, so I wouldn’t recommend it!

  27. I have been using Twitter quite heavily for a number of months now. It has brought me new clients, new customers, increased my web traffic, introduced me to new friends, and has helped me network across my home state. It has been incredible!

    My success has not been from spamming or using it as a marketing tool. It’s just me having mini conversations with friends, using humor to gain interest, and trying to say interesting things in my posts that aren’t dull. It has helped me increase to 230+ followers and some extra money in my pocket.

    It definitely can’t hurt that it has helped me to make some friends which has in turn created some memories. It is so much more than a marketing device and they are missing the target.

  28. Hi Darren: I saw your tweet about this and you said explicitly that Joel asked you to do it and that it was an affiliate link, so you were upfront about it. I got the message from Joel too and I also sent it out as a tweet, but I reworded it in language that I felt comfortable with. Also, it’s something for free (granted if they don’t unsubscribe within the first 30 days they start getting charged for a newsletter, but that’s clearly explained).

    I think it’s spam if most of what you do on twitter is send out affiliate links, but if you genuinely add to the conversation, sending out an affiliate link once in a while, especially if you’re candid about it, is fine. I also think that you can create trust on Twitter if you respond to people, strike up conversations, and offers links to interesting articles, news, and so on.

  29. At the end of the day, it’s up to twitter to measure this action against their perception and integrity. The perception of twitter users about this issue will be seen in the days ahead and I trust that twitter will manage it carefully. I personally don’t like the idea…just as Darren said, it doesn’t sit well with me.

  30. Janeile says: 10/09/2008 at 7:43 am

    There is something personal about Twitter that makes cookie-cut-out phrases like that look spammy – like some sort of scam. For me, marketing on Twitter is fine…as long as it is personal or retweeted. I can even handle the blog feeds.

    I don’t think anyone will follow someone who is strictly marketing on Twitter, but it’s o.k. to market new blog posts, products or what-have-you occasionally. I think it hurts your credibility – not only as the affiliate, but also for Joel. These things tend to have a way of coming full circle and biting one on the behind.

    I’d hate to have to choose between tolerating spam and blocking all the other good tweets from people I want to follow. It’s like a relative in an MLM trying to sell you as a downline. How irritating is that? How much more on Twitter?

  31. Interesting.

    Ultimately, due, I think, to the “greedy, grasping, self” everything on the net descends to spam. Like made-for-adsense sites and blogs.

    I’d be happier, given that I follow Joel anyway, if he, or Problogger, or anyone first-cause wanted to tell me that they have a new offering themselves. I’d probably have a look at it.

    I reckon most can smell spam a mile away.

    Personally, I wouldn’t be comfortable sending a pre-made link like that. If I find something on the net that I like and that I think some friends might benefit from, I’ll send the link directly.

    That said, I don’t mind Ray Edwards affiliate model. Ray has affiliate links for heaps of stuff, but will often give the primary link as well, and say something like – “if you want to put a few coins in my tip jar, go here, otherwise, go here”. It’s hard not to like that.

    Cheers from Oz

    Warwick Foster

  32. At the end of the day, Affiiliate marketing is about finding new subscribers for a product. He launched a massive marketing campaign at Twitter that will reap dividends well after it is over. He may be testing the waters to see how profitable it could be. Risky but I understand the concept. Unfortunately, other marketers are watching to see how it goes and how Twitter and users will respond.

  33. It would help me a lot if you actually explained what affiliate marketing is. I can gather from your column that it is some sort of relationship where you are paid to recommend things but it can’t be as dishonest as it sounds.

  34. Honestly I don’t see a big problem with it, but I think it could be done better. The smarter affiliate marketer will do something besides just use the standardized script.

    Also, if this is the only thing that someone sends out, they won’t last. So if someone wants to send an affiliate link out to their followers from time to time, I think it’s fine. Just don’t overdo it and abuse the system!!!

  35. I think Twitter’s a great tool to use for affiliate marketing. Looking at an individual’s list of who they’re following, you’ll discover that Twitter allows people to wear their interests on their sleeve. Someone following feeds from Marvel Entertainment and Carl Pope, the executive director of the Sierra Club, is instantly identified as a comic book lover and environmental enthusiast. While these two subjects are worlds apart, you can assume that person has a fascination for saving the world, and therefore include them in the target audience for any humanitarian campaigns or action/adventure/superhero movie promotions implemented via Twitter.

    However, I do think there’s a lot of extraneous content on Twitter, and it’s hard to draw a fine line between harassing through spam and promoting through Tweets of interest.

  36. I think the bottom line is a combination of trust and brand.

    I follow you, Darren, because your brand presents as a real person. You post a combination of real tweets and ones that let me know what you are thinking about professionally as well. When you tweet about a product, I expect it to be one you personally think that I (or rather we your followers) NEED to know about. You dilute my trust in you if you start sending out spammy tweets promoting stuff that you don’t think rate the headlines.

    Another part of it that’s a bit problematic is the ethics of promoting something that you get a kickback on without disclosing your vested interest. If you let me know that you’ll get $ if I buy the product, that doesn’t feel as spammy. Because then it’s YOU asking ME for something. And you’ve disclosed your vested interest.

    Finally, Twitter evolves to be what it’s users want it to be. If the Twitospher decides that marketing/advertising/pr/ is the primary use for Twitter, then it will be. There are, after all, no “rules” for how we use Twitter.

    I promote things on Twitter, you promote things on Twitter — we both know that about each other. But our relationship is more than the sum of our business objectives!

    So Darren, my advice to you is to consider your brand with every tweet. You be the judge of whether a undisclosed affiliate link fits with your brand.

    By the way, you have done an awesome job of promoting the product and are clearly NOT anti Joel. From yesterday’s cryptic tweet that I clicked, to this blog entry, you have brought a ton of attention to his product. I hope he’s thanking you!

  37. Katy Woodrow Hill says: 10/09/2008 at 8:57 am

    I think we need to be realistic and understand that (whether fortunately or unfortunately) there are commercial motives at play within all media. It’s about understanding the time and place for your messages and making sure they fit with the contextual environment. You’re right, Affiliate Marketing works effectively as a relationship channel. It is about aligning a brand with a site who’s content and message fit with what they are trying to say/sell/do and it is about adding value to a consumer by providing information and recommendation. And Joel’s repeated message is just not adding any value to the Twitter audience.

  38. I have to agree with on this. Being new to Twitter (only joined to days ago) If that was to start showing up in my tweets I would stop using it immediately. I’m prone to do some affiliate marketing, but I could never just blatently spam like that.

  39. Good way for people to lose followers, spamming obvious affiliate links like that. Its one thing to promote your own blog post where you’ve bought/read the book and want to share that with people, its another to just blindly push affiliate links out.

  40. Generally I understand that marketing on the internet is mostly non-existent unless you are networking. It makes sense that this would start happening on Twitter, because a click on a link from an update is so much more likely than a click on a sidebar ad.
    The truth is, however, that you (read ‘royal you’ here) endanger your own popularity . Many internet users are so bombarded by spam and ads, but at the same time maintain some sort of belief in entertainment without forced ad views (in contrast to TV, for example, where audience members have accepted forced ads as a way of entertainment), that being tricked into ads are a turn off. It would be like having a commercial in the middle of a cinematic movie. Totally wrong. It’s one thing to establish your audience from the start that way, and another to pop it in. The audience revolts, or just drops the person they follow, in this case. of course, there is some security in not knowing what is spam through tweets. Usually I just consider links to be something of thoughtful interest to the tweeter. Unless I had seen this on your site, I might not have known it was even occuring. I might have considered it totally unassociated with a marketing ploy. And maybe that’s the success of it– Twitter plays on the idea of something more personal.

  41. I’m not that much of a fan of it, and it did come across as spammy specially when I see the exact same comment / link come through from several people I follow.

    There are better ways to increase visibility and sign ups I’m sure.

  42. if people intend to share the good thing with other people, so it can be use in twitter, but by do “adsense” the twitter not only risk to banned by twitter but also make people stop follow.

    i think it matter of time before twitter take action to those people who using twitter as advertising place, we had enough of google adsense, pay post and etc. i do talk about new google advertising feature in my blog, what you think about google click to buy?

  43. I agree wholeheartedly with your complaint about how some affiliate marketers are invading Twitter with spam-like promotions of their wares. I applaud you for your criticism of Joel Comm for trying to get his affiliates to promote one of his affiliate programs on Tweeter. Your criticizing his methods in this case raises your credibility to a new high for me–not that it needed the added boost. It is good to know that your Christian ethical instincts are functioning well. Thanks, Darren, for standing up to this bad example of affiliate marketing.

  44. Would like to know if the “free” e-book is worth the purchase price. Has anyone read it yet? If so would you say it is worth while? JOle if you are reading this I wish you took paypal lol.

  45. Personally I think Ravi Jayagopal is a hack. Joel’s ebooks on adsense are required reading if you are serious about earning adsense revenue. Ravi doesn’t get it because he is a broke loser

  46. Not too surprising that this is where Twitter is going. If a buck is to be made on Social Networking sites, people will go there the make it. If Twitter users are uninterested in such advertisements the revenues will disappear and the issue becomes moot.

  47. Whilst I’m not against advertising affiliate links on twitter I would run shy of using this method; much better to have something unique so as not to spam your readers. However, I would much rather use a blog and fully and fairly review the product or service I was trying to sell.

    Grampa Starling

  48. I personally think twitter become uncontrollable noisy and chaotic medium for social media even before affiliate marketing took place.

    If we added the affiliate marketing into twitter, we actually added more noise into twitter, making twitter unbearable to follow.

  49. I was always of the opinion that affiliate marketing should be relatively transparent, and if its to be used in a location not normally associated with affiliate marketing, it should be clearly marked as such.

    I also believe that for affiliate marketing to work, you have to have a relationship with your audience. Much like Darren states, it works best when there is a trust between both sides.

    Seeing a load of twitter messages repeating the same thing isn’t a direction I would want to take with a product that is on the edge of credibility as it is.

    A better approach would surely to ask associates to promote the product if –

    a) They have used the product
    b) They believe it has value
    c) They are willing to spend some time writing a review

    Point c is the clincher – people are more likely to buy into a product (sign up for a course) if they read a review than if they see a simple (and spammy) click-me link.

  50. I happen to think that they are not very successful, in fact the links that you place in twitter that are affiliate inks just have the muted effect of a link directory submission, I think there could be a place for it, if you have built up a good few hundred followers and they really are in demand of a converting affiliate product, I prefer to tweet my squidoo lenses when I have updated them or added new content.

    In the future I may find a use for affiliate marketing with twitter and any other social networking site, I feel that the internet should be moving forward to stop this type of social spam on our media sites.

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