Affiliates are using Twitter to promote offers from merchants. Yes I am stating the obvious. What most of us don’t realize is how often this occurs, the tactics used by affiliates, and why it’s important to monitor the tweet content.
Frequency Of Affiliate Tweets
Affiliates tweet a lot. Affiliates tweet an average of 120,000 times per week. Sixty to seventy percent of all affiliates use social media and 47% of all affiliates use Twitter — these stats via The Search Monitor and Affiliate Benchmarks.
Affiliates like Twitter because it’s free and it’s very easy to get started. It takes just a few minutes to create a Twitter account. You also don’t need a large following to get noticed, which means an affiliate can start tweeting and getting results instantly.
The trick is using hashtags within the tweet. Hashtags are similar to keywords in a search engine. Twitter users can follow hashtags or run specific searches for hashtag content.
Therefore, because anyone searching for or following the hashtag will see tweets, the affiliate can immediately garner attention without a large group of followers.
Affiliate Trends On Twitter
As an observer of affiliate tweeting behavior, we notice the following trends:
- Multiple Twitter Identities. We have noticed that affiliates using Twitter often maintain multiple Twitter identities. Based on data pulled for the second week in November 2011, 75% of the affiliates found on Twitter maintain more than one Twitter alias. They do this for several reasons: to re-tweet their own posts under different user names in order to drive up a tweet’s popularity; to tweet the same thing over again without appearing redundant; and to follow themselves to ‘seed’ a follower list.
- Lack of Merchant Diversity. There seems to be very little merchant diversity within tweets, meaning that the same merchants seem to be promoted over and over again. The most widely promoted merchants on Twitter are iTunes.Apple.com with 49% of affiliate tweets, Astrology.com with 5% of affiliate tweets, and Groupon with 2% of affiliate tweets. That’s according to The Search Monitor Tweet Data from December 20, 2011. You can find a full list of top merchants promoted on Twitter in December 2011 on The Search Monitor Blog.
Best Practice: Monitoring Affiliate Tweet Contents
Whether you are an affiliate, an affiliate network, or an affiliate manager, monitoring tweets should be a key component to your marketing intelligence strategies for the following reasons:
- Affiliate Recruitment. If you are an affiliate network or affiliate manager, monitoring affiliate tweets is a great way to find new affiliates to recruit for your program. You want to look for active tweeters with strong content. On December 20, 2011, 7,194 different Twitter IDs sent out tweets on behalf of 1,320 different merchants.
- Competitive Advantage. If you are an affiliate, you should know what merchants are being heavily promoted on Twitter to look for gaps in the market. Watching trends on Twitter and then promoting merchants that match the trends can generate some quick free traffic.
- Monitoring Promotions. For merchants who are running time-sensitive promotions like a one day promo code during the holidays, you will want to monitor your affiliate’s tweeting activities to ensure your copy rules are being honored and that expired promotions are not being tweeted past the expire date.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.