How can you be a dynamite affiliate for Covenant Eyes (or for any company) in different social networks? There are certain best practices that one can follow to maximize your efforts.
At the outset, it is important to note that this article does not cover all the best practices in general for social networks. There’s much that can be said about proven social media strategies for your blog, business, non-profit, or ministry, and using social networks wisely and to their fullest will boost your efforts as an affiliate.
If, for instance, you create an amazing YouTube video about Covenant Eyes but it’s the only YouTube video you ever make and you never engage with your fans on YouTube (or you have no fans), the success of that video may be limited. If you occasionally throw out a link to Covenant Eyes on Twitter but you have no Twitter followers and all you ever do is tell people to buy stuff, then the success of each tweet will be limited.
Keeping this in mind, here are some ideas about how you can promote Covenant Eyes in ways that are engaging and creative.
Facebook is still, arguably, the world’s largest and most influential social network. There are many ways to customize your profile or page to maximize your influence.
A general rule when it comes to putting content on your Facebook page (vs. your personal profile) is: more is better. For each post you place on your Facebook page, you should be able to see how many people viewed it. Based on your fanbase size, figure the overall percentage of visibility with each post. (This may be a small or even very small percentage, depending on your page.) Don’t be afraid to post multiple times a day to your fan page. This will gain you more visibility and more loyal fans (as long as you are sharing things really worth sharing).
1. Share thought-provoking images on your page
Only a fraction of your Facebook fans will see your posts in their News Feed; however, the more your content is liked, commented on, and shared by others, the more visibility you will get. Instead of just posting a few words with a link to Covenant Eyes, consider sharing a thought-provoking image or photo. Often photos grab people’s attention easier, and if the image resonates with your audience, they will be more likely to like, comment, and share. Make sure the text associated with the photo includes a link to covenanteyes.com with your affiliate code attached or an appropriate page on your own website about Covenant Eyes.
2. Engage fans with questions, not just statements
The more comments you get on your posts, the better—you not only increase visibility, you also become more engaging. Instead of merely posting statements or offers, post questions that engage your audience around subjects that pertain to the problems Covenant Eyes solves. Don’t just post yes-or-no questions. Get people talking and commenting. Respond to the comments with your own comments. You can include an affiliate link with your question, or wait to post it as a comment on your own post.
3. Share Covenant Eyes blog posts with your fans
Share a link to a story or article on the Covenant Eyes website. Find the ones that resonate with you and your fans. Post a link to the article (modified with your affiliate link) along with a short quote from the article or the reason why you found the article compelling. Get people talking about the content. The more it is liked and shared, the better.
4. Consider starting a group where Covenant Eyes can be promoted
There are certain advantages to having a group over having a page. First and foremost, all members of a group are notified about any activity in the group (by default), whereas only a small percentage of page fans are notified. In theory, a group member is, by default, going to be more engaged than a page fan.
Consider starting a group that is focused on informing people how Covenant Eyes can help. Perhaps you can start a group for men or women who want to remain sexually pure in their thoughts and actions (and, of course, online). Perhaps you can start a group for parents who want to stay up-to-date with online technology. If you don’t feel like you can single-handedly moderate a group, then find a few others to help you administrate it. Network with like-minded people to grow your group. On occasion, mention Covenant Eyes resources and services to your group members.
Twitter has become a powerful social media platform, especially for brands, businesses, and organizations. As you are building your reach and branding your page, tweet information about Covenant Eyes, the problems we solve, and the solutions we give. Share links to the Covenant Eyes blog or links to really timeless content on your own blog that addresses how Covenant Eyes helps people.
Tweets have a relatively short shelf-life, so it is important that when you tweet you stand out and be remarkable, delighting your followers.
5. Use popular hashtags creatively
A hashtag is the hyperlinked text with the pound sign (#) in front of it. Monitor topics that pertain to the problems Covenant Eyes solves and see what hashtags are being used. When tweeting, slip in a trending hashtag. This will help your tweets about Covenant Eyes be discovered more easily.
6. Keep Tweets in the retweet “safe zone”
There is a 140-character limit for tweets, but don’t use all those characters when tweeting. Use only 120-130 characters (10-20 characters less than the maximum). If people like your tweets, they may want to “retweet” them, and these retweets will eat up a few characters. By deliberately limiting your characters, you encourage people to retweet and thereby allow your tweets to reach a potentially larger audience.
7. Learn to create noteworthy tweets
Say something worth sharing. If it is quotable, it is tweetable. If you are linking to Covenant Eyes, give people a reason to want to share what you’re saying.
8. Use eye-catching images with your tweets
Twitter (and social media in general) is becoming more visual. If you have something powerful to say on Twitter, include a relevant image to capture more attention.
9. Schedule your tweets
Everyone’s Twitter followers are different, but there are some general trends on Twitter than demonstrate more people click-through links on Twitter (a) on the weekend, and (b) on the weekdays in the early afternoon. Use free online tools to schedule when your tweets go live to make it easier to tweet during these times: CoTweet, FutureTweets, HootSuite, Twuffer, and many others.
Unlike many social networks, LinkedIn is more about quality connections than mere quantity. Now more than 10 years old, LinkedIn is growing fast and is known for being the world’s largest “professionals” network.
10. Join groups and talk about Covenant Eyes in those groups
Find groups on LinkedIn that are likely to be filled with people who are interested in the solutions Covenant Eyes offers. When you join the group, be sure to engage with the members of the group, build personal connections, and then post content that talks about Covenant Eyes (such as posts on Covenant Eyes’ blog or posts on your own blog).
11. Link to a landing page about Covenant Eyes in your website portfolios
In your personal LinkedIn profile, you can add links to external websites that you want your connections to know about. Consider linking to a landing page on your own website that is all about Covenant Eyes. Choose anchor text on LinkedIn like, “I Partner with Covenant Eyes” or “Internet Safety I Recommend.”
Pinterest’s seeming overnight success as a social network has proven itself as a powerful tool to drive traffic to your website or to the products and causes you want to promote. As you grow your Pinterest following, here are some ways to specifically promote Covenant Eyes.
12. Pin posts from the Covenant Eyes blog
Making sure the blog post URL is a customized with your affiliate link, pin posts from the Covenant Eyes blog that will resonate with your audience.
13. Make “pinable” images on your own blog when talking about Covenant Eyes
Blog about the topics and problems that Covenant Eyes addresses, and as you do, create images that you believe are likely to be shared on Pinterest. The images should be relevant to the topic. Make sure the descriptive text for the image includes important information about your post. Use quality images that look good when 736 px wide. There are many Pinterest gurus you can consult if you want to understand the “science” of creating pinable images.
14. Build relationships with the Pinterest influencers
There are many people with very large Pinterest followings: find those who likely have an audience ripe for Covenant Eyes, such a mothers who want to protect their children from harmful images online. Build a relationship with those Pinterest power-players: follow them, repin their pins, contact them personally, befriend them, and then ask them to repin your pins that pertain to Covenant Eyes.
15. Create a board that addresses the problems Covenant Eyes solves
Create a board on Pinterest about “Sexual Purity” or “Internet Safety” or “Protecting Kids Online.” Then routinely post information to that board (from your own blog, from Covenant Eyes, and from other third parties) so that the board becomes an established resource on that topic. Include both informative articles and helpful videos on this board.
Google+ now has more than 300 million active monthly users, and currently it tends to be utilized more by younger generations and males. Backed by the power of Google, this social network has enormous potential for those who want to promote their brand.
16. Join Google+ communities relevant to Covenant Eyes’ solutions
Find Google+ communities that talk about issues and problems Covenant Eyes is designed to solve. The more you get involved in these online communities, the more you will be recognized as an authority. Leverage that influence to talk about Covenant Eyes’ education and services.
17. Use best practices when posting to Google+
When posting information from the Covenant Eyes blog or from your own blog, keep in mind certain best practices. Share an image with your links: this will grab more attention. Place the link to the article near the top of your posts on Google+ (it automatically truncates the post and moves information below a “read more” line). Use hashtags when posting content on Google+ so Google can index it properly.
18. Use Google Hangouts to get people thinking about Covenant Eyes-related topics
Google Hangouts is a creative way to do video calls with other Google+ users. There are a number of ways to do Hangouts. You could create a video Hangout “on air,” which allows you to broadcast a live-streamed video on your Google+ page. These videos are also live on YouTube and, once finished, are posted to your YouTube channel. You can also host more private Hangouts of up to 10 people at a time.
Host Hangouts that address the issues Covenant Eyes addresses. Take questions from your followers on Google+ or your blog and answer them on the video. Do interviews with noteworthy people. Host more private conversations with your blog readers to engage with them more. These are great ways to get more engagement on Google+ and help your audience think more deeply about the problems Covenant Eyes solves.
YouTube is the largest video sharing site in the world and the second-largest search engine. If videos are your thing, YouTube is great for visibility.
19. Add affiliate links in your video descriptions
If a link to Covenant Eyes is relevant to a specific video, make sure you add it in the video description. Make sure it includes your affiliate promo code or link.
20. Add links to pages on your own website about Covenant Eyes in video annotations
Occasionally you will see on YouTube videos pop-up annotations. These have been placed there by the channel curators to alert viewers to additional information and occasionally these annotations are also linked to something else. By default, video annotations are allowed to link to other videos on YouTube, but you can also set up your channel to be able to link annotations to websites outside of YouTube (such as a link on your blog about Covenant Eyes).
You can only do this if you have “Partner” status on YouTube. To do this, you must first have an account in good standing with YouTube. You must also have at least one video on your channel available for advertising and have an “associated website” for your YouTube channel. Once you have partner status, then you can begin adding annotations with outbound links.
Tumblr and Instagram
These popular image-sharing social networks are great for engaging your readers and fans. Visitors to Tumblr and Instagram tend to stay on these sites longer than they stay on other social networks, so there’s more opportunity for engagements.
21. Set up your accounts to automatically post pictures from other networks
Use free services like IFTTT so that every time you post an image to Facebook or Twitter, it is also posted to your Instagram or Tumblr accounts. This is a very easy way to build up a reservoir of images on these sites without extra work.
Find What Works for You
Don’t spin your wheels trying to do all these things. Start where it makes the most sense. Where are your fans and followers already engaging with you? Start there. You know your audience. Cater your messaging to those you influence. And if you have any ideas about creative ways to use social media, please let us know!