Twitter, Elon Musk who was about to buy the company, but then decided to back out and is currently being sued as a result; rises and falls in hype and shares of this social network and even more ambiguous interest in the director of SpaceX and Tesla — something that the digital world is still keeping an eye on. If you’ve never thought about trying Twitter as a traffic source before, maybe you should think about it now.
Note: this article was written and published on July 19, 2022, so the information regarding Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and the lawsuit may not be up to date.
We have compiled a detailed and honest guide on affiliate marketing on Twitter, trying to reveal all the pros and cons of working with this social network.
There are several reasons why you should try affiliate marketing on Twitter.
- Right now, Twitter’s shares and popularity are rising.
Naturally, this is to a great extent due to the purchase of the social network by Elon Musk. So far, this whole process is ambiguous and incomprehensible, both for Twitter employees and for the users. Still this event definitely stirred up the public, causing Twitter interest growth.
You can make use of it.
- Twitter has 217 million daily active monetized users (data for the 4th quarter of 2021). And this figure is constantly growing.
- Most of these users are consumers, not content creators, so they are waiting for the opportunity to participate in discussions and retweet.
According to Pew Research Center, only 10% of Twitter users create 80% of the content. So you have every opportunity to make your voice meaningful on this platform.
- Twitter is not as “greedy” as other social networks.
Instagram and Facebook are constantly reducing organic reach in order to force content creators to pay for their posts to be seen. Twitter is not so obsessed with paid posts. Therefore, the probability that your tweet will go viral, even if you have a small number of subscribers, is much higher than on other sites.
- 66% of the links here are published by bots that cannot respond to users. Whereas Twitter, especially lately, appreciates organic interaction and building relationships on its platform (they even promote relationship marketing), so if you can respond to your audience, it will do you a favor.
- Twitter is almost never used by affiliates, compared to Instagram and Facebook. The competition level is ridiculously small. This is due, for example, to the low popularity of the social network in the CIS: Twitter is better for working with international traffic. In Russia, it is impossible to launch an advertising campaign on Twitter at all (we will tell you further why and how to bypass it).
- You don’t have to try too hard to write and design content: both the number of characters and the ability to edit tweets are limited. You can literally sell by being on public transport and tweeting something concise and witty.
We want to be as objective and honest with you as possible, so together with all the “pros” we also give all the “cons”.
1. Twitter’s algorithms hide external links. Not all of them, but a decent amount.
2. Twitter has a reputation as a social network where someone is constantly in conflict.
3. Also, new accounts can’t run ads, which, of course, complicates everything, but there is a solution here (we’ll tell you more about this later).
4. What Elon Musk plans to do to Twitter is still uncertain: total freedom of speech — if it is truly the right thing?
5. Twitter’s commercial intent level is comparatively low.
6. 280 characters may not be enough for you.
If all this still doesn’t stop you, then it’s time to move on to the next stage.
How to make effective affiliate marketing on Twitter
Conditionally, there are four ways to promote offers on Twitter: newsigners, purchase of ready-made accounts, content marketing and targeted advertising. We will describe each of them, starting with the simplest.
Launching with newsigners (newly created accounts) is the simplest plan that requires practically no investments.
How it works:
- sign up;
- analyze trends;
- write a tweet + choose a picture;
- add 10-15 hashtags + a link.
The disadvantages of this method of promotion is:
1. Low-motivated traffic: even if your content can interest a user, the conversion rate will be low.
2. Inability to target traffic. Although at the same time it is suitable for verticals that can be directed on a wide audience (for example, adult).
You can scale this scheme only by increasing the number of accounts. Yes, it doesn’t seem that exciting.
Purchase of ready-made accounts
The plan is a little more serious than the previous one.
How it works:
- buy accounts with a target audience already subscribed;
- parse it;
- make a newsletter in the form of replies to the tweets of a parsed audience using prepared templates with a link to the target landing page.
This method is more time- and resource-consuming, as you need to spend money on purchasing accounts + prepare a large number of templates. But this way you can increase the conversion rate, because the audience will be more targeted.
Judging by the cases we have studied, this plan has performed well in international traffic, especially when choosing Adult and Dating.
Unofficial tip: Love Twitter. This is a rather specific social network with its own “traditions”, humor and audience. It will be unusual for you, especially if you have worked with Facebook/Instagram before. You need to join the Twitter crowd, and for this you need to sincerely love this social network.
This method will be almost free, resource-intensive and difficult. As well as interesting and very profitable in the long run. It is more ambitious, so we have collected some tips.
1. Think strategically.
The meaning of affiliate marketing on Twitter can be described in one simple sentence:
This is a strategic placement of links in the profile and content.
The main thing here is “strategic”: you need to place links deliberately and keep a balance.
A small number of links will not lead to conversion, because your subscribers will most likely not see them. None of your tweets will be able to reach 100% of your followers. Moreover, not a single tweet can be retweeted by all subscribers. Therefore, it is necessary to periodically repeat tweets and links in them.
Still you can’t overdo it here either.
Important tip: to increase the chances that your link will be seen, post it either in the first or in the last tweet of the thread.
2. Decide on a niche.
This is the first thing you should do.
On Twitter, you won’t be promoting new offers every day. This is a long-term game, so you need to choose a certain vertical (or several if they are related to each other). Next, you will not actually sell dietary products, but discuss the benefits and harms of various diets. This is how you will be able to gain the trust and involvement of subscribers.
Here is a small list of the most profitable niches for Twitter (according to Authority Hacker):
- Hobbies: photography, travel, sports betting, event tickets, casino.
- Money niches: debt repayment, bitcoin, investing, credit cards, mortgages.
- Health and fitness: weight loss, fitness, yoga, organic products, nutrition, veganism, golf, dietary supplements, organic products.
- Lifestyle: luxury, cruises, travel, online dating, airlines, fashion, jewelry, makeup.
- Home and family: home security, coffee, baby products, dogs, gardening.
- Technical niche: web hosting, WordPress, VPN, SaaS, games, software.
- Alternative niches: CBD, essential oils, herbs, personal development.
Do not take this list as universal and 100% working. The tests are still carried out. They always will.
3. Select suitable offers.
At this stage, you need to study your audience thoroughly. Yes, there is no way without it.
The fact is that Twitter is not used purposefully for shopping, like Amazon, for example. However, at the same time, users are open to considering the likelihood of purchase if an offer is relevant and interesting to them.
Therefore, you should know exactly what to offer them.
The very first and easiest thing you can do in this situation is to study the profiles of other affiliate marketers to understand what they choose.
4. Follow trends.
Twitter is the birthplace for most trends. As well as memes. Long before certain topics start being discussed on other platforms, they will already be trending on Twitter.
Therefore, you will have to be aware of what is happening. Twitter even has a separate section for this:
By the way, using Explore will also help with the choice of a niche and offers.
5. Treat your profile as a landing page.
Before subscribing to you, most users will want to know more about you first. A well-filled profile will help them, so it’s worth starting with its optimization. It is quite logical to perceive it as a full-fledged landing page. This will help you get traffic on Twitter without constantly posting links:
It’s like a classic marketing funnel: first, users see a tweet that interests them, then they go to your profile, which should interest them even more.
The information in the profile should be provided in an easily accessible form and answer three questions:
- Are you trustworthy? — Demonstrate your experience: specify the position, leave a link to your projects, refer to the accounts associated with you that inspire trust.
- Does your content have value? — Specify the type of content you publish in your profile.
- Are your calls to action clear? — Leave the opportunity to get additional information about you if users find you trustworthy and your content relevant.
Here is an example of a bright and competent “landing page” on Twitter:
It’s better to use a real photo for an avatar.
6. Use a pinned tweet strategically.
The pinned tweet will be displayed in your profile first. This is ideal your main offer in the spotlight.
You can change the pinned tweet depending on the season, trends and available offers. Or you can use the same one.
Make sure that your pinned tweet complies with these recommendations:
- the tweet is written succinctly and clearly;
- CTA is obvious;
- the tweet is visually striking;
- the tweet contains only one link.
A great example of a seasonal pinned tweet from Samsung Mobile:
7. Refer not only to direct affiliate links.
No one wants to see endless streams of advertising in their feed. People want to interact not only with your advertising offers, but also to know you and be a part of your life.
Here’s what Adam Connell, founder of Blogging Wizard, said about affiliate marketing on Twitter:
“The key to building an audience is to help first and sell later.
In this context, Twitter would be best used to promote your content, driving traffic to content on your website that is well optimized to drive commissions (product roundups + reviews, etc).
Affiliate revenue may be your primary goal, but a secondary goal would be to build your email list which can be monetized later as well.”Adam Connell, founder of Blogging Wizard
Create value first, and then sell it. In the future, this will allow you to monetize anything more effectively.
8. Get your first subscribers.
Please, don’t just buy them.
This is the main mistake that many affiliate marketers make anyway. Paid subscribers will rarely interact with your tweets. Mainly because they are bots. There are enough of them on Twitter, and that’s why Elon Musk doubted his decision to buy the whole social network.
You can get your first subscribers absolutely for free, and their value will be many times higher. Just follow a few simple steps:
- Find popular authors from your and related niches and subscribe to them.
- Retweet their content, but it is advisable to quote their tweet at the same time: so you will also appear in the comments to this post. Someone might like your answer even more than the original tweet. This is a common practice on Twitter, by the way.
9. Make your tweets notable.
Just because most others make tweets as one solid block of text doesn’t mean that you should do that too. Try to stand out, despite the limitations in editing and the number of characters. Use spaces, various symbols and emojis:
Nothing complicated, but it looks much more attractive, doesn’t it?
Don’t forget about high-quality photos and videos — this is also something that can either interest and make you buy or alienate the user.
10. Use hashtags, but wisely.
It was on Twitter that hashtags first appeared as a way to categorize content. But nowadays they are often used completely inappropriately, for example, by affiliate marketers.
The main thing about hashtags is their relevance. Don’t add them to your tweets just like that. No more than 2-3 is perfect.
To find out which tags are better to use, you can utilize the already familiar methods: the Explore section and competitor content analysis.
Life hack: You can use some of the above recommendations for other schemes of working on Twitter. Especially 4 and 5.
And finally, paid advertising in Twitter Ads Manager. Perhaps this is exactly what you came here for.
But before you start setting up an advertising campaign through Twitter Ads Manager, you need to know a few things:
1. You will not be able to run ads from a newly created account (but you will be able to buy a ready-made account, as we described in the second method of promotion).
2. Your account must be public and active.
3. The account must have a cover and a URL that will match the final URL in the ad.
4. You cannot set up ads for Russia via Twitter Ads Manager. In Russia, you can create an advertising account on Twitter only through the official advertising partner Httpool. To do this, you need to sign a contract and top up the balance by at least 300,000 rubles. Not everyone has such a sum in store.
5. You will need a considerable budget already at the start.
6. Twitter’s audience is mostly mobile: according to Statista, about 80% of social network users log in with smartphones. Therefore, take care of the mobile version of the site you will be advertising to users. If you are targeting only desktops, we recommend raising the bid or choosing the widest possible audience.
If all this suits you, let’s move on.
There are two types of targeted advertising on Twitter:
- promoted posts — look like regular tweets, but marked as “Promoted”;
- promoted accounts are the main difference from Facebook and Instagram. They’re marked with the “Promoted” icon and contain the “Follow” button:
Step-by-step instructions for launching ads via Twitter Ads Manager:
Of course, you must have an account that fulfills the requirements described at the beginning of this section. You can go to Twitter Ads Manager by following the link or from your desktop account: click More, then — Twitter Ads:
Create a Campaign. Then choose Campaign objective:
- Reach — shows ads to the maximum number of users. Ideal for increasing brand and offer awareness. Payment is taken for 1000 runs, you can set the maximum desired CPM or choose automatic bid management.
- Video and pre-roll views — video content promotion. In the price settings, you can set the price for watching the video, the price for watching six seconds of video, or select auto-control.
- App Installations — Promotion of apps for iOS and Android. You can pay for advertising for installations, for clicks, or according to the OAB model (you determine the desired installation cost, and the system will try to get the most actions at the specified price, while advertising is paid for clicks). Manual and automatic bid management is available.
- Website Traffic — attracting traffic to the promoted page, paying for visits. You can optimize placement by landing page visits or conversions (in the latter case, you will need to install a pixel on the site and configure events).
- Engagements — increasing the number of interactions with tweets. Advertising is paid for the selected type of interaction: click, like, repost, comment.
- Followers — attracting new subscribers to your account. Payment is made for the attracted subscriber if he/she has not unsubscribed within 24 hours.
- App re-engagements — maintaining the activity of application users.
Then — the budget and the rate of displaying:
After that you will go to the ad group settings:
- Delivery (Goal, Bid Strategy).
- Demographics (Gender, Age, Location, Language).
- Devices (Operating System, Device model, Carrier).
- Custom audiences.
- Targeting features (Keywords, Follower look-alikes, Interests, Movies and TV shows, Events, Conversation topics + Additional options).
As you can see, Twitter moved further in targeting parameters, and in addition to familiar Keywords, Follower look-alikes, and Interest, provides:
- Movies and TV shows — target people who watch certain TV programs or movies;
- Events — the audience that is involved in certain events.
- Conversation topics — targeting people who were participants in a conversation on a certain topic.
- Placements (Home timelines, Profiles, Search results).
- Creatives: Most often, a ready-made tweet will act as a creative, but for the purposes of Website traffic, App installs, and App re-engagements, you will be asked to upload new media files that will appear in the Creatives section if they meet the image size requirements.
- Other options may also appear depending on the selected goal: Publisher content instead of Placements in the Pre-roll views goal, additional Twitter Audience Platform for the App installs and App re-engagements goals.
Don’t forget to add a card, otherwise you simply won’t be able to launch your campaign: the name of your account in the upper right corner of the advertising cabinet — Payment methods — Add new funding source.
By the way, Twitter provides €200 credit limit. It’s not much, but still nice.
For those who do not want to go into the targeting details, there is the possibility of rapid promotion of Twitter — Quick Promote (similar to promotions on Instagram). To do this, you need to switch to a professional profile by selecting a category (Twitter has quite a lot of them).
To qualify for a professional account, your account must meet the following requirements:
- You must not have a history of repeatedly violating the Twitter User Agreement.
- You must have a full profile with the account name, description, and profile photo.
- Your true identity must be clearly indicated in the profile. Read more details here.
We recommend that you study the Ads Help Center and look it periodically, because the probability that Twitter support will answer you is extremely low.
If you want to learn more about Twitter, we recommend reading this list of statistics that will be useful to marketers.
So, we found out three important things:
- You can do affiliate marketing on Twitter quite effectively, given the level of competition and other factors.
- Twitter is more of a long-term game (if you choose content marketing). This leads to another conclusion: it is better not to make this source the only way to earn money, especially in the early stages.
- Twitter has a very thoughtful targeting that fits any goals and formats, and it’s unjust not to use it.
While t’s still unclear how Elon Musk’s gusty decision to buy Twitter will play out, you can launch your first advertising campaign on this social network. This guide will help you get into it much easier. Quite likely, you will be pleasantly surprised.