Pitches and links to pitches have become rampant, forcing me to unfollow people when I stumble on to it, so what should be the etiquette? Should there be a disclosure for affiliate links?
According to Jeremiah Owyang, yes. Here are some of his recommendations: disclose it’s an affiliate link, perhaps with a hashtag #affilliatelink, be sincere about recommendation and be fully transparent before people follow you. Lisa Barone, on the other hand, says “If you don’t trust me, then you can unfollow me and unsubscribe right now.” Of course, she’s never included an affiliate link in a blog post or on Twitter (and I’m now following her).
I think there should be disclosure. But even if you don’t, once I figure it out, and I eventually do, I will unfollow you. I don’t have many followers/folllowing, but I actually do read tweets to learn something. I think the more experience people get, the more people will unfollow people who are just spamming them with affiliate links. (Unless, they either follow everybody, and read few, or follow few and don’t read any. ) But the problem with having no standards, outside of a vague trust one, is that someone else, like the government, will step in and do it themselves.