Twitter affiliate linking madness

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chain.jpgADOTAS — Twitter is becoming spam hell, and a small part of the reason is that people are using affiliate links to find buyers.

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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Some people follow affiliates to get their deals and don’t mind affiliate links. However people that just spam out links without telling what they are are going to find themselves with no followers. For some reason there is a mindset that people think they *have* to follow everyone that is following them. Don’t! Unfollow people that post what you don’t want, and if you want to, send them a message as to why.

    People and marketers are still figuring this platform out, and some need to be educated on how to use it effectively. Word of mouth advertising is the best kind, which is what Twitter basically is, and affiliate links can be part of that. But it needs to be done right and not just blatant spam and RT of “gurus” that are promoting each other’s latest “way to make money” garbage. Sincere reviews with affiliate links are totally appropriate.

    Use the unfollow button, and use it generously! You can see what someone is twittering *without* following them.

  2. Deborah,
    I agree. Following everyone who follows you is absurd. And I’ll add to that.
    Anyone who sends me an automatic DM, trying to sell me something, will be kicked to the curb as well.

  3. Jeremiah Owyang recently spoke with Shawn Collins, owner of Affiliate Summit the largest affiliate convention. They both agreed that there is more to learn before a standard can made. Also, not all affiliate links on twitter are spam which has been discussed in the affiliate industry for a while now. If someone in my community is asking about the best coffee brewers then I don’t consider sending her an affiliate link to one I recommend spam. That’s a solution to someone’s problem. Just sending out tweet after tweet with links without reference to the conversation or in line with the community’s values would be spam, like offering a community of vegans discounts on big macs.

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