Ten Tips for Making Affiliate Sales on Social Media

This is the fifth post in our series on affiliate marketing and we’re going to be talking specifically about making affiliate sales on social media. Find the other posts here:

Affiliate Marketing For Beginners

How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing

Five Simple Steps To Increase Your Affiliate Sales

Ten Things That Increase Affiliate Conversions

Affiliate Marketing Best Practices

So far we’ve concentrated on affiliate marketing via your blog and email list, and there’s a reason for that.

A highly relevant, search engine optimized, blog post that pre-sells a product or service is a great way to make affiliate sales.

Recommending a useful, relevant product or service by email to a targeted list of people who already know and trust you is another great way to make affiliate sales.

Just posting your affiliate links all over social media? NOT a good way to make affiliate sales (and quite a good way to annoy your friends and followers).

Affiliate marketing on social media - Can you really make affiliate sales on Pinterest, Facebook and other social media platforms?

Disclosure: Links in this post (and anywhere on The Savvy Solopreneur) may be affiliate links (obviously!). Find out exactly what that means here.

I’ve written a whole post on why online marketers need a blog, because too many marketers are annoying their online contacts by constantly pushing an array of products into their news feeds. But there are ways to make affiliate sales on social media, so you don’t want to discount it completely.

Here are my top ten tips for making affiliate sales on social media

Don’t push a ton of affiliate links into your friends’ social media feeds

Your friends are on social to be social. Not to be sold to. Unless you’ve built your profiles very carefully with your business in mind, your personal profile is likely to have friends and family who are totally outside your target group.

This doesn’t mean you can never mention your products on your personal profile. But you shouldn’t overdo it, and you shouldn’t expect significant sales from this tactic. Use the tactics below instead.

Consider using Facebook pages or groups if your audience is on Facebook

It’s easy to make a Facebook group or page based on a specific interest instead. Currently the organic reach of pages is down and groups seem to be working better, but we’re all just one algorithm tweak away from that changing again, which is another reason to build an audience via your blog and email list rather than rely on social sites.

Make sure it’s obvious (from the name and description) what your page or group is all about. Then invite all your friends to like your page or join your group. This way you’re allowing them to ‘opt-in’ to hearing about that particular topic.

Suddenly you’ve narrowed your audience from ‘everyone you know’ to ‘people you know who are also interested in your topic’. Now when you post a product recommendation (with an affiliate link) you’re talking to your audience, not random people.

Use Pinterest

Pinterest is arguably one of the best sites to make affiliate sales on. It’s one of the few ‘social’ sites where people are (often) shopping, or at least researching buying decisions. This is because it’s not really a social site at all, but a search engine. If people search for ‘pretty summer dresses’ or ‘baby boy nursery ideas’, they’re looking for ideas, but they’re probably also ready to buy a summer dress or some nursery equipment, so they’re coming to the site with a different mindset.

You can add your affiliate link to your Pins (like I have with this one, or this, or this) and you will often make some sales. Pinterest is the site I’d advise you to focus on if you don’t want to run a blog or website but still want to make affiliate sales (and then focus on SEO, so Pinterest searchers find your Pins, rather than only your followers).

And Instagram

Unlike Pinterest, Instagram isn’t known as a search engine. But it is very visual AND aspirational. So if people see something they love on there, they often want to purchase it.

Top Instagrammers use posts, reels and stories to demonstrate and sell a range of products. And you can of course set up your profile link, to take fa page where you promote all the stuff you post on Instagram.

Make the most of images and videos

Images sell. Videos sell even better. One of the best social sites to sell on right now is TikTok. It lends itself to demonstrating products, and you can link to any product you show directly from the video. Using TikTok shop is a built-in way to get commissions on anything you show in any TikTok post.

Remember to disclose

Just because you don’t have a lot of space, doesn’t mean you can drop the disclosure. It’s still required. On most sites you can simply say something like ‘Here’s my affiliate link,’ ‘My affiliate link is below’ or ‘Link (yep it’s my affiliate link) below.’

Some sites (like TikTok) make it easy for you to unobtrusively mark your post as ‘Commission Paid’, and influencers on the platform even report that posts that feature something from TikTok shop for example seem to get pushed out to more viewers.

Don’t overdo it

Social should be social, not salesy. It’s an important part of the branding and audience growing strategy of most companies (big and small) because that is what it’s best used for: raising brand awareness and growing your audience. Will this lead to sales? Yes. Do they have to be direct? No. Social sites still work better as a PR tool than as a marketing tool. They’re still more about connection, image, message, and creating brand loyalty than making sales.

Keep the content aligned with your brand

Don’t go all salesy in your social posts, if you’re usually chatty and fun. Keep the tone the same, even if you are selling. Here’s an example of a ‘sales’ post from The Savvy Solopreneur Facebook page.

Note that the tone is chatty and light, in line with what people expect on Facebook.

Customize your links

Affiliate links can look suspiciously spammy at any time. They tend to look something like this:

So use a plugin or service to pretty them up (I use Pretty Link). The above link (after prettification) looks like this:

Keep it relevant

Social media is all about reaching your audience, so it’s vital to build a targeted audience interested in your topic.

If you sell weight loss products and stock photography, that’s two different niches with two different audiences. Unless your topics at least overlap, you should probably consider developing different social media accounts (ie two separate Twitter or Instagram accounts) to attract each audience. Facebook is easier. Just make different pages or groups.

Next week, we’re going to tie the series up with a post about some general dos and don’ts when it comes to making sales with affiliate marketing. It will be a sort of affiliate marketing best practices primer. Don’t forget to go back over the other posts in the series. And if you want to make a real living or significant side income from this affiliate marketing gig, you could definitely benefit for the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course.

My offer still stands. Everybody who signs up for the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course through my affiliate link (that’s this one) will get a FREE copy of my Busy Blogger’s Success Kit (it usually sells for $29). Simply sign up through my link, and then forward me the email you receive confirming you’re signed up for the course (don’t worry – there won’t be any personal information like payment details in your confirmation email). Simply send your confirmation to, and I’ll get your Busy Blogger’s Success Kit straight to your inbox.


Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course

Want to grab a FREE printable workbook and other goodies for solopreneurs? Just let us know where to send it. You’ll also get my monthly newsletter with tips, freebies, special offers and links to free tools and resources.

9 thoughts on “Ten Tips for Making Affiliate Sales on Social Media

  1. I was about to say BS, till I got to the part where you say “Social should be social, not salesy”. I usually recommend using social media for building an email list and providing value to your audience.

    I do accept selling when doing it via a group that you built from scratch.

    Overall this is a good and valuable post. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Hey there. Thanks for reading on. I know selling on social is a controversial topic, and that’s why I wanted to write this post. Nobody wants to be sold to on social, yet stats show that a lot of buying decisions are made there. So people are seeing stuff on social and deciding to buy, even though they don’t like marketers pushing their wares at them. My conclusion is you can sell on social, as long as it doesn’t look like selling. That’s why it’s so important to get it right. Social not salesy. Always. 🙂
      Karen recently posted…Affiliate Marketing Best PracticesMy Profile

  2. Hi Karen!
    It is your second blog post i have read. Very good tips. So i have made a lot of mistakes. For example, I was posting all my articles on Facebook, but as i see in Search Console, not many people are interested in my articles.

    I’ve started Linked In, and I personally think it’s better than Facebook. More people are visiting my website through Linked In.

    That Pinterest you are talking about seems like good platform for affiliate marketers, I’m definitely going to try it.

    Thanks a lot for all the tips you shared with us, I’m going to read more articles on your blog, as they look like very valuable. I want to learn and finally start making good money 😉

    Kind regards,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.