Social media marketing platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter can be fantastic sources of traffic and income for bloggers and affiliate marketers.
I think particularly of bloggers in the fashion and beauty industries who upload videos to YouTube, loaded with affiliate links in the video descriptions, and then post links to those videos from their other social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
That's all well and good until one of those social media marketing accounts gets suspended, for reasons you might never have imagined.
For example, in 2011, one of my videos on YouTube had over a quarter-million views.
Monetized with Adsense and directing viewers back to my affiliate marketing blog, that video was a great source of income for me until someone marked it as ‘spam' and YouTube reviewers simply took his word for it, without bothering to even look at it or compare it with other similar videos on the site. According to YouTube's own rules, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the video, but it was taken down anyway and my income dropped.
I did eventually replace the “How Affiliate Marketing Works” video, and you'll notice how few visitors it has had in the last 10 years because it was marked as ‘age-restricted'.
By the way, the ‘someone' who marked the video as spam, was a Facebook ‘friend' and affiliate marketing influencer who took issue with a comment I made requesting that he be civil and courteous with friends on MY Facebook timeline after he was anything but courteous or civil. Based on what I've learned about him since he is/was a proven bully and he was probably jealous of my success.
Lesson learned – don't say anything, simply delete the assholes on your Facebook account. They won't notice and therefore (hopefully) won't take revenge.
Worse than having a video removed from YouTube, I actually lost my Twitter account that had 15.5K followers.
How did I lose that Twitter account?
For the simple reason that I no longer have access to the phone number that was linked to the account. It was a U.S. telephone number that I used when we spent our winters in Arizona and unfortunately, I didn't change the number back to my Canadian number on the Twitter account before we returned to Canada in the spring of 2019. The phone contract ran out while we've been stuck at home in Canada due to COVID, and despite dozens of efforts to get that account back, Twitter offers NO way to contact them by phone or any other reasonable way to fix the problem I have with that account.
So, you don't even have to incite an insurrection to lose your social media marketing accounts and the income that you make from them.
You only need to have a social media account that someone doesn't like, or one where you have no possible way of contacting those who run the social media platform.
Bottom line: You still need a website to market your goods. You can link back to that website from your social media accounts, but do NOT rely exclusively on social media to monetize your business. It's only a matter of one bully, bad reviewer, or other asshole and your social media account will be useless.
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Social Fly says
Now we don’t even know what’s going to happen with Twitter. If we really too heavily on social media marketing then yes, we are exposing ourselves to things we can’t control.
Ken Stronach says
Well said. I can say social media has been my nemesis from the very beginning.
All I can say is the people that run these platforms are so damn sensitive to every little thing.
I agree with the suspension remark, because it doesn’t take much for somebody ready to attack anybody associated with affiliate marketing. Or any online business for that matter.
They’re sitting ready at the keyboard for their next condescending remark and spam complaint.
I can go on for hours on how Facebook shut down my account multiple times and for reasons they couldn’t explain.
To this day, they never gave me a straight answer for shutting me down.
We just have to let it bounce off our shoulders and move on.
I be interested to know if you have a favorite list building strategy now that you could share.
I enjoyed reading your post, it was good for the eyes
Rosalind Gardner says
Thanks SO very kindly for your comment, Ken.
My favorite list-building strategy hasn’t changed in over 20 years. If folks enjoy and feel they benefit from what I share, I hope they’ll sign up for my newsletter.
I could not agree with you more. You can have videos and posts marked as spam with people reporting them. I’m sorry to hear about that jealous friend.
I’m not a big fan of social media for the reasons you mentioned. One person dislikes you and your reputation can be ruined very quickly. And it’s time-consuming to boot if you want to be successful on it. That’s scary about the YouTube video… people shouldn’t have that kind of power over your stuff.