Social Media Affiliate Marketing Guide 101 – With Amazon

Social Media Affiliate Marketing Guide 101 – With Amazon
Written by publishing team

This guide is a summary of proper methods and guidelines for affiliate marketing on social media. This is also a follow-up to the first article There is no precedent for social media: Amazon is suspending us to dry.

The purpose of this guide is to help affiliate marketers achieve success and earn money through affiliate marketing in social media. Follow this comprehensive guide from start to finish and feel confident in the fact that you are using the right methods for affiliate marketing in social media.

I’d like to thank Dave Cotter, Head of Amazon Affiliate Program, for contributing to this guide. After writing a previous article on social media affiliate marketing, Dave reached out to me to create this guide to help affiliates all over the internet understand the right way to approach affiliate marketing on social media.

Amazon Social Media FAQ

Does Amazon Associates allow the use of social networking sites like Twitter to drive traffic to Amazon?

Yes we did. We pay a referral fee for eligible sales generated by social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook. Social Media + Amazon Partners = $$!

As with all other methods of increasing sales, Partners are required to ensure that the method is permitted under the terms of the Associates Operating Agreement, the Product Advertising API License Agreement, if applicable, as well as the terms and conditions of the specific site on which links are posted (for example Example, MySpace does not allow its users to post affiliate marketing links in their profiles).

Where is the Amazon Associates operating agreement located?

You can find the Operating Agreement on the Associates Central homepage in the left navigation. Below are links to the Operating Agreement and the Product Advertisement API License Agreement for easy reference:

Amazon Associates Operating Agreement:
Product Advertising API:

Do you support URL shorteners?

Yes. If you use the short URL format provided by Amazon, you can be sure to receive a referral fee for any eligible sales you refer if the URL is formatted correctly. In order for the URL shortening service to be offered through the Associates Site Stripe or any other Associates product, you can easily find the correct URL shortened format by visiting the detail page of the product you wish to recommend and clicking on the “Share with Friends” link. The URL is displayed next to “Permalink” in the popup. For example, here is the acronym for 6″ Kindle: To create a link to the Associates tag, simply add your Associates tag to the end of the URL like: id.

If you use another URL shortening service, whether your Associate ID is really included can vary from service to service. In general, when using an external URL shortening service, You must include your Amazon Associate ID before you shorten a URL. You should be aware that some Services will add their Associates tag to your short URL or remove your Associates tag altogether. Also, please be aware that some shortening services use the shortened URLs to frame the Amazon website. If links you obtain from any Service do so, or do not refer to the domain in the address bar, you cannot use them in the Associates Program and you will not earn a referral fee from those links.

Also, keep in mind that you need to address any issues with a particular service with that service provider and Amazon cannot compensate you for any difficulties you may have with other short URL providers.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Yes – When creating a username and profile for your social network, be aware of copyrights and trademarks, both of Amazon and those of others. As stated in the Associates Operating Agreement, Associates shall not take any action that could reasonably cause customer confusion about our relationship with you or otherwise misrepresent the relationship between you and us. Use of a username or identifier that includes Amazon’s proprietary terms, such as “Amazon” or “Kindle”, or use of our logos and other trademarked content on your profile may cause confusion by those who access your profile, and distort the relationship between you and us. Furthermore, as a participant, you are also responsible for ensuring that your content does not infringe the intellectual property rights of others. For more information, please review the Associates Operating Agreement.

In conclusion, we would like to hear from the Associates community about their use of social media. If you have comments or suggestions about the Associates program and social networks, please write to us.

We hope you understand that you may not receive a personalized response to messages sent to this address.

Follow Amazon FAQ

It is not required to use Amazon URL shortener to distribute affiliate links on social media. There are a few alternatives that have been tested and confirmed to work with the Amazon affiliate program:

Are there other ways to promote affiliate links on social media?

One common way to promote affiliate links on social media is to place your full affiliate link on a website that you control, such as your own blog, or any site that is not hindered by long website links. Once you do that, you then shorten the website address to the page you placed the Amazon company link on, and distribute that link.

By doing this, you are creating an additional step in the process, but by doing so, you can be confident that you will be paid for eligible referrals sent to the Amazon website.

Step by step guide

Sharing links on social media is a straightforward process. But when you engage affiliate links, it can get a little tricky. As long as you understand a few key points about sharing affiliate links on social media, you can make it an easy process.

Step 1

The first step in affiliate marketing is to find the product you want to promote. Once you have the product in mind, the next step is to find a suitable link for that product.

Step 2

This step is perhaps the most important. Depending on the affiliate program, you should understand what constitutes an appropriate association. With Amazon, they make it easy. As long as your referral ID is in the query string parameters, referrals will be tracked back to your account. The query string parameter looks like this: tag = wwwsimplyidea-20

iPod Touch – Full Amazon Link

iPod Touch – Amazon Shortcut

As you can see in both examples, the above bold text, an affiliate identifier (this is how Amazon attributes a referred customer to your account), is in both links and follows the instructions for the appropriate link.

iPod Touch – 3rd Party URL Shortener

Above is a third example, which is a shortened link from the URL shortener. Note how the referral identifier is not present in the visible link. However, it is still there. If you click on the link and analyze the destination URL, you will see that the affiliate ID is already in the website URL.

It is very important to ensure that if you are using a third-party service, the affiliate ID as shown above is in the link before you shorten it with a third-party URL shortener. You cannot add an Amazon ID at the end of a third-party shortened link (unless they provide a specific service for that purpose).

It is always a good idea to test the link you plan to share by entering it into the website’s browser and follow the link by hitting the enter key after pasting the link into the website address bar.

Step 3

Once you are sure that your link does not contain your affiliate ID in a way that follows the requirements of affiliate service providers (in this article as described by Amazon), you can start distributing that link on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

As space allows, it’s generally a good idea to include a brief description of the link and why you’re distributing that affiliate link to your audience on social media.

Although this is not required, Amazon suggests that you should register your social media profiles with your Amazon corporate account by logging into the admin panel and sending the link to each of the profiles you plan to use to distribute the valid referral link your.

Distribution questions

Several people have raised concerns about the extent of the link’s distribution. For example, if you post an affiliate link to your Twitter profile and 50 people retweet your affiliate link, will you get paid for referrals on those links? The general answer is yes. Which means great things for affiliate marketers.

However, keep in mind that many people who retweet will make changes to your link by swapping the affiliate ID with their own. You might think that your link is the one being distributed, but that may not always be the case.

I specifically asked Dave Cotter, of Amazon, about this phenomenon. His answer was rather encouraging because he said you can’t control what people do with your links. He said if the link goes viral, you, the affiliate marketer, should be rewarded for something you’ve created that gets distributed that way. As long as your viral activity follows the Amazon affiliate program guidelines, which are described above, you can expect to receive credit for all referrals.


The purpose of this article is to show you exactly what is acceptable from Amazon’s point of view. Since Amazon has been one of the pioneers in affiliate marketing, if you follow their suggestions, there is a good chance that it will also be applicable to other affiliate programs. Please keep in mind that in order to be sure, you must read the instructions for each affiliate program separately.

A good rule of thumb is, if you think a referral commission can be denied for using affiliate links, it’s probably not a good idea!

If you have any questions about this guide, feel free to contact me directly or send a comment.

Once again, a big thank you to Amazon for their contribution and willingness to help the affiliate community.

Joshua Odmark is a technology consultant at Simply Ideas LLC and also blogs for the Performance Marketing Blog. follow him Twitter Or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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