In this guide, we share plenty of information about using affiliate links on Facebook. We cover a range of topics, including whether or not Facebook officially allow affiliate linking, how to disclose your affiliate links correctly and tools we recommend.
This guide covers several different topics. Click any link below to jump to the relevant section:
- Can I use affiliate links on Facebook?
- HOW do I promote affiliate links on Facebook?
- How does Facebook’s Branded Content Policy affect affiliate links?
- Can I use my affiliate links in Facebook ads?
- Can I share Amazon affiliate links on Facebook?
- Do you recommend a tool for posting affiliate links to Facebook?
- Affiliate disclosure on Facebook – what do I need to know?
- FREE Affiliate income tracker
- My disclaimer
- Ask & answer – comment with your question. I’ll try and help!
Can I use affiliate links on Facebook?
The short answer is yes
(but read through the following information to make sure you’re fully briefed).
In order to find this answer, I had to check Facebook’s help centre. Here, I searched for questions like, “are you allowed to do affiliate marketing on Facebook?” and “what are the rules and guidelines for posting affiliate marketing ads on my Page?”.
Here are the responses from the Facebook Help Team. Each response illustrates that Facebook DO allow people to publish affiliate links on their Pages.
The first message is from a person with a fan Page themed around dogs. The user wants to post affiliate links to their Facebook Page:
The Facebook Help Team member replies with, “you can certainly go ahead … this should not be an issue.”
In a second post, I see a user asking about posting affiliate links on Facebook Pages AND in groups. Another person asks the same question in the thread too –
The second poster “Fearlis” explains affiliate marketing, to which the Facebook Help Team member replies, “this is acceptable”.
Both examples above illustrate that affiliate marketing is permitted on Facebook Pages and in groups.
Worth knowing: while Facebook allows people to use affiliate links, you are not allowed to use your Facebook for multi-level marketing, get rich quick schemes or to post “other money-making opportunities that offer compensation for little to no investment”.Pssst... Do you know you're allowed to post affiliate links on Facebook? #bloggingtips Click To Tweet
How do I promote affiliate links on Facebook?
This is the exact step-by-step method that I use to promote affiliate links on Facebook.
First: Find something to promote. If you run a health and fitness blog, you may want to recommend a few supplements, for example. If you run a parenting blog, maybe you want to share an offer at your favourite kids’ clothing store – the options are limitless!
Then, sign up for the company’s affiliate programme if you haven’t already.
Log in and create an affiliate link. No clue how to do this? Contact the manager of the affiliate program you signed up with. They’ll walk you through it (I actually have a guide for Linkshare here, though).
I like to trim the long affiliate link down using a URL shortener. I have a whole guide about that here.
Publish your post to Facebook (or schedule it for later!)
Voila! That’s it! You’re done. You’ve just promoted your first affiliate link on Facebook!
How does Facebook’s new Branded Content Policy affect affiliate links?
I wrote the information on this page BEFORE Facebook published their new Branded Content policy in May 2016. But I’ve decided to update this page to help bloggers who wonder how the policy affects them.
Our Branded Content Policies apply to verified Pages and verified Profiles (with the blue badge) on Facebook. Branded content may only be posted by verified Pages and verified Profiles. Branded content is defined as content originating from a Page or Profile that features third party products, brands, or sponsors that differ from the Profile or Page. When posting permitted branded content integrations, verified Profiles and verified Pages must use the Branded Content tool to tag the featured third party product, brand, or sponsor. – Facebook.com
The question on every bloggers’ lips: does this include affiliate marketing? The short answer is that it’s unclear! Facebook does not mention affiliates directly.
Amy Lynn Andrews decided to ask Facebook directly. She published a chat transcript from a conversation she had with one of their reps (see halfway down this page) who confirms that posting affiliate links on your Page will NOT break their new policy, as long as you properly disclose the relationship and tag the company you’re featuring.
Amy: […] just to be clear, it’s OK to use my affiliate links (Amazon or otherwise) in my posts. I just have to have (a) proper disclosure and (b) I must tag the company? Is that correct?
Facebook rep: Correct!
Just a note: I checked Facebook’s Advertiser Help Centre again in June 2016. This was a few months after Facebook announced their Branded Content update. I found a question about affiliate marketing with an answer from a company rep . The Facebook rep confirms that it’s OK to share links if you adhere to Facebook’s Community Standards and Page Guidelines and mentions nothing about the Branded Content Policy specifically.
Can I use my affiliate links in Facebook ads?
As you may be aware, Facebook has a number of strict rules and regulations in place for their advertising network. The guidelines do not mention affiliate links specifically so you may be unsure whether or not they’re permitted in advertising campaigns. According to my research, the simple answer is yes, they are allowed.
I searched the Facebook help centre once again. A Facebook representative says you ARE permitted to use affiliate links in Facebook adverts:
Note – the products in question MUST comply with Facebook’s advertising guidelines, otherwise, your advert may not be approved and in the worst case scenario, your advertising account may be permanently banned.
If you’re planning to advertise on Facebook, check out Amy Porterfield’s wonderful podcast and blog post full of tips on “protecting” your Facebook ad account. I highly recommend you read/listen. Here’s an excerpt –
[…] it’s important to understand the foundational principle of Facebook’s guidelines. For them, it all comes down to creating a great user experience. In other words, Facebook wants to protect all Facebook users from feeling lied to, “sold to,” bullied, harassed…you get the picture.
[…] they’re not letting people make bold, specific promises to our audience about concrete things (like saving money, making money, losing weight, etc.). And they’re not letting us use highly specific imagery that suggests these things (like images of idealized body types, huge stacks of cash, etc.).
Can I share Amazon affiliate links on Facebook?
If you’re a member of Amazon Associates (the Amazon affiliate network) you may be wondering if you’re allowed to share links on Facebook. The answer is YES:
“The Associates Program permits you to monetize your website, social media user-generated content, or online software application…” (Source: Amazon)
Here’s what Amazon say on their Social Networking FAQ page:
“Yes – the Associates Program does pay referral fees for qualifying sales generated from social networking sites like Twitter.”
So, Twitter is named as an example, but Facebook is definitely a social networking site.
SHARE DIRECTLY TO FACEBOOK: If you’re logged into your Associates account and browse Amazon, you’ll see the SiteStripe tool (pictured below). You can use this to share affiliate links from Amazon directly to Facebook:
If you search Facebook’s help centre, you’ll see they’ve answered quite a few questions on the topic of Amazon affiliate links. Several different members of the Help Team confirm that Page owners can post Amazon affiliate links. See here for more details.
NOTE: I spoke with a member of the Amazon team who confirmed that you CANNOT BOOST POSTS that DIRECTLY link to Amazon. (You can boost a post that links to your site, which links to Amazon though.)
Do you recommend a tool for posting affiliate links to Facebook?
Yes! But just a disclosure first: I’m going to link to the tool with my referral link. Seeing as this entire article is about affiliate marketing, I’m sure you understand that referral links support my site, which means I can write more useful guides like this! For my full disclosure policy, click here.
The tool I recommend is Skimlinks.
If you run an active Facebook Page and want to post affiliate links to it regularly, consider signing up for SkimLinks. It is my monetization tool of choice and I use it every day.
- Their browser add-on has a Facebook sharing tool, which makes posting easy
- Once signed up, you’re approved with 20,000+ merchants
- That means no applying for individual merchants and waiting to be approved (like with affiliate networks)
- Commissions can be MUCH higher! They have so many publishers signed up that they can negotiate good rates for us!
- Your statistics are all in one place – with great insights and analytics
Using Skimlinks to post to Facebook:
In the screen capture below, I’m sharing an item from Selfridges.com to Facebook using the SkimLinks browser tool. When you click on the Facebook icon, the “share” window pops up. You can choose which Page to post on and add a message. (Note: The preview below doesn’t show the product image with the link, HOWEVER, when I posted it, the image was there too).
Affiliate disclosure on Facebook – what do I need to know?
Firstly, you need to know that I am not a lawyer! In addition, I don’t live in the USA where the FTC guidelines apply. However, I have researched this topic a little.
In short, you DO need to disclose affiliate links on Facebook. So that means letting your Facebook followers know that you may receive compensation if they click the link you’re sharing. The disclosure ought to be “clear and conspicuous” and the words “affiliate link” by themselves might not be adequate.
I found all of that information in the FTC’s endorsement guide is a great place to start if you’re trying to wrap your head around disclosure. Check out their affiliate marketing and social media sections specifically.
Here’s an example of a post on my own Facebook page that I believe will meet the FTC’s guidelines for disclosure:
If that disclosure is too long, you may prefer the following suggestion from lawyer, blogger and affiliate marketer Chrissy Watson. She suggests that simply marking Facebook posts with the words “adverts” or “sponsored”. Read her full guide to affiliate marketing, disclosure and Facebook here. Here’s how that might look:
FREE affiliate income tracker:
I’ve created a spreadsheet for tracking affiliate income. You can download it from my free content library. Unlock access (and sign up to my weekly newsletter) by entering your email address below:
Please note: the information given here is advice based on research, I do not speak on behalf of Facebook and I certainly don’t guarantee that if you post affiliate links, your Page/ads account will not be banned or flagged as spam. I can say that I have personally used affiliate links on a number of Facebook Pages and in adverts without a problem to date.
Also: In the comments below, Madhu rightly points out that some merchants do not allow publishers to post links to social media accounts. Very true (although rare in my experience.) You should always check the merchant’s T&Cs in the affiliate network or email your account manager to double check if you’re unsure.
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