Social Media, SM, SMO, SMM, EM, FB, PRT, SMPR, UGC; can you name more? Over the last three years especially, social media has exploded and caused all sorts of new acronyms to pop up. This is not all that social media has caused though – an unprecedented surge of internet traffic towards websites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Pair that up with their ability to influence the masses and they’ve now changed major search engines game plans.

But as gambling affiliates, should social media affect our game plans?

How Social Media CAN Work

Example

Let’s take ASOS, one of the largest online retail stores. For these guys, social works! They have 1,574,356 likes, 24,081 talking about the page which provides them the ability to capitalise on acquisitions. See the ASOS Facebook homepage (un-liked) below:

This promotion gives only “Facebook-ers” an advantage over others looking to hit the sale. In this case, social can and will work – hence why I’m not totally against it. Though setting up a Facebook and Twitter account simply isn’t enough; especially if you’re a small unknown brand, like many small and even large affiliates, then it’s next to useless. Can this method be applied to the gambling sector?

Can This Method Be Applied To The Gambling Sector?

Working as an affiliate has been some of the hardest, fastest and best times, especially as we generate most of our traffic through SEO. Running and maintaining casino affiliate sites has been extremely difficult to say the least – ensuring our backlinks are as clean as possible, targeting a variety of keywords, competing with million dollar operators and making sure Google is always happy. My issue is, what makes Google happy is rapidly changing…

Many of the top SEO authorities are releasing article, after post, after another article each reading how it’s now ESSENTIAL to have Facebook, Twitter, Google+ accounts and more. Apparently it’s now about making sure your engaging with the consumer, having totally fresh content updates and getting your website +1’d, which I don’t think is fair.

What about the sites which don’t need to keep updating?

-  Take a site that’s dedicated to the history of roulette. Surely they are not expected to re-write history? It is not practical to keep updating this content; unless of course some crazy discoveries were made!

- This also applies to websites of similar natures; e.g a website on roulette strategies. Until a new strategy is developed, an update of content is not necessary.

What about smaller businesses and parents companies that won’t get millions of likes on Facebook?

- I don’t think it’s fair that these companies could potentially see ranking drops with Google because they are not able to maintain a large amount of Facebook likes or Tweets.

-  There are millions of companies which are not of public knowledge, even when their services are used daily. It wouldn’t be fair for them to experience poor traffic to their website because Jimmy on Facebook doesn’t click the Like button.

What about industries whom aren’t as publicly accepted such as porn and gaming?

-  Porn, sex and the like are all socially unacceptable topics of conversation in groups and are generally avoided. This also goes for the online social world too. Generally, my mate Joe isn’t sharing the video he just watched on my Facebook wall, nor is he tweeting about how sexy the lady was. I don’t think that means the website isn’t popular though!

-  This also goes for gambling as this is also a taboo subject not commonly discussed unless it’s some kind of sports bet. Steve won’t generally be sharing with his peers that he just lost £9,000 on the roulette tables last night.

So can this method be applied to the gambling sector?  I believe it can yes, with maximum effort for minimum return.

What CAN affiliates do?

For the affiliate sites we run we’ve certainly looked into social options. We’ve found that it takes more time than it’s worth to keep things like Facebook and Twitter ticking over. Here are just a few basic ideas we have incorporated which take less time and effort for those smaller teams:

  1. Send out newsletters: We’ve found that even with low traffic, a cleverly placed sign-up form can encourage somebody to sign up for promotions. Even if the newsletter is going out to a small amount of people, you know they actually want and care to read it.
  2. Add sharing buttons: Sharing buttons are great, they ensure the website can be shared easily without much maintenance at all. I use one called Add This: http://www.addthis.com/. It’s a great service and tracks clicks too and offers the option to receive daily, weekly or monthly e-mails on your websites shares.
  3. Add a blog: This can be a great way to drive additional traffic, grow the site and feed Google’s hunger for fresh content all in one. Not to mention the potential it has for some social activity and engagement; comments. It can be time consuming and costly, but just one article a week can help.
  4. Keep bonuses updated: All too often affiliates miss out bonuses and promotions which have changed. Keeping on top of this will contribute to the small amount of fresh content your site needs.
  5. Add a small questionnaire: Over time, the questions answered could provide interesting numbers and insights and become a talking point; making your website a talking point amongst industry authorities if no others.

So what I want affiliates to take way from this is:

-  Social is not essential: It can help and be useful in many ways, but do not believe what’s being shoved down your throat and try and bend over backwards to make it work for you.

- Social will not make or break your affiliate site: Don’t expect to start “doing” social and expect to make millions. Don’t expect to lose millions for not caring either.

So, as gambling affiliates, should social media affect our game plans? Yes, give your users the option but don’t believe the hype, social is not for everyone.

About The Author

Michael Charalambous’ career began in web design before quickly taking an interest in SEO. He worked for search marketing agencies Greenlight & iCrossing before moving into gaming affiliation. Now, Michael spends most of his time at Right Casino Media overseeing Site Launches, SEO strategy and expansion.


Related posts: