…or learn how to earn on social media – Updated June 2022
This is aimed at anyone looking to get some extra cash that rises slowly and steadily. It’s all about setting your social media strategy and then using the Nifty tools to dramatically cut the time needed to carry it out, even automating many aspects.
Nifty lets you earn from both Zazzle and Society6.
No outrageous claims are made here, just a simple, proven approach. For evidence, join the Nifty Facebook group – it’s linked from the Nifty Promo Control Panel:
How does the earning part work?
If you’re already up to speed on affiliate links and how they work, then just skip this section.
The idea of affiliate links came about because there needed to be a way for a business to reward people for referring customers to their website – but only if the referred customers buy something within a certain time period.
The most flexible way to do this on the internet got chosen and the way it works is like this:
- As an affiliate you get issued with a unique identifier to use with your links
- When you want to create an affiliate link to one of their pages, you add some geek, which includes your unique identifier, onto the end of that page’s internet address. That’s the one shown in the address bar of your brower. Once you’ve added the geek to it, it’s now an ‘affiliate link’ that you can share on social media, website or blog.
- If you share that link and someone clicks or taps it, a cookie gets set in their browser with an expiry date. A cookie is a tiny information slot that your browser automatically stores.
- If, before that expiry date, they buy from the business’ website, then the unique id in their browser’s cookie is used to assign a referral commission to the affiliate who has that ‘affiliate id’.
- In other words: you bring em’ in, they spend, you get paid commission
Note that some places might call an affiliate id something else. Zazzle calls it both a ‘referral id’ and an ‘associate id’ (same thing) and Society6 calls it a ‘curator id’.
Zazzle also allows for a tracking code to be used on affiliate links. It’s a code you make up and that also gets stored in the cookie. When you earn a referral commission it’s also noted and you’ll see it in your Referral History Report (more on this later).
✅ But you don’t need to worry about that as Nifty does all the geekiness behind the scenes for you.
What you’ll learn here
Having a framework as follows makes sure you cover your bases. If you get the foundation right, the rest will follow. To help you achieve this, by the end we’ll have covered:
- Social media strategy
- Putting it into action
- Real world strategy
- How to find out where it’s working, to guide you in honing things
What you’ll need
These are the recommended social media accounts and the right Nifty membership to get you started on the road to success:
- a Pinterest business account
- a Facebook page
- a Twitter account
- a Nifty Standard memebrship
Later, as you get comfortable with Nifty you’ll move to automating your promotion and for that you’ll need:
- an IFTTT (IfThisThenThat) account
- a Nifty Pro membership
How long will it take?
It’ll take about 3 months to get you first referral. It might be sooner than this but that’s the experience of the bulk of Nifty members. How you get on will depend on how quickly you get to using automation in the mix.
Setting your Social Media Strategy
First and most critical is recognising your overall passion. It’ll be the core topic around which you’ll build up your presence. That core topic / niche is what will draw in followers with similar tastes and they’re your target audience. Get it right and that’ll be where most of your referral / sales come from.
Keep reading and we’ll go over it in more detail a little later.
Everything else to do with your social media strategy will flow from that. Which channels will you be using? You’d be daft not to include Pinterest first and foremost. Use Facebook pages and Twitter according to preference. If you intend not to use one, give yourself a talking to so you change your mind!
To finish off your social media strategy, these are things to consider and feed into your mix. Interpret them in light of your own circumstances and preferences:
- Keeping things focussed
- a different topic on different and / or on particular days of the week?
- focus on one topic for a while before moving on and eventually circling back?
- does it make sense to do a broad sweep across the topics every once in a while?
- coordinating across social media channels
- the same topic / theme on each?
- slight variatoins across channels?
- separate topics for different channels?
- will you laser-focus on just one product/design down all your channels to test reaction from time to time?
- Are there promo codes coming up you can do something with?
- be ready to react if you spot something that’s trending related to your various topics
- whatever your schedule, stick to it. That way your more dedicated followers will know what to expect and sort-of when
- how will you monitor the effectiveness of your strategy so you can be guided into doing more of what works? Nifty even offers help with that.
What’s your passion?
A lot of people have trouble with this but here’s the thing. If it’s something that interests you, your passion will shine through – and that’s vital for your success. When you have passion for a topic, it’ll mean it’s something you know about and something you have your own unique take on. Like-minded people will find you and stick around.
No-one gets turned on by a lacklustre performance, so don’t be boring with, for example, just going with what’s trending or popular right now on the internet. If you bring your uniqueness to it, as seen through your passion, you’ll stand out from the rest and naturally attract more followers.
Here’s some examples of things people might be passionate about, to help you with yours:
- Cooking. You have your own much-loved family recipes and a flair for making your own.
- Lots of photo ops during preparation and the final plating / presentation.
- Lots of related subjects from using natural ingredients and where to get them, to eating for health and pleasure
- Victoriana. You love everything about it – fashion, romance novels, high-society. So much to build on for your social media:
- Maybe you’ve made dresses and hats in the style.
- You love high tea and bone china.
- Vintage decor from the period appeals to your sensibilities.
- You roughly know the history and maybe you even have favorite authors of the genre.
- Culture and care of houseplants.
- You’ve always been a bit green-fingered
- You’ve got some specialised knowledge or a deep interest in one or two areas.
- Maybe succulents, maybe bonasai, maybe in flower arranging?
- Perhaps you know about the history of flowers as messengers in romance?
For your passion, work out in your head or on paper what topics come under it – that’s the core for you to work on, come rain or shine.
The closely related
What semi related topics are there to it? That’s the next layer you’ll build on and those topics will give you lots more opportunities to pin / share with Nifty
Another layer: Maybe your core lends itself to seasonal expression. Think Labor Day, Diwali, Halloween, Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentines Day, St Patrick’s Day, Mothers Day, 4th of July, Birthdays, Engagements, Anniversaries… You get the picture.
✅ So, that’s it. You should now have enough to jot down the key topics and themes that your social media strategy will be centered on.
Putting your Social Media Strategy into action
…or how to hit the social media campaign trail.
Remember how, right at the start (under What you’ll need) we said that we’d get you started on carrying out your social media strategy with Nifty? Then we said that, when you were comfortable, you could move on to using Nifty for automation.
So that’s what we’ll cover next.
Getting started on pinning / sharing with Nifty
So you’ve got your social media strategy worked out to some extent and you know the main topics you’ll cover. Now you use the Nifty tools to put it into action.
We recommend that you use the all-in-one speed-sharer to begin with as they’re a nice, gentle introduction.
So what does one look like? Here’s a screenshot…
Getting the products to pin/share
Before you can use use the speed-sharer, though, you need to decide what particular topic you want products for and then get them, ready to pin/share.
Here’s the way you get products from Society6. As we’re in the getting started bit, you’re absolutely bound to want to get stuff from your own store.
Let’s say our social media strategy means we’re to pin some art prints from a store. This is how we’d get those products ready to pin with the speed-pinner. We put in our Curator id, the storename and we chose art prints from the dropdown. If you don’t have a curator id, just leave as is.
Go ahead and click the image to put in your storename etc. and then try the speed-pinner – it’s in Step 2 of Nifty.
Did you see how quick it is with your pinning? You can pin easier and faster this way, while still putting in more thought, than any other way we know of.
If it was in your social media plan, you’d do then do the same for Twitter and Facebook.
When you’ve done it a few times, it’ll be second nature. Remember that you can get help with it really quickly by joining the Facebook group for it, as we said at the beginning. 😎
As you get used to it, try some of the other promoting choices such as sharing a slideshow.
So that concludes the getting started part. When you’re ready, come back and carry on below to learn how to use automation to multiply your new-found efficiency and take away even more of the donkey work.
Well done on reaching this natural break! Give yoursef a pat on the back – you deserve it. 👏
Automation and your Social Media Strategy
Welcome back – that was quick! You must now be comfortable using Nifty, both to get relevant products and then pin / share them by hand.
As mentioned in the introduction, to use automation with Nifty you need an IFTTT (IfThisThenThat) account. You also need to hook it up to your social media accounts – it’s easy enough to do when you’re logged in to your new IFTTT account.
The topics we’ll cover shortly are:
- Weaving automation into your social media strategy
- Setting your background level of automated promotion
but first you need some bits and pieces on what the automation provided by Nifty can do. Here you go:
Pinterest have now stopped IFTTT from pinning so IFTTT have removed Pinterest from the THAT part of applets.
- Works hand-in-hand with IFTTT to tweet / post on Twitter or Facebook
- Your automation schedule is set up in Nifty
- You create an applet in IFTTT that uses it
- You can have up to 10 live (ie switched on) applets at any one time
- Schedule a share up to 12 times per day in an applet
- Let’s you set a schedule to share only on those days of the week you want
- For Zazzle, your applet can share up to 1000 (a Zazzle limitation) before running out
- For Society6 your applet will keep on until there’s no more available – up to around 4000 shares
So, onward as promised. Here’s how to use automation as part of your social media strategy.
Weaving automation into your strategy
Your strategy already has a manual element to it and what you do with automation is to “fluff that out” with a constant background level of shares of tempting products that match the topic.
What your target market wants to see is lots of good quality, useful and interesting things that are right up their street. They’ll be able to tell that you put time and effort into hunting down and they’ll appreciate that. Alongside that goes your ‘background level’ of shares.
Background automation level
How much you automate and how much you do by hand is down to you and your approach. But once you’ve decided and set up your applets, you can mostly ignore them.
And that then frees you up to focus on the manual side, knowing the donkey work is being done for you.
⚠️ A warning, though. Automate too much, in comparison to your manual (non-product) activity, and your engagement with your target market won’t happen to the extent you should be looking for. Engagement = revenue!
⚠️ Another warning, this one for Pinterest: If you don’t interact enough on Pinterest as a human, you risk having your Pinterest account suspended or worse. Every week or so you need to repin and maybe follow boards or people whose pins are in line with your passion.
Here’s a quick look at the Scheduler set-up tool. It’s called the nIFTTTy Scheduler (see what we did there?) This happens to be the one for Zazzle but the Society6 one is pretty much the same.
Setting your Real-world Strategy
Everyone visits the real-world from time to time, even artists and affiliates!
It’s a great venue for off-line promoting and Nifty even has tools to help with that. Ignore the real-world as part of your strategy effectively cuts off leads you could otherwise have.
Does it really cost so much to design a bumper sticker advertising your design line (with a QRCode leading to the products) and stick it where others will see / scan it? No.
- Got no internet where you’re going but still want to show off and even share your wares? Nifty’s Zebookfreec to the rescue
- Does your local mall have a pinboard for locals to advertise? A flyer with QRCode to a product grid is the answer – and Nifty’s got a tool for that
- Same goes for hotels and doctors’ / dentists’ surgeries – they’re often willing to take flyers for local businesses and the included QRCode connects you to potential customers or browsers
- And same for the back of your business cards
Each of those real-world locations can turn opportunities into successes. So make a to-do list covering those that fit with where you are and then start doing them. And then, later, do them again. Rinse and repeat.
How to find out what’s working
…or how to monitor and hone your Social Media Strategy.
With Nifty and Zazzle
On Zazzle, it’s the tracking code that can tell you where your successes are coming from – as long as you set them sensibly whenever you use Nifty. You see them in your Referral History report:
The middle three shown are fine but the first two and last shown aren’t helpful. With the others we know which Nifty tool was used to make the link, the store or search used and the date shared/pinned.
Tracking codes let you track the various elements of your Social Media Strategy. You can use letters, digits and underscores in your tracking codes but that’s all.
Shares made via the nIFTTTy Scheduler automatically have the date of sharing added on. Being able to see roughly how long between sharing and getting a referral can be really helpful.
With Nifty and Society6
Unfortunately there’s no equivalent to tracking codes, so you’ll be working blind. All you get is a curator earnings report showing what sold, the date and your commission.
Other ways of measuring how you’re doing
With a Pinterest business account you get access to analytics for your pins and boards that shows your best performing boards and pins. You also see number of followers. Keep track of these over time to see your improvement.
And keep an eye on your Facebook and Twitter follower counts, too.
Whew! Well done for reaching the end!
✅ You’ve indentified your passion
✅ You’ve got an initial social media strategy centered around it
✅ You have a manual pinning and sharing schedule to laser-focus what you do, speeded up with Nifty’s individual product sharers
✅ You have nIFTTTy scheduler applets on IFTTT that automate your desired background-level of activity
✅ You have an outline real-world strategy and have an idea how to use the Nifty tools to help action it
✅ You know at least the basics on how to monitor your progress
So, good luck with it – keep honing, refining and improving and remember that help with using Nifty is only a Facebook group away.
Suggestions, comments and questions are welcome 👍