Affiliate tracking software for social media

Successful influencers today are like Olympian gods in Ancient Greece. People admire, revere, and emulate them.

Of course, it’s easier to be like an influencer than a god. But then again, being glued to your favorite makeup guru’s reels isn’t so different from spending hours of worship in mountain-top temples for Zeus’s favor!

Today’s temples? TikTok. Instagram. Facebook — places of worship for eager churchgoers — I mean customers — to pay tribute to their favorite influencers. And what better way to show their support than to purchase their endorsed products?

Social media is the modern affiliate’s stomping ground. Influencer marketing provides endless opportunities with millions of users, graphics, and storytelling potential.

So what does that mean for brands? Endless noise to sift through. Because a well-liked affiliate who posts on social media doesn’t always translate to profits. It’s your job to distinguish high from low performers and strategize your partner program accordingly.

The best way? Accurate tracking software for social media posts.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Social media tracking posts

What is social media?

Social media entails any website or application used to connect with others. But people use it for different reasons.

Some use it solely to keep in touch with friends and loved ones; others use it to stay in the know about hobby topics and news; others use it to gain attention and compliments when they share photos of themselves.

Where do brands fit in social media? Well, they’ve always used it to connect with their audiences, whether for answering customer inquiries, creating Facebook ads, sharing company news, or connecting with their customers.

Social media isn’t a new marketing activity — far from it. For example, some company accounts are decades-old on Facebook.

But does that mean it works the same way now as it did ten years ago? Absolutely not.

Social media interfaces, features, and user goals change all the time. Plus, we have more social media platforms now than we did before. For example, BeReal invites users to take unfiltered photos of themselves — a shift from Instagram’s reigning filters.

As for brand marketing? Affiliate social media marketing takes center stage, as brands shift content creation and promotion tasks like Facebook ads to paid affiliate marketers and inflluencers. The goal? Brand awareness, social engagement, and revenue.

So, how do affiliate marketers do it?

What type of social media posts are there?

Most social media posts are photo- or video-based. And depending on the platform, you can share endless formats of those assets. Social media sharing on Instagram lets you share Boomerangs, reels, individual photos, and multiple photo posts. TikTok is limited to videos, but endless influencers and million-follower accounts show us endless possibilities for creativity.

But the creative potential isn’t the only thing brands notice. Influencers have the power to maximize the sheer reach of word-of-mouth marketing through social media posts — and brands want a piece of the action. The result? Endless traffic, brand awareness, and revenue. All for the reasonable price of a commission.

Here’s how influencers use social media posts for branded affiliate content:

Educational content: An influencer might show a step-by-step video about how to use a software or product. An outdoor enthusiast influencer might show their followers how to set up a brand’s tent.

@girlnextdoorhoney

Mindblowing bee facts ⚡️🤯

♬ Sunday Vibes - Masego & MEDASIN

Reviews: Influencers often review a wide range of products and services. One common example is a skincare influencer trying and commenting on multiple creams from different brands.

Competitions: Simon — I mean, influencer says — something along the lines of: “Follow me + this brand + this brand, like this post, tag a friend, and comment on your favorite product for a chance to win a giveaway!” Audiences love the promise of a reward and will happily complete an action if an influencer they like asks them to.

Takeovers: Your followers’ eyes will light up if they see an influencer they like on your branded social media account. Let an affiliate send a message to your followers through an Instagram story or share an exclusive interview. You’ll build favor and credibility with your audience.

Tip: It’s great if you can find an accurate tracking software that enables your partners to log in to their own affiliate dashboard so they can see their own results - it’s ideal if it has a customizable interface so that affiliates know they are in the right place. Tapfiliate offers this as a key feature.

Why do you need to track affiliate social media posts?

@trustedtravelgirl 🚁@BLADE is my favorite way to leave NYC. All it takes is 5 minutes & you’re at the airport! #helicopter #luxurytravel #luxurylifestyle ♬ Backroad Therapy Oct 28 - Alexandra Kay

Turns out, even the influencer gods aren’t infallible. You might leap for joy at a new affiliate partnership with a 50K-follower wellness enthusiast — but how do you see results?

Maybe your website is buzzing with traffic, but it’s difficult to tell who’s driving it and which social media platforms are performing. It could be your 50K wellness queen on Instagram — or your latest nano influencer on TikTok. Plus, things get scary when you learn nearly 50% of the world’s influencers were involved in fraud last year.

We’re talking inflated follower numbers, hijacked URLs, and cookie stuffing. Finding the right types of influencers is difficult enough — now you need to verify their results after the fact. Many affiliate marketing platforms have an anti-fraud kit, or methods to prevent fraud.

Sure, you could use Google Analytics to track sales, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. That’s why affiliate managers use accurate tracking software and take advantage of advanced features for social media posts. The data becomes a combined affiliate marketing process including strategy, detailed reporting, and security mechanism.

But that’s not all. While influencer affiliate marketing still minimizes the risk of ad spend with no ROI, it’s still vital to see where your sales are coming from. The data could either confirm or unravel your assumptions.

Here’s why you need to track social posts:

Benchmarking: Maybe this isn’t your first rodeo with affiliates. You’ve tried a few contenders with varying success, but how do you know what success looks like?

Benchmarking helps you compare affiliate performance across similar affiliate marketing campaigns and unlimited affiliates. One corporate innovation expert describes benchmarking as especially essential for fields with little required education, certifications, or regulation.

Aka… influencer marketing.

You don’t have the licensing or training guides of traditional marketing, so it’s paramount to measure success through benchmarks. And strong benchmarks always start with…

Data: Revenue tracking is a must for your social media campaign management. But affiliate software solutions can show you so much more than monthly revenue. Let’s dive deeper for a second. You can distinguish which platforms bring the most revenue; which assets, which campaigns, and of course, which affiliates by using affiliate tracking tools.

Pinpoint different time periods to see data during holidays, weekly, or monthly periods and beyond. Work out the conversion rates of specific affiliates and keep track of your affiliate marketing spending. Over time, you might notice that affiliates on certain social media drive more sales than on others — certainly worth your investigation.

Asset optimization: Is your affiliate marketer a Canva pro with juicy, visually appealing knowledge bites to scroll through? We can already feel the likes coming in!

Or perhaps they’re all about the carefully edited, crisp TikTok — complete with subtitles, dramatic shifts, and HD definition. Hello, engagement! Influencers have many powers, but which ones are most powerful?

Affiliate tracking software for social posts helps you optimize affiliate marketing campaigns for different channels.

Rapidly changing social media conditions: TikTok wasn’t even a thing just five years ago. It probably only ended up on your content calendar a year or two back. All the more reason to carefully track social media performance. Your business might evolve to draw more customers from one channel than another.

Similarly, one platform might lose relevance as quickly as a year. Tracking social post performance from affiliate partners helps you tweak your affiliate campaigns with the changing social media landscape.

Plus, you’ll learn which social media platforms have a sweeter honey pot for your customers and affiliates.

ROI: Of course, revenue is your top metric. Sometimes, it’s easy to lose track of where revenue dips and jumps with so many affiliates and campaigns. Accurate tracking software gives you a bird’s eye view of every campaign, and affiliate in your program, making revenue calculations and tracking a breeze. With an intuitive interface, and pricing plans for every budget Tapfiliate is a great option for this.

Tapfiliate reporting dashboard
Tapfiliate dashboard


Want to start tracking your social media posts using an affiliate platform? 👉get a 14-day free trial here


Next question? How do you pick the right tech? We’ll help you find a solid match.

Choosing the best tracking software for social media posts

The best affiliate tracking platform depends a lot on your unique brand needs.

Let’s say you sell men’s balding products. You might look for affiliates with a large Facebook following — the users are older and more in your 50+ audience. You’ll definitely need an affiliate platform that covers click or direct link tracking for those photo-rich Facebook posts and link descriptions.

But this year, more and more men aged 20-30 are experiencing hair loss. Time to invest more in TikTok and Instagram campaigns. That means you need clickless tracking for coupon codes.

PS – Tapfiliate offers both. 😉

But can you customize those affiliate links with your oh-so-unique slogan? Can you see asset-based performance for your last #mentalhealth-inspired YouTube tutorials?

The best affiliate software for tracking social posts helps you reach brand-specific goals, even if that requires custom reporting.

With this in mind, here are some other criteria to consider when picking affiliate marketing software to track affiliate sales:

Easy onboarding: You’re hosting interviews for a new branding strategist. Lunchtime rolls around, but you still haven’t finished your LinkedIn content calendar, your Google Ads copy, or your content analysis with Google Analytics.

The last thing a marketer has is time on their hands — so affiliate software needs to be easy. Plus, you need to keep influencers and affiliates in mind too. They’re just as busy, and don’t have time to weed through clunky software. Check software reviews of affiliate platforms to learn more about implementation.

Do users complain of long training periods and elusive support? Or is onboarding swift and seamless? Try for the latter. Even better, pick one with a free trial and different pricing plans so you can see for yourself. Enterprise plans are available on request.

Custom commission rates: Compensation is the best incentive for results. And for affiliates and influencers, that means rewards and flexible commission rates. If all your affiliate marketing program offers is a percentage-based commission, without tracking software, it limits your incentive opportunities.

What if your influencers are high performers with a million followers? Even if you snag a partnership, they’ll quickly shop around for new relationships if you don’t reward their efforts.

That’s why partnerships need attention, whether you’re working with a niche influencer or someone with a huge following. Note that affiliate commissions are not 100% necessary for influencer campaigns, it depends on how you choose to compensate your influencers- if you decide to go for a commission, this is a form of affiliate marketing and an affiliate marketing business will look for commission incentives - they are common in the affiliate industry.

Look for tiered commission structures where you can customize commissions based on milestones. Maybe that looks like a percentage jump after 100 new conversions, or a performance bonus after driving a certain sales value. For example, Tapfiliate automates performance bonuses for specific influencers, groups, and milestones.

Customization is as easy as clicking a few buttons.

Asset performance: Most affiliate tracking software shows affiliate revenue. Meaning? You can see how many sales @Mom’sGluten-Free Kitchen brings you.

That’s great info, so you can compare her with @Gluten-Free Princess. But what garnered more traffic and revenue: the step-by-step cake-baking reels?

Or the gooey, slow-mo boomerang of the first cake cut? Social media-based affiliate programs demand analysis for success, and specific asset performance takes center stage.

Coupon tracking: Coupon codes (also known as vanity or affiliate discount codes) are affiliate-unique codes customers can use to make purchases, linking the transaction to an affiliate. This is clickless tracking, and doesn’t require affiliate links — essential for anyone who uses TikTok or Instagram in their affiliate program.

Coupons Tapfiliate
Tapfiliate coupon allocation

Social post sharing: What if your affiliate takes some time off? They might want to automate pre-written posts, so their audience doesn’t miss a thing. Some software offers this capability as a key feature.

Assets section of tap
Assets section of Tapfiliate

Access to affiliates: Some software options offer affiliate access. For example, Tapfiliate lets you leverage its connection to Admitad Partner Network. The benefit? Access to over 100,000 affiliates.

Instagram might paint a picture of affiliates rampant across the web — but quality, availability, and fit limit your choices.

It’s not easy to find the right affiliate match for your brand, even if you spend hours trying to leverage social media Sparking and building the right relationship takes time and effort that you might not have enough time to invest.

Imagine a database with quality affiliate leads. This isn’t a common feature. But if you’re low on leads, look for this in your search. And if the software itself doesn’t include an affiliate section, inquire with the company about any partnerships you could benefit from.

Affiliate recruitment through customers: Bouncing off the point above, some brands prefer to invite customers to the game. But this is referral marketing, not affiliate marketing.

What’s the difference? Referral marketing uses your existing customer base to get you leads. Why? Because people trust recommendations from their friends and family.

Linen Bundle referral program
Image source: Linen Bundle

Tapfiliate lets you pitch your referral program to new customers, all with the click of a button, and gives customers a referral link to share with friends and family.

Why are referral programs successful? 83% of marketers love WOM (word-of-mouth) marketing to improve brand awareness. Tapfiliate offers a referral marketing tracking software as solution.

How can you track affiliate social posts?

You can track affiliate social posts in three ways using Tapfiliate’s affiliate tracking software:

Links: Shared in stories and posts
Coupon codes: Shared where direct links aren’t compatible, like Instagram descriptions
Social post tracking: Gives affiliates specific social posts to share with unique tracking on each post.

The first two generally speak to affiliate campaign performance through click and clickless tracking. Sure, an influencer’s audience could end up on your website — but these methods don’t tell you much about the specific social post that brought them there. Pre-made social posts with built-in tracking solve that problem.

But you might not convince an affiliate to post your in-house drafted social post. Why? While they’re representing your brand, theirs is just as important to them. Your affiliates may prefer to share unique, more personal content they know their audience will eat up.

A personalized link connects a web visitor or customer to your affiliate. Your influencer might keep this link in their Instagram bio or place it on a YouTube description. Tracking social posts is much easier with the right software. Ideally, you’d quickly allocate a unique link to your affiliate influencer for them to share.

Now, what if an influencer relies on Instagram posts and descriptions for engagement? Those aren’t link-friendly spots in social media. Enter…

Coupon code tracking

The limits of link tracking offer fertile land for coupon codes to bloom. These are excellent choices for tracking posts on social media. Coupon codes don’t require clicking on a link— all customers need to do is plug the code onto the checkout page for a discount.

Facebook stories and Instagram posts are a coupon code’s paradise. Plus, they’re great for offline to online sales tracking. Of course, your influencer’s comfort zone is their social media channel of choice. But sometimes, they might venture off to make event appearances, filled with people who’d happily take a physical coupon.

coupon code influencer example

Image source: EmilyBookedUp

Coupon codes are easily tracked to specific influencers, maintaining your data collection even without direct links. Here’s how you do it:

  • Create coupon codes on your eCommerce backend (Shopify, Teachable, WooCommerce).

  • Assign coupon codes to your influencers on Tapfiliate.
    Influencers can easily find coupon code assignments on their Assets page.

  • Track sales!

Don’t work with the above three eCommerce examples? You’ll need to:

  • Link your shopping cart to Tapfiliate’s API through Zapier or Integromat
  • Enlist support from a developer

Keep in mind, Tapfiliate makes link tracking and coupon tracking simple in most cases. Sometimes, you might need a developer to set tracking up with the API — but finding the right candidate is easy with this guide.

But we also offer an even more seamless option…

Tracking using social posts in Tapfiliate

You might need an extra push for your campaign. A running start could look like pre-made, shareable SM posts. You can use Tapfiliate to create engaging content ready for your affiliates to share in seconds. On top of that, you can manage other brand materials to ensure a seamless launch.

The biggest benefit? Apart from sweetening your relationships with less work, you’ll be able to track every. single. post.

Who’s clicking on them, which influencer’s expanding the posts’ reach, and how do the posts compare in performance. Each insight helps you optimize future posts and drive more sales.


Want to start tracking your social posts with Tapfiliate? 👉get a 14-day free trial here with pricing plans for every budget.


When should you do affiliate social post reporting?

When working with influencers, it is essential to see, report, and analyze influencer sales.

Why?

How else will you know which influencers drive the best ROI? Or which social media assets perform best? But most importantly:

Affiliate social media reporting helps you constantly improve your strategies and drives sales.

Now, what do these reports include? Hootsuite offers a few ideas for specific social media reports:

  • Number of leads
  • Number of conversions
  • Number of purchases
  • Revenue per affiliate, social media channel, or asset
  • Revenue per given time frame
  • Top-performing posts

We recommend assessing these numbers during various timeframes. Consider one-, two-, or three-month analyses to start, and build to reporting year-after-year.

Notice any dips? Don’t worry; even unsettling reports are waiting for you to transform them into improved campaigns!

@austentosone What I wore to NYFW 💕 #stylebyausten #nyfwoutfit #fashionweekstyle #nycstyleblogger ♬ Sex and the City (Main Theme) - TV Sounds Unlimited

Get started with tracking software for social media

Working with influencers isn’t easy for every brand. Especially for beginner affiliate marketers.

You’re dealing with increased fraud rates, inflated numbers, and obstacles in finding the right fit.

But once you have a solid influencer affiliate network and affiliate marketing strategy? The possibilities for social media affiliate marketing are endless.

Affiliate tracking software gives you the peace of mind needed to grow and manage affiliate campaigns during the entire process and track results from social media posts.

Affiliate management is easy with Tapfiliate. Assess performance, calculate ROI and conversion rates, and reward high performers. The affiliate channel has never been so easy, complete with a branded interface and most importantly? Accurate performance tracking.

Ready to reap the rewards of influencer affiliate marketing success with advanced features and different pricing plans for your budget? Check out the best affiliate marketing tool that makes tracking affiliate activities easy.
With a reporting dashboard, in-depth reporting features, and brandable interfaces you can try Tapfiliate’s free 14-day trial today! It’s the top choice for affiliate program managers everywhere.

Ashley Howe

I’m the content strategist here at Tapfiliate. Living in Amsterdam, I like reading books, travel and ramen. You can find me on LinkedIn or Twitter..

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