What is social media?
Social media share the characteristic of being digital and can be defined as ‘websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or participate in social networking’ (Oxford Dictionaries 2013). The following is a non-exhaustive list:
- microblogs (Twitter);
- social and professional networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+);
- image and video-sharing platforms (YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest).
Trading 212 affiliate links may be posted in social networks. However, it is important that you follow Trading 212’s guidelines and always pay attention to the conditions of use for the respective network, because they are subject to change.
The distribution of affiliate links is permitted, as long as the social media account where the links appear is operated by the Affiliate who is posting them. Affiliates need to update their account information to Trading 212 to include the exact social network URL of where the affiliate links will appear. On some social medias (such as Twitter), it is necessary that the account is verified.
Furthermore, Affiliates are not allowed to use Facebook apps to distribute affiliate links. Affiliate links are considered advertising and must therefore be disclosed as such. For this purpose, you can include a note in the immediate vicinity of the link. This also ensures transparency for other users of the social network.
On YouTube, affiliate marketing can be used as an additional source of income, alongside widespread sponsorship. This makes especially good sense when it is a product-related video. This may, for example, be an experience-based review or the test of a particular product. Affiliate links can be inserted into the YouTube description field below the videos.
Communications through social media can reach a wide audience very rapidly, so Affiliates should take account of that in their decision to promote through social media, and the nature of their promotions. Affiliates should therefore ensure that their original communication would remain clear, fair and not misleading, even if it ends up in front of a non-intended recipient (through others retweeting on Twitter or sharing on Facebook). One way of managing this risk is the use of software that enables advertisers to target particular groups very precisely.
Each communication (e.g. a tweet, a Facebook insertion or page, or web page) needs to be considered individually and comply with the relevant rules.
Example of non-compliant banner (third one - The risk warning is lost in surrounding text, which is also of much smaller font-size).
For example, a tweet expressing satisfaction with considerate service received from the firm will not be a promotion, as good customer service is not itself a controlled activity.
Some practical advice
A popular way to promote affiliate links through social media is to place the 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 have done this, you then shorten the website address to the page that you placed the Trading 212’s affiliate link on, and distribute that link.
By doing this, you are creating an extra step in the process, but by doing this, you can be confident that you will be paid for the qualifying referrals that are sent to Trading 212’s website.
Many social networks, especially Facebook, are clamping down on affiliate links, and anything that looks spammy or like it might be sales-related. Your affiliate trackers might also be seen by users as suspicious, as they are likely to include random letters and numbers that won't always look automatically trustworthy.
Your solution may be to use a link-shortening application.
When performing marketing and promotion activities in the following social networks: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, If you choose to promote yourself/your sites either by a creating a Group/Page/Channel or personal profile you shall always ensure that:
The name of the page/account and the profile picture you select cannot mention ‘Trading 212’s’ name or logo in any way.
You cannot use Trading 212’ official page/corporate accounts to promote yourself/your site by posting advertising materials or links. If you choose to promote your page with paid advertising options (i. e. Facebook ads), you cannot mention Trading 212’s name within the description of the ad or the logo within the creative of the selected image. Also, each of the ads can only direct users to the page you have created OR to an external URL of your choice (i. e. your site).
Affiliates should include risk warnings or other statements in promotions for certain products/services. These rules are media-neutral and therefore apply to social media as they would to any other medium.
Image advertising is exempt from most of the detailed financial promotions rules and guidance, but it will still need to comply with the high-level ‘fair, clear and not misleading’ rules, listed above.