By Dana Dean
St. Louis (KSDK) -- Like celebrities, you can get paid for product endorsements. It's thanks to a new trend in social media called affiliate marketing. Only a few websites are testing it out and anyone can earn some extra pocket change.
Retailers are rewarding everyday people for spreading the word about their products on social media. Which means people can make money by doing what they might already be doing every day and that's sharing things they like on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
We had one of our Production Assistants test out a program www.beso.com rolled out recently.
Beso is a shopping website where people can search for products from major retailers and share them on social media. The new program claims every time you share a link to a product listed on www.beso.com you could make money. Your friends or followers on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest have to click on the link in order for you to earn cash. Each click is worth anywhere from $.05 to $.90.
It almost sounds like a scam, but NewsChannel 5 checked with the Better Business Bureau and they say this is real.
It's not required to tell your friends or followers you're getting paid for sharing links to products, although the website encourages people to be transparent by using the hashtag "paid." The question is: Would your friends or followers be annoyed if they figure out you're getting paid to post?
Elise Loehnen, of Beso said, "You are taking the time to go and find 10 really great necklaces, that's a service. Particularly for people who are less inclined to go and do that."
Christopher Thetford, of Better Business Bureau, said, "It has the capacity to mislead people's followers in social media, thinking this is just their opinion, they like this. When in reality, they are doing it, at least partially, because they are getting paid to do it. So we would like to see people who are doing this disclose they are getting paid. "
Beso was featured in the New York Times recently for this program along with other sites that offer similar programs.
Our production assistant tested out the program. How much money did she make?
Jeanie Smith, KSDK Production Assistant, said, "In a little less than a week, I made $10.78 just by posting links and my friends click on them. But, there is a catch, if you don't have $25 in your account, you can't cash out and claim the money until you have $25."
She posted a dozen items to earn that $10.78 so she has some more posting to do until she can cash out.
For more information, visit http://www.beso.com/blog/beso-rewards-beso-affiliate-program-frequently-asked-questions/