Incorporating Social Media into your Direct Sales Business is definitely an option for adding to an existing business. What I constantly see and hear over and over are consultants mentioning what other consultants are doing on line and becoming frantic that they have to do the same things in order to become successful. They get so upset that there is no way they will reach the top unless they get online and then the second misconception is that building an online network is easy. The truth is the best way to build a successful direct sales business is to have a well rounded business. The first way anyone should begin building relationships, building their team and building their network is the through home parties. It is what most party planning or direct sales platforms are built around and it stays true today. At home parties, you can share, feel, smile,shake hands and hug. When people feel close to you, they become loyal and they buy, host and join your team.
The question I often get asked by my team is why people aren’t booking parties or buying my product. The answer is simple, do you book or buy from people you don’t trust or know?
You see people buy because:
1. they know you,
2. they trust you
3. they believe that you have the solution the problem which the face and
4. for status
People don’t buy a product, nor do they buy a feature and the benefits are as they are decided upon by the story they tell themselves.
How does all this fit into social media and social marketing? Simple, you are building relational capital, by depositing in the bank of getting to know you, getting to know all about you! And you are not only doing it with one person, no you are reaching out to many in one shot! There are people on these social media websites such as youtube, twitter, facebook, myspace that follow you. There are those that interact with you and those that want to see what you are about. The cool thing about social outlets is that you are King and Queen of your own little City. You can rule your kingdom.
Social media and social marketing is all about building that relational capital that gives you the all access pass to make your direct sales pitches to those who are ready, able and willing to hear what you have to say, and have the money to spend on what you have to sell. Do not under-estimate the power of relational capital!
First and foremost, all the great party planning and network marketers became successful through home parties first. It was and is their core and then they add to it. Things such as events, fundraisers, basket parties, and of course social media. Even with this being said, I am constantly asked about social media. Almost everyone has heard of the different social media platforms. Most have created profiles but few use any platform effectively to grow their business. Becoming more social online definitely requires a shift in thinking and a new prospective on communication. Social media can certainly help your business but you cannot simply post a status or open a twitter account and hope that your phone will ring off the hook. You need to decide how much time you can dedicate to social media, which platforms you can be consistent with and create systems. For me, my active platforms with the most engagement and the ones where I have built the most relationships are: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and LInkedin. Personally, I like those form. I have taken the time are are currently learning each one through online education, webinars, trainings and books. I also get the most engagement through each of these.
There are hundreds of social media platforms, with many popping up every day. You can open hundreds of accounts, but the truth is, is absolutely pointless if you can not stay consistent on the ones you open. If you only have time to learn about one and to build relationships on one, then you should focus only one one.
You must plan strategically. It is pointless to send people to a YouTube account if you only have uploaded one video and it was completed 2 years ago. Something like that will only give people one impression and I can tell you, it is not a good one. If you interact the most on Facebok, then put your focus there. Learn all about Facebook and then build relationships with your friends and fans. The key to social media is not just having the most friends or followers. It is about building relationships, talking, engaging and moving people.
You should not join social media platforms just because you feel you must or because everyone is doing it. Many consultants are at the top of their company and have no social media accounts at all. People will spend hours setting up 10 social media profiles only to abandon them and do nothing with them.
The real motivation must be connection. It takes time and consistency and WILL NOT happen overnight. When people connect, your customers become loyal buyers, hostesses and eventually when they think about their own home business, they look to you to become their sponsor. You want to connect with like minded people who can help your business and whose business you can assist with as well. You want to add to conversations and not come across as desperate, spammy or a waste of time. Constant sales pitches on your profile page with no interaction can very quickly develop bad reputations. When this happens, it is very difficult to get rid of. Making strong, real connections takes time, effort, and thoughtfulness. If you never return to your profiles, your business on that particular platform will be forgotten (at best) and you are seen as unconnected or worse lazy. If you post too much, people might consider you as a pest, get annoyed and stop following you.
Some Consultants post the exact same posts as other consultants. Why? The whole point is to be original and stand out. After that, they disappear. There isn’t another post for weeks. No responses, no comments. Then with no warning, they are back and conversing. People that do this, then ask why am I getting no followers and no fans?
You must be original, fun, strategic and committed.The comments and content must be compelling and informative. You must make yourself stand out. There are 200,000 other consultants with the same info as you, so you must make yours unique, different. People will follow a trail of dependable, exciting news but once the trail goes cold, they are gone and most likely will not return.
Being a social media maniac is not a great idea either. You know who they are. These people can answer emails on their laptops while texting friends on their iphones. They will make no eye contact and they always have their head in their screen. The key is to find balance. Avoid being a social media ignorerer or a social media maniac. Develop your schedule, make sure it doesn’t run your life but it does keep you accountable. The goal should be consistency. Choose a schedule and stay on it for 6 months to a year. Slowly you will start to see your network grow.
Below is my social media schedule. Use it as a sample to create your own.
Twice Morning and afternoon:
- Check my twitter. Schedule my tweets on buffer in 4 hour intervals. Follow the replies that make sense.
- Check my PInterest. Reply to comments. Repin or upload 3-5 pins.
- Scan Twitter and join relevant conversations
- Check Facebook. Go thru my newsfeed and check friends pages. If you don’t check other friends, the same people will always see your posts. You want to reach everyone. Answer questions, Respond to comments using the person’s name.
- Scan google alerts and company mentions. Post them or respond.
- Post articles to Google+ and LinkedIn
- Build Twitter lists to better organize discussions
- Add new content to my blog, Facebook, YouTube
- Respond to YouTube Comments
- Join a hot conversation on Twitter
- Check my blog for traffic and what topics are driving people to the page
Some Do’s and Don’ts
- Do use Facebook to follow up as much as you can. After parties, find guests on Facebook. Use it for Host Coaching. Invite them to your Fan page.
- Do post on customers walls thanking them for their order. New people will see this and wonder what Scentsy is.
- Do respond to all posts, tweets, comments and blog posts. Remember connection is the key
- Make yourself stand out. The average person knows 1-3 Direct Sale Consultants. You must post things that are exciting and different.
- Check in on friends and see how they are doing for things other than your business.
- Do not continuously post on your personal page about your business. People want to know the real you and …..It’s annoying.
- Do not continuously recruit. It is better to private message people and tell them how great you think they would do at this business. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS!
- Do not give self pats on the back ALL THE TIME. Everyone once in a while is ok and we’d love to say that people will be supportive, but truth is unfortunately, people get annoyed.
- Learn the platform that you are using. If you don’t know how these platforms work, they will not be beneficial to you.
Social Media can work for your business, you have to be patient and be willing to put in the time. Time meaning every single day. If there is no consistency and it just isn’t for you. Focus where you are strong and what you enjoy. You don’t have to use social media to be successful but if you are willing to educate your self and put in a little effort every single day, it can add a whole different dimension to your business.
How are you using Social Media in your Direct Sales business.? I’d love to hear.