I have worked with social media in a direct selling company since 2006. Luckily I have experienced many successes as well as mistakes that we could learn from. Here are a few tips for those working with social media and the unique complexities of a direct selling company.
1. Give your sales people something they can share.
Your most loyal fans or followers in social media will be your sales people. They are eager for tools that will help them grow their business. By posting professional quality images of your products with clever marketing text, you have just given them something they can easily use to promote their business to their customers. When they share your posts, you may also acquire new fans and likes.
2. Ads, sponsored stories, and promoted posts work.
A small investment in ads, sponsored stories, or promoted posts can offer giant rewards. You may have outstanding content, but you need an audience for that content to make it effective. We have used Facebook campaigns to gain thousands of followers at $0.02 to $0.06 per fan. I call it the great equalizer because it allows us to compete for attention with companies who have enormous advertising budgets.
3. Don’t allow your sales people to advertise on your company page.
There may be few things more annoying to your consumers and other sales people than posts filled with advertising comments. If you make it easy for consumers to find sales people, you can refer them there and not have the sales people fight over them. If you delete an advertising comment, make sure you send them a nice message to know why and to prevent them from doing it again.
4. Big, expensive, and flashy efforts aren’t necessary.
I have seen companies develop social games, elaborate sweepstakes, and big budget videos in hopes of acquiring more likes, shares, and engagement. When the dust clears and we look back at the post analytics, we typically see high quality product images receive more likes, shares, and comments. Your sales people may enjoy the content, but it’s usually not shared by them as much as these product images.
5. Keep image text to a minimum.
I’ve seen a lot of images covered with text (including prices) and it sometimes makes me cringe. Here are a few of the reasons why:
- Your sales people will use these images and sometimes customize the message.
- Some people may consider the image with text tacky or ugly.
- You may wish to use this image again for a season or campaign that doesn’t fit with the text.
- You may change the price of an item shown in the image or your sales people may offer their own, lower price for the products in the image.
- People searching for the text used on your image won’t find it unless you’re repetitive with it in the post.
As social media is ever evolving, we’re open to testing new things and developing new best practices. Please leave your tips in the comments to this post.