Back in November, Facebook announced that, beginning in January 2015, they would be showing fewer promotional posts from Pages in the News Feeds of people on Facebook. Page administrators immediately began to see a significant drop in organic reach, leaving some to question whether a Facebook Page is even worth it anymore. And while it has certainly become important to pay for Facebook Ads if you want to guarantee the exposure of specific content, many direct selling companies are still finding value in their Facebook presence. I reached out to several direct sales companies, asking them to share their Facebook strategy now, given the most recent change to Facebook’s algorithm. Their tips may provide you with some insight you can use when planning your own page content.
Even though our Facebook reach on the corporate page has decreased, we still see Facebook as a valuable resource in our marketing tool kit. At Initials, Inc. we are using Facebook mainly as a way for brand recognition and development. We are able to share the culture of the company, new products and offerings, in turn, our Creative Partners share from the corporate Facebook page. We also have created a custom ‘Social Kiosk’ where many social images and graphics are housed for Creative Partners to share with their circles. Sharing is really how we are broadening our reach. Also, our Facebook ads program has continued to increase interest in the company by generating leads for our offerings.
~ Brandy Aycock, Marketing Manager, Initials, Inc.
More than any other social media platform, Facebook tends to be a place that fosters community for Arbonne. Whether it’s our Independent Consultants, or their clients, Facebook is a way to share information and content that makes their Arbonne experience richer. Whether it’s sharing recent PR coverage, helpful tips for using our products, general information, or breaking news, Facebook serves as a destination to engage with this content provided by Arbonne and the larger Arbonne community. It’s a place for sharing. Our Business Ethics Standards Team (aka Compliance Department) is also utilizing Facebook as a way to connect with our field to educate them on policies, best business practices and to provide real-world examples of Independent Consultants using social media in a compelling AND compliant manner.
Our Independent Consultants also utilize the group feature of Facebook to create more sub-communities – such as a health challenge group to share content and offer encouragement, or a leader using it to motivate and provide training to her downline team. Increasingly, our field is also better utilizing business pages to separate their business focused content meant for commercial activity and clients. However, this will always remain a challenge for distributors in direct selling – finding the right balance between personal and commercial – because often their business and personal lives cross over in more ways than someone in a traditional corporate office environment.
~ Ashley Good, Chief Legal Officer, Arbonne
The quality of content of our Facebook posts has become more important than ever. Since we provide solutions and products that fulfill a need, we find that by telling stories and educating readers works best for us. At Living Fresh Collection, our story is about creating a cleaner, healthier sleep environment, while protecting our planet. Having valuable content that is relevant and that our audience can relate too is key, making sure that it all leads back to our message.
Since LFC inspires people to “create the life they’ve always dreamed of,” we customize all our images and use inspirational, eye catching, engaging visuals. We have found that spreading our overall brand message across multiple social platforms (that complement each other), increases our engagement. We incorporate contests on our Facebook page that uses other social networks to expand our reach & draw people to our Facebook page.
We also encourage our Consultant to cross promote their pages with ours, to increase the reach of our page. By asking our Customers as well as our Consultants to share their stories, we build engagement, generate content and increase our reach.
~ Randi Farina, Vice President, Business Development, Living Fresh Collection
No matter the content, we understand only a fraction of our built-in Facebook audience will see (organically) the majority of what we post. Frustrating as that may be, the USANA social media team remains true to its mission: Always provide value for our audience. This means more than just creating interesting and shareable content (though that’s a big part of it). The team also interacts regularly with its audience — replying to comments, answering customer questions, and acknowledging Associate achievements.
Interaction is key. We’re always looking for opportunities — at live events, on webinars, in offline marketing materials, etc. — to explain to our audiences the importance of interacting with our Facebook content. Ideally this behavior will benefit their business and help their network grow. Bonus tip: We strongly encourage selecting “Get Notifications” so our audience isn’t relying on Facebook’s algorithm to tell them when we have posted content. The impossible-to-ignore white-number-in-a-red-box in the upper-right corner lets them know.
Targeted messaging is important. USANA manages 25+ Facebook pages worldwide, which allows for opportunities to target and share only what’s valuable to a particular audience. Our team collaborates to evaluate successful content, while also exploring new ways to extend our reach. We are dabbling in Facebook ads and promoted posts to expand outside of our existing network and help us achieve business-related goals while still providing value for our audience.
~ Tim Haran, Director of Social Media, USANA Health Sciences
We decided on a two tier approach to best combat the changing Facebook landscape for small business. Firstly, at Mix Party, we felt it best to reward our true loyal followers and customers with a weekly #MeatlessMonday giveaway. A simple, yet highly effective giveaway designed to make engaging with our Corporate Facebook page easy and accessible. We removed multiple tiered entry points and kept it simple with a tag and random draw by our media agency. Why make it complicated? Secondly, we don’t try and over sell the product. We’ve made a concerted effort towards valuable and useful content that is closely related to our product categories, yet goes above and beyond just a simple straight sell and promotional push. We want our followers to feel that Mix Party is about entertaining and social selling, with a great balance between content and the sharing of a happy hour experience.
~ Ellie Terry, President of Sales and Marketing, Mix Party
Younique is a virtual party-pioneering party plan company, and we have Facebook to thank for much of our initial success and brand recognition. We encourage our Presenters to post 3D Fiber Lashes (before and after) pictures on Facebook, which has helped enormously with this exposure. Like many of you, we are dealing with Facebook’s changing landscape, and we continue to diversify over many social networks. I want to share one particularly beneficial way Younique has leveraged Facebook from the get-go (which, for us, was October 2012). And here it is: We have a “Presenters Only” Facebook Group. That means that virtually every one of our 160,000+ Presenters is part of a Facebook Group organized and managed by Younique Corporate. This is cool because even though Facebook has made it so that a business’s public Facebook page has lost its organic reach, we still have a way to communicate our latest and greatest to our Presenters. As you may already know, when you’re part of a Facebook Group—unless you, the individual, turn off Notifications—you’ll receive all the communications from that Group. In this way, we get all of our news, promotions, and multimedia assets to our Presenters, and then they can take it from there and share it to their own personal networks. And one more huge thing: These Facebook Groups provide a relatively private forum for our “Y-Sisters” to get to know each other, share best practices, and be a part of the Younique community, which is all about Uplifting, Empowering, and Validating Women!
~ Brian Gill, EVP of Marketing, Younique
Clearly, although each company approaches Facebook a little bit differently, each is still finding value in a Facebook presence, and the many tools that Facebook provides. While Facebook Ads have become a necessity for direct sales companies that wish to generate leads, there are still many ways that every company and consultant can use Facebook to create community and share value.
Many thanks to each direct selling company that took the time to share in this post. When we work together as an industry and share our knowledge, we elevate the entire profession!
Which of these tips are you or your company using for your business? What will you try next? Please share in the comments!