If your direct sales or network marketing company is like most these days, they either have a Facebook Fan Page or are planning one. And the large majority of direct selling companies are using their Facebook Pages to talk to YOU, the consultant. Why? Because their strategy is to empower you with resources that you can use to build your business. After all, many of your customers and prospects are probably already on Facebook. Why not provide you with resources that you can pass along with a simple click? It just makes sense.
So are you making optimal use of the resources that your company provides?
Now it’s important to throw a little caveat in here. You should NOT be blindly sharing every single thing that your company provides as your own status update. There is a difference between a Facebook PAGE for business (such as the one your company has created) and a Facebook PROFILE (your personal account on Facebook) that you use to network. People resent being spammed by Facebook Profiles. Instead, your strategy for your Facebook PROFILE should be to provide content that your contacts value (that isn’t the specials, my friends.) Let’s say you’re with a jewelry company. If your company provides helpful tips on how to layer jewelry to achieve the latest styles, that might be something of interest to pass along. If your company shares its philanthropic work, sharing the occasional post with a note about how proud you are to be associated with a company making a difference would be appropriate.
- Specials – As I said earlier, your contacts do NOT want to be spammed monthly with your specials (be they sales, hostess specials, guest specials, recruiting specials, etc.) Instead, use this information in a special group on Facebook you’ve set up just for customers and other interested folks who may be interested in more information about your products specifically (this could also be shared through your own Facebook Page, if you have one, but I’m still not convinced that a Facebook Page is an effective use of a consultant’s time.) Another way to use specials is to link to them on a Facebook Events invite you’ve set up for a specific party or other selling event. Knowing what the specials are might entice someone to attend. You might also want to email a link to these specials to those on your mailing list, and you can use specials fliers on your company’s Page as a resource for your team.
- Product Videos – Again, this is one of those cases where a general blast to your entire Facebook network is not a good idea. However, you may also want to post this information to your Facebook Group/Page, and these are also great to feature in your monthly customer newsletter (provide a link instead of embedding, as most email programs will send emails with videos to the spam folder.)
- Information Articles – As long as you are balancing articles with networking and relationship building, it’s fine to click that “Share” button in Facebook and share informational articles with your entire Facebook network. Really think about whether or not the target market you’re developing on Facebook would be interested in the article, and if so, share away! (By the way, these are also appropriate for your Group/Page.)
- Philanthropic Efforts – I think direct selling companies may do more philanthropic work than any other industry, and I’m not sure that everyone else knows that. What an opportunity to share that fact through Facebook! We all like feel-good stories, and highlighting the philanthropic work of your company and/or your team is a great way to share how amazing your company is. As long as you are again balancing your posts with the personal tidbits that help people get to know you, and relationship-building, this is a great way to introduce your company to your network by expressing enthusiasm for your connection to an organization doing such good work.
- Convention Information/Videos/Photos – When you are tagged in photos/videos from convention, your friends will see them. That’s one way to subtly share how cool convention is without being over the top. You might also do one (or at the MOST two) posts about how excited you are to be going to convention at the amazing location your company has selected. But don’t go crazy here. The convention information is more for you. Share your enthusiasm on your company’s Page, but don’t go overboard sharing it through your own profile.
- Facebook-Only Specials – Sometimes your company may have specials that are ONLY offered through the company Facebook Page. Treat these the same way you would treat an opt-in list. If people have signed up for info on specials (by joining your own Facebook Group or Page) feel free to share these specials. But don’t spam your entire list. People just won’t appreciate it. You can also use these specials as a way to encourage customers who have not yet joined you on Facebook to do so. In your customer newsletter, let people know that you’ve just posted a Facebook-only special from the company. To get access, all they need to do is join your Facebook Group. (And once they do, you’ll be able to contact them more regularly with company information, increasing your chances of reorders.)
- Ideas on Creative Ways to Use Your Products – Your company may be sharing ways to mix scents (if you’re a home fragrance company), decorate for the holidays, create new makeup looks, etc. Are these appropriate to share through your profile? As a general rule, no. These are more appropriate for a customer Group/Page. Use this as your rule of thumb: if people can use the information you share right now, without spending a dime, then it is probably appropriate to share through your general profile. If they need to spend money with you to make it work, then you’re better off sharing it through an opt-in Group/Page.
There is lots of great content being shared every day through your company’s Facebook Page. You should be participating on the company Page regularly, because when customers and potential recruits come to check it out, an active Page gives the impression that your company is a great one to be associated with. So express your enthusiasm for products and specials, share your love of the opportunity, and help folks understand why your company is so great.
Do NOT share your personal website address or try to recruit customers or prospects from the company Page. This is bad form and will annoy your colleagues. Instead, treat the company Facebook Page as a resource for all, and share content as described above. In that way, you’ll be able to put those resources to work for your greatest advantage. And that way, everyone wins.
Now it’s your turn! How are you using company Fan Page resources? What techniques have been effective for you? Will you be making any changes? Can’t wait to read your thoughts below!