Don’t Sell Anything on Facebook – Guest Post by Dave Kerpen, theKbuzz

From Jennifer: Today is a first…the first time I’ve asked someone outside of the direct selling industry to write a guest column for this blog. But you know what? Sometimes we need to look outside our industry to see how others are using social media with success, and then translate that into what works within our unique culture.  I actually spend a lot of my time doing that, which helps me bring the most current information to you, in a way that you can actually use.

In that spirit, I reached out to Dave Kerpen, Chief Buzz Officer at theKbuzz, a Social Media & Word of Mouth Marketing Firm, and asked him to share his expertise on Facebook engagement.  Dave’s company helps companies put into place dynamic and engaging Facebook Pages.  You may have seen his work if you’ve “Liked” 1800Flowers, Stride Rite, or Uno’s Chicago Grill.  Dave knows a LOT about what makes a fan page that people want to interact with.  And today, he’s sharing some of that knowledge with you.  Enjoy!

Don’t Sell Anything on Facebook
By Dave Kerpen

I was thinking of titling this post, “5 Better Ways to Engage on Facebook” because that’s the content I plan on delivering to you. But the truth is, I wanted to get your attention.

If you’re a reader of this blog, you’re likely involved in the direct sales industry. And there are 450 million+ people on Facebook, including you and just about everyone you know (My 90 year old grandma joined this week.) The average Facebook user has 130 friends, and many of you have way more friends (or “people who like you”, if you have a Fan Page). So the temptation to sell to all of these people is powerful.

The problem, of course, if that this does not work. The moment someone tries to sell to me on Facebook, for instance, unless I’ve really grown over time to know, like, and trust that person, I’ll immediately de-friend. Do YOU like to be sold to, or engaged?

Too many direct sellers and direct selling companies are making their updates all about them and their products. If you want to win on Facebook, it’s more about creating “likeable content.” The content shouldn’t be arbitrary, of course. It should be relevant to your category or target audience. For example, if you’re selling:

  • Cooking products, think recipes
  • Health & beauty products, think celebrity beauty tips
  • Gardening items, link to articles about gardening

You may consider content about entrepreneurs and business success too.

Over the course of time, likeable, engaging content will build trust with your audience, and they will become excited buyers who come to you, instead of you trying (and failing) to sell to them on Facebook. Here are my 5 most engaging types of updates:

  1. Post photos. A picture is worth a thousand words. Instead of using words, post pictures. By posting interesting pictures, you will get people talking.
  2. Post videos. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures. Create a short form content video between 30 seconds and two minutes and share it with your friend or fans. A great feature about posting a video on Facebook is if someone is watching the video, they can click on the top left of the video to “like” the page if they haven’t already!
  3. Share links to interesting articles and resources with your friends or fans. Links are a great way to bring relevant content to your page that may not be your own.
  4. Ask questions. If people are not commenting on your updates, it is often because you are not asking them to. If you ask people what they think of something or what they are doing, they will answer these questions on your page.
  5. For the more advanced users, utilize interactive apps including polls, quizzes, and virtual gifts. These are some ways to engage your friends and fans on a more advanced level.

What other ways do you engage with your friends and fans? Share by commenting here!

Dave Kerpen is the CEO of theKbuzz, a social media and word of mouth marketing firm. Dave is one of the leading experts on social media and Facebook marketing. Dave and his work have been featured on CNBC’s “On the Money”, ABC World News Tonight, the CBS Early Show, and the New York Times, and countless blogs. In 2009, Dave spoke at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Conference, Print Services and Distribution Association (PSDA) Conference, and Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Summit.  This past year theKbuzz has expanded, with a new office in Boston and Chicago, and new clients, including Heineken, IMAX, Cumberland Farms, Uno Chicago Grill, Verizon, 1800Flowers.com,  and Stride Rite. Dave now manages the presence of over 150 brands on Facebook, and other social media sites. Dave is proud of theKbuzz’s 2008 WOMMIE Award from WOMMA for excellence in Word of Mouth Marketing, but prouder of his two little girls at home– Charlotte and Kate.

5 Responses to Don’t Sell Anything on Facebook – Guest Post by Dave Kerpen, theKbuzz
  1. Lana Eckel
    May 2, 2010 | 2:49 pm

    I love this article – thank you. And you have my hamster turning on how to implement this with my home based business.

    I represent a company called Heritage Makers. and we provide people the products to put their photos into digital storybooks and other products.

    Could you please tell me what kinds of things i could post in relation to my product?
    I love the cookbooks = recipes relation
    So what i can i use.

    Please help
    Thanks

  2. Dave Kerpen
    April 29, 2010 | 9:06 pm

    Thanks for the feedback, ladies!

    @Dorothy occasional pics or vids of your products are cool – but I’d love to see a pic of a kid with oranges all over his face, or a (:30) video of someone taking about a gift that made her day, or (:60) of flip-cam raw footage from a fun party with women talking about their experiences selling. Just a few thoughts, hope it helps!

    @Katie Thanks and maybe you’ll find this article on polls helpful! :)
    http://vizu.typepad.com/facebook_polls/

  3. Siri
    April 29, 2010 | 3:05 pm

    Creative Memories provides some great stuff I’d like to share, but I haven’t figured out how to easily get it to my Creative Memories group. The default goes to my personal page which I am trying to avoid.
    Thanks for the great article!

  4. Dorothy
    April 29, 2010 | 2:55 pm

    Hi Dave,
    Thanks for a very helpful article! This falls under the category of asking questions and it might not work for direct marketers themselves, but for our fruit gift company I’ll post a comment about gifts under development, or new food items I’m thinking adding to the gifts.

    I’ve gotten instant, critical feedback from customers-for ex., not to get the fat-free brownies b/c they will have too much sugar. (The customer was right!)

    I have a question for you: When you say to post pics and videos, did you mean of our products? If so, how would I do that without “bragging”?

    Thanks again for your help and for being Jennifer’s guest blogger today!
    Best wishes,
    Dorothy

  5. Katie
    April 29, 2010 | 2:41 pm

    Maybe the next lession should be how to create polls etc on FB..because I would love to do that, but I’m really not sure how!

    Great article – it really gets me thinking about my Arbonne group and how I can improve on it!

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