Sometimes I get asked by direct sellers: if I had to choose just ONE social media tool, which one should it be? While this can be a tricky question, and should largely be answered based on your target market and goals, I will answer right now in general terms. After all, many party plan sellers have similar target demographics…the female, 25-35 years old, probably has kids and is married…you know the market I mean. And IF that target market is spending time online, she is most likely spending at least part of that time on Facebook.
Facebook is the largest social networking tool that exists today. According to http://checkfacebook.com, it currently has over 81 million users in the US alone. 25.1% of that audience is 25-34. 18.5% of users are 35-44. And 57.4% of users are female. This year Facebook reported a 276% Growth in 35-54 year old users. (source: iStrategy Labs) So there is a VERY good chance that your target market is on Facebook right now.
Add to that the fact that anecdotally, many direct sellers have reported great success with Facebook. For some reason, hostesses just respond more quickly when you reach out to them on Facebook. Several direct sellers have reported that they have been unable to reach hostesses via phone or email, yet when they reached out through Facebook they got the booking. Direct sellers are also able to remain in front of their target market through Facebook, through regular status updates, photos, sharing resources provided through their company’s Facebook fan page, and more. This results in reorders and rebookings that didn’t occur before.
While I believe that a comprehensive content marketing strategy is best, that includes a blog along with social networking tools, if you’ve only got a small amount of time to invest, and only want to begin with one tool, I think that Facebook will give you the most return on your time investment. Keep in mind, though, that you must still avoid using Facebook to spam the world with business ads. These are considered a breach of social media etiquette.
Instead, provide valuable information related to your product line (i.e. This is the best temperature to drink white wine; light makeup brings out your eyes, etc.) You should also be engaging with people and helping them get to know you. Invite every customer at every party to join your Facebook group, and provide a discussion forum, valuable info, and special offers. Conduct online events, and use the Facebook Events tool to publicize them.
By using Facebook strategically, the direct seller can experience a great deal of social media success, and enjoy great returns on her social media investment.
What do you think? Do you have Facebook success stories? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!