And unfortunately, far too many business owners think it’s time to start posting catalog pictures, specials and links to their websites. This constant stream of self-promotional content is not only boring, but also ignored by the majority of people on social networks. You see, people don’t go onto social networks to see your ads. They go there to talk to people, engage, learn and have fun. If your posts aren’t creating opportunities for this, people will ignore you. It’s that simple.
So what should you post? Here’s a look at the type of content that works well on various social networks:
- Instagram: Instagram is a photo sharing network. People share photos and other images, primarily through their mobile devices. Short videos can also be shared. To use this network for business, consider sharing photos that incorporate your products in interesting ways. For example, share a picture of your breakfast next to a cooking pot that you sell, or a picture of your running shoes next to a canister of your healthy shake. Animals are always fun too…maybe put up a cute picture of Fido, with your hand in the photo wearing a bracelet you sell. You can also put up pictures of inspirational quotes that incorporate a product and/or logo. The thing to remember about Instagram is that you can’t include hyperlinks. So you can type your URL but people will need to cut/paste it into their browser to get to your site.
- Pinterest: On Pinterest, variety is key. If you simply post pictures of your products, you’ll be ignored. Instead, think about the lifestyle related to what you have to offer (both product and opportunity.) One of the direct sales companies that I think uses Pinterest very well is Arbonne. Offering healthy, vegan skincare and other healthy living products, they are very in tune with the lifestyle of their target customers. So they offer healthy recipes, beauty tips, fitness pins, inspirational quotes and more to engage the people they want to reach. Think about the demographic you want to reach, and then share content that this audience enjoys. For example, if you sell scrapbooking supplies, project ideas from various blogs (not just your own) are a great choice. If you sell nutritional supplements, share diet and exercise tips. And for any direct sales business, office organization and business inspiration is always a good idea.
Facebook: Facebook has become a challenge with the reduced visibility of Pages. That said, it’s still a place where you can connect with a lot of people, so you shouldn’t abandon it entirely. On this network, talk about current events (like snow or the Olympics)…things that people want to talk about and engage with, links to content related to what you have to offer (the tips above work here too), contests, specials and discounts (in moderation), and more. If you’re sharing through your Page, you can be a bit more business specific. If you are sharing through your Profile, you need to be a bit less direct. In this case, talk about your business as it applies to you. For example, talk about how excited you are that people have joined your team, or that you’ve achieved the incentive trip, or how much fun you had at your last party. But do it without the ask…where you ask people to spend money with you. Posts on your Profile are meant to peak interest and share information, not ask for the sale.
- Twitter: Twitter is being used in a variety of ways by direct sellers. If you think you’re just going to constantly post links to your products and specials, you’re doing it wrong. Instead, approach Twitter with an interactive mindset. You might use it to share information about public events with team members. Share links to blog post or other content related to what you have to offer. Keep some search columns going and see people who have specifically asked questions about what you have to offer, and be useful. And build some relationships: talk to people, follow influencers and learn from them, and share other people’s content.
When you use social networks as a business owner, it can be so tempting to spout ads all day. But these won’t serve you well, and will wind up wasting your time. Instead, take some time to thoughtfully craft regular content, and build up a community of people. This is where your long term success on these networks comes from.
Which social networks do you use to promote your business? What tips would you add to this list? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments.