The Secret to Success in Social Media

I think that sometimes we make social media more complicated than it needs to be.  I’m not sure if it’s because we expect it to be hard, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, or we simply accept generic advice on social media, and think we have to do everything under the sun.

Let’s make this a lot simpler for our businesses.

To use social media as an independent direct seller, there are really only a few things you need to do/know.

  1. Decide what results you want.  Increased sales?  Increased recruiting?
  2. Decide how much time you’ll invest (start with 20 minutes/day) and choose one tool to start (start with Facebook.)
  3. Talk to people online.  As a direct seller, you probably network all the time.  This is an extension of that.  Talk to people. Listen to them.  Discover their needs, and build relationships.
  4. Share useful tips and advice.  Sell cookware?  Share recipes and kitchen tips.  Sell candles?  Share decorating ideas and tablescapes.  Sell makeup?  Share beauty tips.  You get the picture. Information people can use right now without spending a dime, with stuff they already have in their houses.
  5. Avoid overt sales and recruiting pitches as general status updates, or form emails.  People don’t like it.  Maybe your mom will tell you it’s fine, but for every one person who is nice to you about it and willing to forgive you, 5 people will hide you.  Trust me.

By using this method, you’ll learn what people need.  Then you can make appropriate, individual recommendations to people at a time when they are most likely to be productive.

Don’t make social media this complex, overwhelming thing.  Instead, network.  Talk to people.  Understand them.  Build relationships.  Then follow up individually.  This is the secret to success in social media.

Your thoughts?

10 Responses to The Secret to Success in Social Media
  1. Pat Bennett
    March 21, 2011 | 6:19 pm

    Appreciate your insights and suggestions on using social media as a direct seller. I’d like to see less sales pitching on FB — there’s far too much of it and it clogs up the news feed. I’d eat my words if someone could convince me otherwise.

  2. Cynthia Gratzer
    July 12, 2010 | 2:36 pm

    Excellent advice! Question, I have been promoting MOM tips for my blog/site but not my direct product tips (the product is more health related). Do you suggest I switch? I was trying to target Moms because of anyone I know they will see the value in the product like me. What do you suggest?

  3. Joe Barrera
    July 7, 2010 | 2:24 pm

    Thank you for the input. I’ll keep that in mind. I appreciate you blogging here daily. I’m starting to get a much better understanding of how to use social media to benefit my business.

  4. Joe Barrera
    July 6, 2010 | 10:42 am

    Is it realistic to focus on increased sales & recruiting at the same time? What are your thoughts on this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Jennifer Fong
      July 6, 2010 | 11:34 am

      Only if you have the time to invest. I often suggest to folks getting started that they should start with one, because each one has a different target market, and you need to provide different content.

  5. Lisa Robbin Young
    July 5, 2010 | 1:47 pm

    Totally on the mark (as usual).

    Direct Sellers get so caught up in “all the stuff I gotta do” on social media, that they miss the point. It’s not about doing everything. It’s about figuring out an objective (the area of your business you want to improve), and connecting with real people about real conversations to further that objective.

  6. Julie Ann Jones
    July 5, 2010 | 1:12 pm

    Awesome article, Jen. This was how I started (with Facebook) and, with your help, it’s been an amazing addition to my business. The key for me is to always focus on what I can offer my audience, never what I want from them. By using this philosophy, I’ve build a great community and my business has benefited.

    Thanks so much for all you do.

  7. Sharon Mayers
    July 5, 2010 | 10:38 am

    Thanks Jennifer!
    I love your idea of sharing tips and ideas specific to the product that you’re marketing. I share relaxation and stress busting tips related to my candle business but will also implement decorating ideas and tablescapes as per your recommendation!

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