You Can’t Put Social Media on Autopilot

Have you seen those direct sellers with the “advertising” status updates?  “Join my team” and “Buy my stuff” are NEVER appropriate status updates through social media.  And they hardly ever work.  So why do we keep seeing them?  Well for one thing, they’re easy.

I’m sure you’ve seen those network marketing programs that promise you you’ll make a million dollars with no effort whatsoever.  It’s all on autopilot!  All you need to do is pay someone a hefty sum to get the program.  I’m sure you’re smart enough to know that’s a bunch of bunk, and only enriches the person selling the program.  Direct selling takes effort, if you want to do it well.

Well the same thing goes for social media marketing.  And those folks who are hurling advertising messages at their online contacts are doing the same thing that those folks who think their autopilot system works are doing.  But guess what?  If you want social media marketing to work for your business, you have to work.  There’s no way around it.

Here’s the work that is involved:

  • Daily contact with people: You MUST build relationships with people to use social media marketing well.  That means investing time daily in finding new contacts, talking to them, and listening to what’s important to them.  Only after a relationship is built can you talk about your product or opportunity, and then only in private or in an opt-in group.
  • Finding content to share: Content marketing is a critical part of your overall social media marketing strategy.  The people you connect with need to come to trust you as someone who will provide content of value.  So you need to find it and share it.  That means investing some time each day looking at blogs in your niche, reading the Twitter or Facebook links from key contacts, etc.  It may also mean producing your own content.  But this takes time, and you must be willing to invest.
  • Community management: When you build an opt-in group of people who are interested in the content that you share, or want more information about your products or opportunity, you can’t just add them to your group and walk away.  You need to be prepared to be a “community manager.”  And this means seeding discussion topics in your group.  Asking and answering questions.  Sharing links and other content.  And reminding people to participate.  It’s YOUR job to make sure they come back.  People have a very short attention span online.  They’ll only participate if you remind them.

Now like I always say, this does NOT replace your core income-producing activities: Booking parties/making appointments, selling products, and recruiting new distributors for your company.  Rather, this is one more tool in your overall marketing tool belt, to help you promote your business and find new leads.

So plan your social media marketing time, schedule it in your calendar, and don’t get distracted.  By participating in strategic activities that will help you reach your goals, you can get some nice results from your social media marketing efforts.  But they do require effort.  Don’t take the quick and easy route that brings no results.  Instead, be mindful and strategic, and you’ll enjoy growth for your business.

Your thoughts?  Would love to read them in the comments!

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3 Responses to You Can’t Put Social Media on Autopilot
  1. Abi Almandinger
    May 8, 2010 | 12:15 am

    Jen, I loved the information you posted! You’re so right and I’m excited to learn the right (and stay away from) the wrong ways of doing it. Can’t wait to take your class in a few weeks!

  2. Don Enck
    May 7, 2010 | 11:55 am

    Jen,
    This is a great message that I have seen before. The sad part is that many people haven’t seen it or if they have they missed the point.

    Maybe you can relate to this; “hey Jen, I know we just met but do you want to get married?” Who in their right mind would agree to this? So, why would anyone join your opportunity if that was the first thing you asked them?

    Be it online or off, to succeed in this industry relationships must be built. Value must be given and trust has to be built.

    Thanks for spreading the word so that others can learn. I appreciate it.

  3. Brian Smith
    May 7, 2010 | 10:26 am

    Jen,
    As always I feel you add great value and perspective concerning how people should interact in the Direct Selling Industry. I would suggest those reading your articles not limit the application of the principles you are teaching to just social media since they go beyond that. These principles can be modified and should be the foundational people skills for other channels used by direct selling associates/distributors. Thanks for helping guide the industry in a positive direction.

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