Social media: it continues to be one of the most powerful tools in a network marketers arsenal. It takes only one viral share to bump yourself into the stratosphere, but it’s a finicky sort of business. You have to target the right people in the right way at the right time. Fail to do that and you’ll come across to sales-y or even drive people away when you try to sell with social media.
Complicating the matter is the fact that social media changes so rapidly. Trends, platforms, and popular topics change daily (sometimes hourly), meaning that identifying targets is a constant and ever-changing task.
Most network marketers find their way into their chosen programs through social media in the first place. This is a testament to the fact that you can really find success when you sell with social media – at least when you do it right.
The Trouble in (Social Media) Paradise
The biggest problem for most new network marketers who jump in to sell with social media is that they approach it in the wrong way. Maybe they post formulaic promotional posts from their chosen company, or they post too often. Or maybe they just oversell their products to their friends and end up pushing people away in the process.
This conflict in approach stems from a lack of understanding in the role social media plays throughout all of their interactions. When someone visits a social media site, they want to be social. They don’t necessarily want to be sold. Like excessive ads on websites, targeting these socializers and pushing your products too firmly comes across as an annoyance rather than an invitation.
Does this mean social media is the wrong place to sell?
You just have to change your approach to suit the needs of your target audience when you sell with social media.
Don’t Sell; Storytell
It’s a common fallacy successful network marketers see all the time: newer network marketers jumping in and posting the same promotional post three times a day. The content of the post is little more than emojis, grandiose speeches about how good the program or product is, and a call-to-action. As time goes on, more and more people unfollow them (or even unfriend them altogether), refusing to buy into the posts.
The network marketer becomes more and more frenzied, posting more and more often, worsening the problem. It’s an easy pit to fall in and an even harder hole to climb out of.
Best not to fall into the chasm in the first place!
So what’s wrong with this approach? It doesn’t meet the target audience’s needs.
As mentioned previously, people who visit social media sites (regardless of specifics) do so because they want to socialize. They want to see what their friends are up to, what their sister had for lunch, what events people are attending, or maybe even what drama is keeping folks drilled in and interested today. Those stories stir their emotions, keep them feeling connected, and give them something they can relate to.
What they don’t want is hard sales.
Here’s the good news: you can capitalize on that desire for interaction and stories by reframing the content you post. Instead of trying to hard sell with social media, tell a story. Talk to people – don’t sell them the product or service, tell them how it benefited you and how it changed your life.
Let’s break it down even further with two example posts.
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Okay – which one of those posts did you find more interesting? Most people will naturally gravitate to the second even though it doesn’t contain a shred of product info. That’s because it tells a story, and stories are inherently more engaging.
Even though post 2 doesn’t contain product info, it does achieve a very important goal: it talks to the reader as if they’re a friend, makes them curious about the potential solution, and closes by telling them to make contact. That contact is what you want – it’s a warm lead, and thus, is much more likely to progress to conversion later on.
Boost Engagement With Pics
You now know the difference between selling and storytelling, and how these two concepts work together. Next, it’s time to make your posts relatable and drive more curiosity. To do this, pair every post with a lifestyle image or video. Skip the product or company media kit photos and personalize it with pictures of you and your life and how the product benefits your life instead.
Here’s a few examples of great media content for cosmetic sellers:
● An incredible Instagram-style portrait of you with makeup on
● Pictures of you smiling happily with friends during a night out
● Images of you having a blast at a local cosmetics conference
● A short video tutorial of you showing how easy the makeup is to use
● Makeup giveaways, contests, and sweepstakes from right at home
Essentially, people want your media content to show them how fantastic your life is – and how the product you’re trying to sell them can make their life feel like that, too. At the end of the day, everyone wants to feel related to and happy, and how you post can achieve both of those goals.
Also, remember that pictures can be used to tell a story, too, especially on visual platforms like Snapchat or Instagram. Tell the world your story through a series of pictures that ramp up curiosity – you won’t regret it!
Understand Specific Site Influences
Facebook limits reach if you include a link in your post. Twitter cuts characters to just 140 characters. Instagram users often won’t read excessive amounts of text. These are all social media platform nuances that can significantly change the way you structure your posts.
As a social media marketer, it’s up to you to learn these nuances and stay on top of them. This isn’t always easy; social media platforms will frequently change their algorithms and popularity, memes, preferences rapidly come and go. One of the biggest parts of being a network marketer is determining how to latch on or let go at the right times, using site influences to your advantage to sell with social media.
Not sure what each site demands? The best way to learn is to use the site naturally yourself. Focus on building up your following. Get to know people, interact, and research member preferences at the same time. Join other marketer’s Facebook groups, add more network marketers to your Twitter, and expand your LinkedIn connections as often as you can. Eventually, you, too, can use that network to help you achieve your sales goals – you just have to find the “sweet spot” first.
No matter what site you choose, one fact will always be true: you have to focus on fulfilling your customer’s needs before you focus on selling. If you aren’t engaging, if your posts are boring, or if you push people too far too fast, all you’ll achieve is alienation from the community and the inability to sell with social media. Like a website that spams or sells information, that’s an incredibly hard reputation to overcome.