Updated: Nov 9, 2022
If you want social media to help grow your business and get you the new customers and leads you are looking for, you have got to start taking it seriously.
Ignore the obviously clickbait ads that tell you you’ll get 1000 followers in a month if you sign up for their online course, stop believing there is a magic formula that you can buy that is going to all of a sudden make social media a wonder tool that feeds you this endless stream of customers and leads. You’re running a direct selling business and know how tough that can be.
You put a huge amount of time and effort into growing your business offline, so it should come as no surprise that using social media for your business is going to demand just as much time and effort.
There are a lot of social networks out there and it’s natural to assume that having a presence on as many platforms as possible will increase your chances of attracting new interest and therefor help your business grow. And it is a pretty simple thing to do isn’t it? The sign-up process for each social network is intentionally quick and easy to complete and in less an hour you could have your profiles up and running on a lot of platforms. But what about content? Well, you could just share the same content across all of your different profiles, so you wouldn’t have to create lots of different types of content for each of your different profiles. And when it comes to posting your content, you can simply schedule your posts in advance and have the platforms publish them for you.
Sounds easy doesn’t it? Your business is represented on multiple social networks so it must only be a matter of time before those new orders and leads start rolling in. Almost sounds too good to be true doesn’t it?
As with many things that sound too good to be true, they probably are just that – too good to be true.
I want you to think about how you go about finding new customers and leads in the real world, and by the real world I mean outside of social media. Do you hold opportunity meetings and invite literally anyone, without having any form of interaction with them beforehand? Not giving any regard for who they are, their personal circumstances, their motivations, their interests, whatever it might be? Do you try to sell your products to someone without having an idea whether they need, use or would even consider buying such products? Do you set up a stand to present your opportunity at a completely random location because people are bound to come by at some point and one of them is bound to be interested and sign up?
Now, I’m really hoping that you think those sound like pretty ridiculous suggestions and that you’d never even consider trying to grow your business in any of those ways. There are far more productive and successful ways to identify new leads and find new customers and of course you would be a lot more targeted in your approach. You’d make sure that anyone attending your opportunity meetings has already been given an introduction to what you have to offer and you’d have already qualified that they are a potential lead. When going out to find a new customer, you would only approach those individuals who have a need for your products or could benefit from them, even if it meant you needed to educate them about your products first. And you would set up a stand to present your opportunity at a location where your prior research had told you you’d get a decent footfall of people who could potentially be open to what you have to offer.
My question to you, therefore is, if you are targeted in your approach outside of social media, why would you not apply the same logic when doing these same activities on social media?
Can you hand on heart say that you are taking a targeted approach with your social media, or, as many people do, are you just pumping out as much content as you can and getting frustrated because you aren’t getting the leads or customers that you want?
This is really important and a bit of a reality check for many people who use social media for their direct selling business. A scattergun approach where you just throw out as much content as you can manage, across as many platforms as you can, trying to reach as many people as you can is doomed to fail. You have got to take a targeted approach if you want to get results.
So, let’s break this down – what do I mean by a targeted approach? Well, the first thing you have got to be absolutely clear on is your objective. What do you want to achieve as a result of using social media? Now, if you’ve been in direct selling for any period of time, I know you are going be really familiar with goal setting and SMART objectives. When you work with your upline or area manager, whoever it may be, to create objectives for your business, it requires some effort. You have to really be specific and get right down in to the nitty gritty so that you have something tangible to work towards. I am pretty certain that for other elements of your business you have targets or objectives in place. It’s something your familiar with and it drives you to work hard and do whatever it takes to achieve them. If you want social media to be a sales and marketing channel for your business that delivers results, you have got to think of it in exactly the same way.
You need to know why you are social media and have clear KPIs that you regularly track, so you can assess how you’re doing, so that you can realign the tactics you’re using if necessary.
So, step one – spend some quality time defining objectives for your social media and hold yourself accountable for achieving them.
Once you know what you’re working to achieve with social media, you need to identify your target audience. As I mentioned earlier, in the real world you don’t waste your time talking to people you know are never going to be interested in what you have to offer, so stop doing it on social media. Who, specifically, are you trying to reach through your social profiles? What are the characteristics of your ideal customer? What motivates the type of person who is going to want to join your team? Again, this is going to take some time and effort on your part but if you think about it, you probably have a good idea of this already.
Look at your existing customers – can you identify certain personas in that group? Those personas are a good starting point for defining your target audience for new customers on social media.
Similarly, can you do the same for your team members? Do they fall into different personas, that you can take as the basis of your target audience for finding new leads? You will probably find that you have a few different target audiences to achieve different objectives. For example, the type of person you are targeting as a customer is probably going to be different from the type of person you target as someone who wants to start their own business. That’s absolutely the right approach to take, as it means you can deliver relevant content to each audience type.
So step two – document your target audiences.
When you know what you want to achieve and who you need to reach, you are going to feel a lot more comfortable and confident in targeting a whole range of other things. Your objectives and your target audience need to drive which social networks you use.
Identify which social networks are the best ones to help you achieve your objectives and reach your target audience.
So, to take a really crude example, if your objective is to find 10 new customers and your target audience is women in their thirties who have skincare problems, a good platform could be Instagram. The platform is popular with women in this age group and it offers lots of features to allow you to showcase how your products can help them with their skincare needs. You can share your own skincare story through Instagram stories, you can host Q&A sessions on Instagram Live where you answer people’s skincare questions, you can post images showing the ingredients used in your products … the list goes on.
Do you now see how a targeted approach will help you be hugely more effective with your social media? Let’s go back to the scattergun approach – do you think trying to sell skincare products on LinkedIn would be as effective? Do you think using Tik Tok would give you the opportunity to help people as individuals with their skincare challenges and allow you to build relationships with those people that foster trust? I hope that the point I am trying to make is coming across loud and clear:
A targeted approach is 100% the way to go if you want to be successful.
There’s one other really important thing you need to be targeted in too and that is your messaging. What is the message you are trying to communicate on social media? This needs to be as concise as possible – just one or maybe two key points summarised in a sentence. For example, my key message is that I help direct sellers to use social media in the best possible way to grow their business.
When someone comes to my Instagram profile, or any of my other social media profiles, it is clear what I am offering. You need to be clear in what you are offering too.
If you are selling products and building a team, you might have different key messages for different social networks. You might be using Instagram to identify new customers, so your key message will be about the high-quality products you offer. The business opportunity side of things shouldn’t play a part in what you are posting on that platform. If the opportunity arises after building a relationship with someone through your Instagram profile, where you sense it is appropriate to introduce the business opportunity then this is absolutely fine. The key point of difference is that you are doing that through private conversations.
If you are using your Facebook Page to try and find new team members, your key message would be about the opportunity you offer. Whilst the products the business sells will inevitably be mentioned, you aren’t actively trying to sell products through this social platform – your content should be focused on the business opportunity messaging. So, the last thing on your to-do list is to write down what your key messages are for each of your profiles.
I genuinely hope I’ve given you some things to think about and that you’ll give the suggestions I’ve made a try. I promise you, it will be worth the effort and once you start taking a targeted approach with your social media, you’ll notice a huge difference.