The Role of Social Media in Network Marketing
I think it’s likely that most people nowadays know what’s meant by “social media” – if you don’t, all you need do is browse around this website! But do you know what network marketing is? A common misconception seems to be that it’s “pyramid selling”. Well, sorry, but pyramid selling is actually illegal – and who’d try to sell pyramids anyway?? 🙂 So, how about social media in network marketing?
Kleeneze, Avon, Herbalife, Forever Living, Utility Warehouse….
…. do any of these sound familiar? Yes? Well, they are all network marketing companies. Network marketing (also known as MLM, multi-level marketing) is a simple business model. Individuals are recruited, but are not employed by the company. They are self-employed (usually as sole traders) and form part of a group or team. Each team has various levels. It’s up to the individual to sell products (which they buy at a discount) to earn commission. It’s also beneficial to the individual if they can recruit others into their team. The exact details vary between companies but there are incentives and bonuses for performance in both sales and recruiting. The larger the team, the greater the potential to earn more.
However, this post isn’t intended to be an in depth study of network marketing as a business model. Rather, I would like to explore the role of social media in network marketing and why it’s a valuable asset. As it happens, in addition to my social media business, I am involved with two network marketing companies – Wikaniko and Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic. More information is available on my Eco-Friendly Living website.
I’ve found social media invaluable in promoting my activities with these companies. Of course, as with any business, social media in network marketing is not the answer to all your problems, but it does add value to the mix. I’d go so far as to say it’s essential for network marketers.
With most network marketing schemes, you’re aiming to sell products and recruit new team members. Chances are that a high percentage of potential buyers, and potential recruits, are already on the social networks. It’s your job to find them! At the least I’d suggest setting up a Facebook Page (preferably with a custom landing tab as these have been shown to generate more “Likes” – and a Twitter account. You might also consider getting yourself established on LinkedIn, to gain professional credibility. There are a number of discussion groups on LinkedIn for network marketers. YouTube would also be an excellent channel for promoting your products and sharing the benefits of joining your team!
Once you’re set up on the social networks, you need to find potential customers and team members. Don’t post a string of updates promoting your latest products – that will turn people off immediately. It’s all about being subtle, not shouting about yourself. Post links to interesting information about your niche, e.g. general health and wellness if you’re a Herbalife or Forever Living distributor. Search on Twitter for tweets asking about your company or products, or just general information related to your niche. Follow “thought leaders” in your field of interest and begin engaging with them. It’s OK to post “sales” updates occasionally, but no more than 10-20% of your posts should be self-promotion. Set up Google Alerts for topics around your niche, browse a selection of blogs and share links to these. You might find this post useful if you’re not sure of the best way to do this. Give value to your followers and always invite comments and questions. If someone responds to your update, always reply and invite further engagement.
Don’t expect things to happen overnight – it will take weeks or more likely months, to build up a following. It can be hard work to keep your community engaged – you have to keep at it and not abandon your Facebook or Twitter accounts for long periods. If you’re not sure of the best way to maintain your presence on social media, you might consider getting help from a professional. Your social media strategy will pay dividends in the long run, but plenty of patience is a must!
Are you in network marketing? Need advice on setting up and using social media accounts? Start by contacting me on 01777 249075
or by email at email@example.com
you can also TEXT
INF SOCIALMEDIA or INF SOCIALMEDIA + your email address to 60777
to receive your free copy of my booklet “10 Reasons Why You Need to Get Up To Speed With Social Media”.