As direct sellers, building your social media accounts is not about collecting “Likes” or simply collecting “Friends.”
To use social media effectively in your business you need to understand that social media is about building meaningful relationships with people!
A meaningful relationship means that each side both gives and takes, and a part of what YOU give to the relationship is VALUE.
When you provide value to your social media fans, they will ultimately purchase more from you and be more likely to spread the word about you and your products!
What Is Value?
The term “value” has a different meaning to different people. Value MAY mean providing coupons or discounts – monetary value – to your social media fans, but there are certainly many other ways to provide value.
Sending out information about your new products, helpful tips and tricks, a behind-the-scenes look at your business – all these can also be considered as “value” to your contacts!
Why Provide Value?
There are many reasons it’s essential to provide value to your social media audience. Here are just a few:
- It’s much harder, and generally more costly in terms of both time and money, to gain new customers than to retain the ones you already have. So – once you’ve got those customers, providing continued value via social media is essential!
- The audience you build on social media isn’t going to continue to follow you just because you’re there! You need to repeatedly provide value to them until they come to know, like and trust you, and are willing to engage with you!
- Providing continuous value is how you build “brand loyalty.” Remember, that “brand” is YOU – not your products – and the way to attract and keep customers loyal to YOU is through continued engagement via social media!
How To Provide Value With Social Media
Here are a few ideas you can use to help provide value to your social media audience.
Post inspirational or funny images that fit in with your products or your customers’ lifestyles.
For example – if you sell health and wellness products, post photos and quotes from athletes. Or, if you sell skin care products, post quotes about pampering or beauty.
Share A Book
Share reviews of books you’ve read recently that would be a good fit for your customers!
Ask your social media fans what they think about your products or your services. Or, ask them to share any interesting ways in which they use your products that others may not have thought about.
If a fan comes up with an especially good idea – put it into practice or share it with the leaders in your company!
Share YOUR favorite social media sites that are related to your industry/company/products, or even your personal interests that customers might learn from or enjoy!
This helps position you as an industry expert and helps build their trust in you and your products.
Show What’s Behind The Scenes
Post pictures of you in your “natural habitat!” Show pictures of yourself using your products, selling your products, creating your products…
Let people see the real business! Don’t stage these photos – let people see a real person doing real things!
Engage, Enlighten, Encourage and especially just be yourself! Social media is a community effort, everyone is an asset. – Susan Cooper
Solve Problems For Your Customers
Invite your social media followers to post any problems they may have in relation to products or services you offer.
Does your fan base have a problem with dry skin? No time to pamper themselves? A stubborn five pounds they just can’t lose? Encourage them to post their issues and then be sure to offer guidance and advice!
Provide VIPs With Access To Unique Content
Provide content that only your social media fans have access to, like special recipes, tips and tricks on product use, how-to guides, and behind-the-scenes videos!
Invite Social Media VIPs To Special Events
Special events for your fans can be either in-person (for local sellers), or online using a Facebook Event! Think about product previews or a special “thank you party” once or twice a year.
Offer Sneak Peeks
Are you launching a new product? Offer VIPs an early peek or access!
Share Industry News
Pick up news releases and studies from your industry. Post them to your social media accounts, with your commentary, to build yourself up as an industry expert.
Send Fans Something They Aren’t Expecting
Select a fan of the week, or month, or quarter, and send them something they didn’t even know they wanted!
Take a look at their social media accounts to see what sorts of things they enjoy and then send them something you know they’ll love along with some of your products! You can send things related to their hobbies, their favorite books or movies, or even the sports team they root for!
Give Customers An “Upgrade”
When some of your customers are actively and openly engaging with you and your brand on a regular basis, then give them an “upgrade” they’re sure to talk about on THEIR social media accounts. For example – if they have a favorite product line, surprise them with a sample (or even a full-size product) of something they haven’t tried yet.
Help Customers Do Something THEY Love
Select a customer and help them support a charity or program of their choice, or even support THEIR business by promoting it on your social media platforms.
Showcase Your Customers
Invite your biggest fans in social media to share a picture of themselves using your product or service, and add a line about why they love it!
“Social media will help you build up the loyalty of your current customers to the point that they will willingly, and for free, tell others about you.” — Bonnie Sainsbury
Put up videos of how to best use your product or service.
Keep track of the most frequently asked questions, then spotlight and respond to one at least weekly on your social media platforms.
Hold special drawings or contests for your social media followers only!
Host a Google+ Hangout
Use Google+ or another chat platform to hold a live chat with your social media fans!
Facebook Live videos, with you tracking and commenting on questions as they are posted, is also a great way to connect.
Help Your Fans Find What They Need
Even… if what they need doesn’t come from you! Once your fans understand that you ALWAYS come from a place of service – and won’t sell them something just because you can – then they’ll make it a point to purchase from you and share your products with friends whenever they can!
A Few Social Media DONT’S
- Don’t just show your products. Your customers already have (or should have) one of your catalogs. Your fans come to social media to ENGAGE with you, not just to look at product photos.
- Don’t spam, or blast out messages every hour. People will become numb to them, then annoyed by them, and then unfollow your account!
- Don’t post “canned” messages. It’s social media, and people want to engage with REAL people with REAL personality! Be sure to let them get a real idea of YOU – the person behind the business!
Create Brand Ambassadors By Providing Value
Once you’ve started to build your social media presence, you want to nurture your fans and make sure that you provide value worth talking about!
When you first start, you may have few fans – but not to worry! Don’t worry about your numbers – worry about making those numbers COUNT!
Go out of your way to over-deliver on social media and engage your fans with real value – treat them like people, not just customers.
Never take a single fan or customer for granted. Rather, make them believers in what you do and what you offer. If those people are excited about you and your offerings, they’ll share!
Through sharing, commenting and linking, they’ll help you spread your message and become ‘Brand Ambassadors!’
It’s YOUR Turn!
How are YOU providing value to your social media fans? Share your tips and tricks with us in the ‘Comments’ section below!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”