by Shelley Webb | Featured Contributor
Many direct sales marketers are successfully using social media to help market their businesses. But just like in any other business, choosing the best social media platform for your particular brand is very important. In order to choose, it’s imperative to define your ideal client and determine where they might be hanging out. We already know that physical products that are sold using the direct marketing system are popular among Facebook users. And Facebook is the largest social media platform and the second most visited site after Google.
But Facebook may not be your best choice. Here’s why:
Facebook’s recent algorithm changes have caused a significant decrease in the amount of content that is seen by those who like your page. Experts are suggesting that only 1 of every 6 posts is seen by any one person. So theoretically, if you want even one post to be seen, you need to post something on your business page at least 6 times per day. Facebook is putting more emphasis on images and images with links to relevant information. Fortunately, many direct marketer’s products are very visual businesses.
We have known for awhile that Facebook has become a “Pay to Play” market for businesses and now marketers are being given tools to evaluate their campaigns further emphasizing that they are serious about advertising dollars. This is not good news for those working in a direct sales market that does not allow advertising.
This is not to say that you should dump your Facebook business page. If you have a loyal following and can provide relevant and engaging content, you might still do well. Some ideas for content might be motivational quotes, personal notes, humor, links to your other social media presences, company news, promotions (limited but not absent), questions and links to your blog or newsletter, if you have one.
Be sure that you fill out your “about” section completely so folks can get an instant idea of what you and your business is about.
There are 2 other social media platforms to consider using. Pinterest is one of them.
Pinterest is an excellent site for direct sales marketers for several reasons.
- There are 70 million Pinterest accounts of which 80% are owned by women.
- There are 2.5 billion monthly Pinterest page views.
- 80% of total Pinterest pins are repins, which means that your original pin has a longer staying power than a post on Facebook or Instagram.
- The percentage of total social referrals to commerce sites (your O2 website, for instance) is 20% and people who have seen an item on social media are 40% more likely to purchase it.
- The average amount per order that Pinterest shoppers spend is $140.00 – $180.00 and 60% of Pinterest users live in the United States.
- *(Stats are from Expanded Ramblings.com)
On Pinterest you’re able to repin images from other direct marketer’s boards onto your own boards which allows you to show different ways to use your product. Etiquette states that you may change the caption of the pin but you should never, never change the website redirect address.
This brings up the number one mistake that I’ve noticed that direct marketers make on Pinterest. They add their website to the caption of the pin but don’t add their website as their image source. If you are pinning from your own photos, this is a must because otherwise the image is not clickable. To add your website address, click on the image, click on the pencil (edit), place your website address to the box that says “source” and click on “save changes”. But remember, if there is another person’s website address listed in the source box, do not change it. This is for images that you add from your own files.
Hint: if you have a website and apply for Pinterest’s “Rich Pins”, (and are approved) you can add a price to the description of your item and it will then be featured in the “Gifts” category (thus giving more attention to your Pin). Just how Pinterest chooses to display pins in this category is still a bit of a mystery but it’s worth a try. Be sure to check your company’s terms of service to that posting prices on Pinterest is allowed.
Instagram is another social media platform that is being used by many direct marketers. It is a highly visual platform and allows for images or videos to be uploaded directly from your smartphone. Using Instagram, you could not only show images of your products but ways that they can be utilized.
The great thing about Instagram is that is utilizes hashtags in a big way. Unlike Twitter and Facebook where using more than 2 hashtags in a post is frowned upon, Instagrammers use many of them. So for instance, you could use many of your keywords as tags and even add your home town as a tag with each image you post.
Like all social media sites, Instagram is not just about selling; it’s about connecting, offering value and getting to know your connections. So do post other images on your Instagram account that show off all sides of your personality.
You are also able to repost an image that you find on Instagram by using the Repost app (iPhone) or PhotoRepost app (Android). The app will give credit to the original poster.
Because Instagram accepts 15 second videos, it’s also a great way to provide tips for your potential customers or for your team members.
So there you have it. Which platform is your favorite? Can you think of other ways to use these platforms?
Shelley Webb - Social Influence Expert
Having worked as a registered nurse for over 30 years, Shelley suddenly found herself as the soul caregiver to her father who suffered from dementia. She began writing a blog in order to support other caregivers and just by using the power of social media, rose from a simple nurse to an award winning blog owner, “social media rockstar”, sought after speaker and expert writer for Dr. Oz.
People began asking her if she had a publicity agent. Her response: “social media is my publicity agent”. Soon, requests for social media assistance came flooding in and so in January of 2012, Shelley founded On The Webb Social Media Services.
Born in Canada, raised in southern California, she currently resides in a small town in northern Idaho with 2 dogs, 2 tortoises and about 35 chickens.