2 Sneaky Ways to Use Social Media to Get More Customers
We've talked a lot about your content in the last couple of months: How to create it, where to find inspiration for it, and tips on how to stay consistent with posting it. But you know what's more important than the words and pictures you post?
Being social! Go figure!
If your business is all virtual, how you actively engage with social media is essential.
Posting content is not actively engaging. Content is how the world knows you exist, but what you do on the rest of social media is how your audience decides if they want to work with you or not.
At the end of the day, our goal as direct sales consultants is to convert our audience into eventual customers or recruits. Ironically, getting more "YES" involves effort that has nothing to do with selling the perks of your business and all to do with your social cachet!
As it turns out, being liked is important. But don't fret - you don't need to become Miss America to increase your likability online.
In this article, I'll explain two ways to increase your social prestige so that you turn low social media engagement into a gold mine!
Strategy #1 - Be a friend
When procrastinating, I scroll on Facebook! Can you relate?
One of the things I started doing to get more customers was actively listening to what everyone else was saying online. Instead of talking at people or apathetically scrolling, I made an effort to ask questions, comment on posts with more than a couple of words, and share my thoughts and opinions on others' content.
I noticed from this practice that after a while, leads that I thought were a bust because they stopped responding had started reaching out again. At first, I wasn't sure why this was the case. I hadn't changed any other part of my system except making an effort to be a better "friend" on social media.
Then it dawned on me - people are more receptive when they feel heard. It's an obvious statement, but oddly not something most people are very good at undertaking.
Fortunately, it's a skill that can develop with practice.
In a world where everyone is shouting out their thoughts and ideas, hoping others will relate to and validate them, listening is rare!
People will want to talk to you when you demonstrate you are listening! And if you have the superpower of influencing others to engage, you can sell to and recruit those who are a good fit for your company!
So how do you become a better social media "friend" and demonstrate that you are actively listening?
Well, it's as easy as leaving a comment.
Say you see a post about a wedding anniversary; instead of skimming and liking it, read the entire post and comment underneath with at least a complete sentence. Then, when you are thoughtful with your response, your name will stick out to them. For example, saying, "Happy Anniversary! Your dress was so beautiful" or "You two look so happy! What's your secret!?" will make their day. They'll associate you with that positive feeling, and that's a powerful tool!
If you did this every time that person posted something important to them, the positive association would grow stronger each time you made their day. Then the next time you asked if they would like to book a party from you or be a part of your VIP Group, they would likely agree happily because they associate anything to do with you as something good for them.
See how the strategy of being a better friend on social media could give your business new life?
The more you give to your warm network, the people you are directly connected to on social media, the more they will give back to you.
Every day there are posts just like this: engagement announcements, graduations, work promotions, etc. You scroll through Facebook already, so why not make it a habit that impacts your business' success?
If you feel intimidated by the idea of showing strangers that you are actively hearing them, even if it's from the safety of your phone, remember that this is a skill like anything else, and practice makes perfect.
Here are some simple rules to abide by when starting this practice!
- Avoid Politics. Avoiding political posts or debates keeps you from alienating your customer base. You deal with all creeds of life. You don't want to limit who is willing to work with you.
- Be kind and supportive. Encourage your warm network's significant life milestones. It's important to know the difference between being kind and positive. In recent years, spinning things in a positive light has left a bad taste in the mouths of the online community. Avoid phrases like "things always happen for a reason, or "You'll be stronger for it."
- Ask questions. It's essential to continue a conversation in the comments. The more in-depth your exchanges are, the more others will acknowledge you as a "friend" who is hearing them.
- Affirm how someone is feeling. In the same vein as being supportive, validating someone's feelings is a powerful practice. It's as simple as regurgitating parts of the story back to the original poster while adding you understand how they feel. It'll be immensely appreciated. Avoid implying anyone is wrong or misguided when engaging in online conversations. For example, if someone posts a story that has them upset, adding below, "that sounds like such a frustrating situation! Hang in there!" will do a lot in helping that person feel connected to you.
- Talk to others the way you would like to be spoken to. The golden rule is golden for a reason. When you take the time to think about how you would feel if someone posted that underneath your post, you are more likely to leave something valuable for that person.
How to utilize Facebook’s Unfollow Feature
Okay! So now you're ready to start being a better "friend" on social media and use your scrolling time to get more customers - but your newsfeed is filled with fellow consultants. So you might be asking - If I interact with their content this way will I see the same results?
The answer is yes & no!
Yes, because Facebook favors the sociable. No, because you won't be expanding your lead pool.
The more you have a back & forth exchange with others on Facebook, encouraging people to keep returning to their site, the more the algorithm rewards you.
What this means is when Facebook notices that others are engaging with you on their platform, the algorithm starts populating your content to the top to be seen.
If you've recently been frustrated with how limiting Facebook has become for conducting your business, either because fewer people are seeing your content or your scheduled posts aren't going through, it could be because the algorithm has categorized your profile as underperforming in keeping people on their site.
So I say, Yes, you will see results even if you practice active listening only amongst fellow consultants because ANY interaction is better than none. And if you are running into these problems, starting in a community you are already comfortable with is a great start.
Unfortunately, the way the Facebook algorithm works has turned the app's newsfeed into a social hierarchy based on who you are personally engaging with the most. So, if you interact the most with fellow consultants, you will likely see only consultant posts. As a result, you limit your ability to use the practice I showed you to grow your business because you're not creating connections with new leads.
So how do you ensure your newsfeed is filled with members of your warm network who are leads and not fellow consultants?
Go through your entire friend list on Facebook and unfollow anyone who is a consultant.
To unfollow someone is not the same thing as unfriending them. When you unfollow a friend on Facebook, they still have access to everything you post. Their posts just won't populate your newsfeed anymore, allowing you to clean up your feed and be more selective about who gets your scrolling attention.
As you're going through your friend list to see who is a consultant versus a potential lead, an easy way to distinguish them if they don't have clear indications on their profile is to see how many mutual friends in the business they have with you. If it's more than one, then it's a safe bet they are also a consultant.
It used to be that you could create specific lists of people, i.e., college friends vs. consultants. And Facebook would organize your newsfeed only to see content from those particular people in your created list. Now, you only have the option of limiting what appears on your main newsfeed, but custom Friend Lists are still an excellent tool for keeping yourself organized.
As you're unfollowing consultants, you can add them to a custom list you can reference later. You should also create a Lead Custom List. Once you begin unfollowing consultants, you'll still want to make the extra effort to engage with members in your warm network who are leads so that Facebook knows to start populating their content onto your feed.
Going in this direction takes time, but it does allow you to do a much-needed 'deep cleaning' of your friends list without hurting anyone's feelings!
Facebook's Unfollow Feature lets you control what kind of content you see daily. You don't realize it, but what you consume online does affect your day. Plus, when you see fewer consultant-centered posts, you will realize that there's a big world to share your products with, and you'll be newly motivated!
If going through your entire Friends List is overwhelming, you can always clean up your feed by scrolling through it and unfollowing anyone posting consultant-related content. It'll have the same effect, but it might take a little longer.
Strategy #2 - Using Social Proof to elevate your social prestige!
Social proof is the concept of how when others have already confirmed the value of something, we are more likely to consider it valid or worth our time and resources. It's a form of categorization that we use to make decisions.
Essentially, when people see that others book parties and buy products from you, the likelihood of them saying YES increases. They are less likely to be skeptical when approached because they have experienced proof from their social network that you are providing value. Surrounding your business with social proof will do a lot of preemptive work for you since you will spend less time convincing leads to work with you and more time doing the work.
The easiest way to gain social proof is to have past hosts tag you in posts where they use the products you sold. They do not need to detail why they love the product. They just need to show they are using it and that you are the one who provided it.
This does two things:
First, it improves the reputability of your business and your corporate company. Members of that host's warm network that may not know anything about your company will now be exposed to it, so the next time they come in contact, they'll have a positive association. Second, when you are tagged in others' posts, you increase your odds of Facebook's algorithm favoring you and your content.
When hosts tag you in their content, it proves to others that you are someone worthwhile to work with and that your past hosts are satisfied with their experience. It also raises your social prestige because you're not talking about yourself; others are doing it for you. You are more credible with someone else's endorsement.
Having posts you are tagged in by others on your profile will help you come across as more popular! Others will notice, and when you reach out, they'll be excited to respond because of your social proof.
If your hosts aren't big social butterflies and don't feel comfortable posting on their walls, encourage them to share how they use their products in your VIP group. Facebook rewards you when others post in groups you've created that start conversation. Therefore, the more others post in your group, the more the content from it will be shown to its members. This same logic applies when you are hosting virtual parties. Many host coaching systems recommend giving your host daily content to share in the group to increase the odds of party guests being exposed to your template.
Changing your VIP Group culture to a space where your members share more takes time. You can update your group description to let members know posting their content is encouraged.
You can also encourage posting in your VIP group by announcing a drawing, where anyone who posts with their favorite product will be entered to win a product prize. This creates excitement and incentive.
How to integrate social proof into your virtual party systems:
Add posts in your party template reminding guests and hosts to tag you when they receive their order.
Schedule them ahead of time so you don't forget.
Then, add to your host coaching system to follow up with customers who placed an order a week later. Send them a customer service-oriented message, asking how they like their products and if there is anything you can help them with. If they respond with excitement, thank them and ask if they would make a post on their profile and tag you in it. Mention that you love seeing your customers happy with their products, and so does your community.
You won't get everyone to comply with the request, but you only need a small but consistent amount of customers to endorse you publicly to see results.
These strategies take time to reap their benefits, but it's worth the wait. When you are well-liked by your warm network and Facebook's algorithm, your business will run like a well-oiled machine!
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