In my past blogging/consultation life, I helped women business owners be effective on social media. I found that a lot of people that asked me for help are those that work from home as a “consultant” or “rep” for a Multi-Level Marking (MLM) company.
Here is my short and condensed list of things that you definitely should NOT do if you want to go far with your business, MLM or not. Before you read them, know that my advice may very well fly in the face of any training you’ve received from your up-line. They are in the business of helping you make sales. I, however, am in the business of helping you be effective on social media, in a way that makes people trust you rather than unfollow you.
1. Only post about your business and post about it often.
What a lot of MLM women forget is that a lot, let me repeat, a LOT of women are selling products as part of a MLM company. There’s the old classics like Avon, Mary Kay and Pampered Chef, but there also reps selling ItWorks! Jamberry Nails, Origami, Owl, Young Living Essential Oils, doTerra Essential Oils, 31 Bags, and numerous health-related products. As I wrote out that list I thought of at least 20 people that show up in my Facebook feed on a regular basis that sell each of those products. I am not unique. If I have a large number of friends on Facebook who sell products, you can assume that the people you are trying to sell to on social media ALSO have tons of friends who are trying to sell to them. Remember, people are not on social media to do business with you. If they are seeing too many posts by too many people about MLM products, they may just hide everyone’s posts. I promise you, if you post about your product too much, you will get unfollowed, possibly unfriended, and if enough people mark your posts as spam you can be put in Facebook jail. (True story, this happened to someone I know!)
2. Copy the tactics you see other reps from your business using and do the exact same thing.
A few weeks ago, it seemed a certain MLM had told it’s sellers that a great thing to do was to start a “party” in a private Facebook group then add a ton of people to that “party.” Going along with point #1, because I am friends with so many people who are part of a MLM business, I think I was added to 3 different groups of the same MLM in the same day! Two of those came from people I rarely talk to or interact with so I was left wondering why they felt I would even want to be a part of their private Facebook group. Speaking of Facebook groups . . .
3. Add people to a private Facebook group without their permission.
I’m actually a big fan of using Facebook groups and I used to run one for women who want to talk about social media. Facebook groups, when done well, can be a very effective tool for growing your business. However, you should never, ever add someone to a Facebook group without their permission. Period. How would you feel if you were walking along with some girlfriends and one of them shoves you all into a room, locks the door and starts selling a product to you? Just because there are balloons and food there doesn’t remove the creepy factor, right? Many people have online parties and use Facebook to do so. That’s great. I personally hate them, and will probably never attend one, but I know they are useful. Host a Facebook party, and invite people to come. But DON’T start a Facebook group, call it a party, and then add people to it without their permission.
4. Private Message people you rarely talk to about a product you want to sell them.
I recently was contacted by someone I haven’t talked to in at least 10 years. We live in different states, and while we are Facebook friends, we don’t interact with each other on Facebook. She sent me a private message (along with 20 other people . . . another no-no) talking about her family’s financial goals and how we could help her reach that goal by buying some of the products she was selling. First of all, I think it’s tacky to ask people to help you meet your own personal financial goal, especially if it’s “we’re saving for a big family trip!” Online or in person, this is just tacky. Secondly, when you approach someone you rarely or never talk to about buying your product, you are sending a message to them that says, “I’m only interested in you for what you can do for me.” Is this the message you want to be sending “friends” and family?
5. After reading a status update about an issue a person is going through, Private Message them with info on how your product can help them.
Sometime last winter, I posted on Facebook about an ear infection one of my kids was having. Within the hour I’d received a private message on Facebook from someone I hadn’t talked to in many many years. She went on to tell me how the oils she uses and sells have helped her own kids with ear infections, colds, sore throats, you name it, they have solved her kid’s health woes. Now, this in and of itself is not necessarily “bad” marketing, but what made it bad is it was impersonal. She did not have a relationship with me, so her sales pitch read like a sales pitch. And the clincher? She’d obviously done this before because she’d copied and pasted from another private message she had sent to someone else. However, when she copied it into my message, she forgot to delete the top part that said, “Dear Lauren, I’m so sorry to hear about the health issues your kids have been having lately!” Whoops! Now it really did feel like she didn’t care about me at all, just selling me her product.
Please, please, please remember that people aren’t on social media to do business with you! I think I heard Amy Porterfield say this first, but it’s been said elsewhere and it’s so true. People are on Facebook to catch up with friends, like pictures and maybe even read articles. When you are constantly giving people a sales pitch, you are turning them off to you, losing their trust, and ultimately, losing a potential sale. What other things do you think MLM women should never do on Facebook?