Facebook: A New Era in Building Relationships

Click here to order the April 2015 issue in which this article appeared.

Back in 2003, one of the most successful network marketing distributors of all-time told us, “If someone could figure out how to build relationships online, they would build the largest team of distributors in the history of network marketing… because no other medium can match the speed with which it informs people.”

Facebook entered the scene one year later in 2004, and that distributor’s remarks have proven true. Facebook connects more than 1.35 billion people around the world and is five times more popular than the next most popular social network. In fact, it makes building relationships easier than any other social site.

Already you can stay more in touch with your mother, father, brother, sister, cousins and friends with Facebook than through any other communication method. While you share pictures and videos your nuclear family and extended family are reunited. Friends all over the world grow closer. Facebook pulls everyone into the same experience.

How does this relate to your business? The more your independent distributors share your products, the greater your company’s success will be. Since product sharing is one of the most important aspects of your business, wouldn’t it make sense for your distributors to join the community with the most people and the easiest ways for them to connect with others? That’s why we believe they should be active on Facebook. After meeting with and gathering input from thousands of independent distributors, we put together a few tips to help you coach your field on how to best utilize Facebook.

Here are four tips to help your distributors be successful on Facebook:

1. Facebook Is Part of the Strategy, Not the Whole Strategy

If Facebook is a distributor’s only strategy, it will fail. When distributors use it as part of a bigger strategy, it helps them develop deep, meaningful relationships with people who become customers and distributors.

Developing new relationships with people on Facebook is great, but personal contact is still key—relationships grow when people speak face-to-face, on the phone and at live events.

And relationships are wonderful, but people still need to experience the products. If your distributors aren’t passionate about the network marketing profession, your company or your products, how can they excite others on Facebook? They can’t.

Network marketing is a people business. You have to genuinely care about people. If your distributors don’t enjoy making new friends, they won’t be very good at it on Facebook either. Have you ever had a distributor get a friend excited only to have that friend join another company because the distributor gave way too much detail about your company and product? Of course, it happens every day. If your distributors don’t have strong communication skills then they’ll talk too much on Facebook as well.

Takeaway: Mastering the basic, in-person skills of a network marketing professional helps you become more effective on Facebook.

2. Facebook Group Takes Distributor Culture Online

Distributors can move mountains when they belong to a group of passionate people who are working toward the same goals and supporting each other every day. Facebook Group is a tool that can empower leaders in the field to work with every distributor.

For example, let’s say Trisha joins your company and is the only distributor in Phoenix. She’s excited about the new opportunity, but has no experience with network marketing. Her direct upline lacks the leadership to help, so she quits within a month. What if Trisha could have worked directly with corporate and the strongest leader in the upline? That’s what you can make available to your downline with a Facebook Group.

Here’s how a Facebook Group works:

Do you have any really excited distributors? They can immediately share their passion with everyone, and that enthusiasm spreads virally.

Are any of your distributors frustrated? They can share their feelings with everyone so that others can lift them up and provide advice and tips that they can use.

Do any of your distributors have questions? They can ask everyone and get answers quickly to resolve any obstacles in their way.

Here are some tips to share with your independent distributors:

Advise your distributors to check into the group several times a week. They should always like other distributors’ posts. They should reserve commenting for when they believe they have something meaningful to share. They can post new material several times a week, such as a question, words of motivation, pictures or videos. Encourage them to be creative and be social. A Facebook Group is as powerful as a live event, but it happens 24 hours a day! Run correctly, it can become the cornerstone of a distributor’s Facebook success.

Takeaway: Facebook Group creates support for every distributor.

3. Your Facebook Profile Is Who You Are Online

When people know, like and trust your distributors, they’re more willing to sample products, become a customer and share the products with friends. With their profile picture, cover image and “About” section, distributors can become known, liked and trusted on Facebook.

Here’s how a Facebook Profile works:

Leanne is contacted by one of your distributors on Facebook named Sarah about trying a sample of your company’s product. Leanne notices Sarah’s big smile on her profile picture, so she decides to visit her Facebook Profile. While on the profile, Leanne smiles because she sees Sarah’s cover image of three gorgeous little girls playing outside. At this point, Leanne knows and likes Sarah. She decides to click on Sarah’s “About” section and read her work history, where she went to high school, favorite books and movies, and much more. Sarah is an open book to her Facebook friends. Trust is created and Leanne responds to Sarah’s message by saying, “Sure! Send me a sample. Sounds like something my family and I would enjoy.”

Mastering the basic, in-person skills of a network marketing professional helps you become more effective on Facebook.

Here are some tips to share with your distributors:

Coach your distributors to understand that their profile picture is the first impression given to others on Facebook.  Since it’s small, encourage them to use a close-up. Since potential customers and recruits will be doing business with the distributor, not their spouse or pet—encourage them to make it a picture of just them.

The cover image is another opportunity for the distributor to give people a snapshot of his or her life and personality. Encourage distributors to constantly change it to keep it current with their lives and business. There are many opportunities in utilizing the cover image to create strong and lasting impressions. For example, pictures of the kids create a family-oriented impression. Photos of vacations and travel can inspire others. Displaying a reward or recognition can be encouraging to others who are reaching for the same goals. Everyone’s life is ever-evolving, and this is the place to share it.

The “About” section on Facebook is the most overlooked but powerful part of the profile. Encourage your distributors to fill it out completely; it’s like a personal and business resume. It’s an opportunity to be more credible and provide more personal details. A blank “About” section can actually limit how well a person connects to others on Facebook, since it tells people the distributor is not interested in developing relationships. A completed one says the person is open and has nothing to hide. Trust builds quickly when people are open with one other.

Takeaway: A complete Facebook Profile gets you known, liked and trusted.

4. Why It’s Critical to Stay in Touch with Friends on Facebook

Distributors succeed when they stay in touch until their friends are ready to become customers or distributors. And Facebook makes it easy to stay in touch.

On Facebook, post about personal stuff 80 percent of the time, and post about business matters the other 20 percent.

Here’s how that works:

Your distributor, Tom, offers to share the products with his friend, Sherry. She declines. Over the next two months, Sherry sees many personal and business posts from Tom. They like and comment on each other’s posts. Two months after Tom initially shared the products with her, she begins to be interested. Since they stayed in touch on Facebook, Sherry reaches out to Tom rather than another distributor. Tom now has a new customer and potential new distributor. If Tom didn’t stay in touch with Sherry, she might have found a different distributor, or even an alternative product.

Tips to share with your distributors:

There are two ways of staying in touch on Facebook:

  • Posting quality content and
  • Interacting with friends’ posts.

Teach your independent distributors that posting quality content is an art. They must balance business posts and personal posts. Too much of either and they could fail. If they can learn correct balance though, they can greatly increase success for themselves. 

As a general rule, personal posts should be about 80 percent of all posts. People do business with the people they’re closest to, so showing “real life” can be very important on Facebook.  Distributors should post about business matters the other
20 percent.

Facebook is very interactive, and activity is generated by activity. The more a distributor interacts with friends, the more they’ll interact in return. This also causes Facebook to show the business posts in their Newsfeed. More importantly, a distributor’s friends will see him or her as a real friend, not someone who’s just trying to sell products. Comments on friends’ posts should be from the heart. As a caution, remind distributors that many people will see whatever it is they write on their pages, so they should always be responsible and respectful.

Takeaway: Staying in touch with friends on Facebook is efficient and builds deeper relationships than all other follow-up methods.

In our research, we found that many distributors who make six- and seven-figure incomes openly share the impact Facebook has had on their businesses. Long gone are the days of wondering whether Facebook is a tool that helps distributors. It’s definitely time for you to incorporate Facebook as part of your company strategy and turn these tips into actionable consistent behavior for your field.

Set up a weekly webinar with your field teaching strategy, and share your computer screen so they get it by watching you navigate Facebook the right way. Go the extra mile, by having a leaders only call to discuss high-level strategy to support their teams. Nothing beats face-to-face, so during your live events conduct break-out sessions focusing on social media problem areas for improvement. Teach these ideas to the field, and watch their success—and ultimately your success—continue to grow.

Jim Lupkin and Brian CarterJim Lupkin and Brian Carter are the authors of Network Marketing For Facebook. Lupkin is a social media expert as it pertains to network marketing, and Carter is a consultant, author and keynote speaker with expertise in digital marketing and social media strategies.

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