ICBA Blog

The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing When You’re New to Direct Selling

Find out how to leverage your personal network with authenticity and transparency

One of the first challenges of direct selling, network marketing, or MLM is building a solid network base. Getting started can feel daunting because it often means tapping into your personal network of friends, family, and neighbors via social media. But how do you do that without seeming inauthentic? We’ve pulled together some tips for finding balance and keeping it real while promoting your business online.

Do treat your business like a business. Don’t blur boundaries.

Social media platforms offer the option of personal pages and business pages. While it can be tempting to manage only one page for all the things, you’ll have better success if you keep your personal posts separate from your business posts. Invite your personal network to like your business page and grow from there. Your network will respect you for setting up this boundary, too. You can cross boundaries on occasion by sharing a business post to your personal page just to remind folks about what you do. But posts about your kids’ sporting activities or your dog’s adorable antics should stay on your personal page. And your personal page shouldn’t be used as a tool for constant recruiting.

Do show the products you’re representing. Don’t just recruit.

Although direct selling and MLM businesses often grow through recruitment, recruiting is difficult if people don’t know anything about the products at the root. Don’t let the products themselves take a backseat in favor of your recruitment efforts. Showcase the products in your social media posts. What do you like about them? How have they helped you? What do others have to say? Learn to read the virtual room, too. If Jane from down the street buys X product but from you, but you know she loves her career as a high school principal, don’t attempt to recruit her just to recruit. Let her keep buying the product with no strings attached, and introduce her to new offers as they arise. Leave it at that.

Do engage with people online. Don’t DM, tag, or add.

Online social media engagement with your followers helps you grow your business, but it should happen organically, not by force. When you are engaging through posts, don’t make your content all about selling. Post about products, but also provide meaningful content that includes a valuable takeaway for your audience. If you sell skincare products, for example, a takeaway might be a video tutorial about four simple steps to simplify an evening routine.

Engagement shouldn’t involve sending a direct message (DM) spam-style to everyone in your network. Likewise, don’t craft a post and then tag a bunch of people you hope will be interested in your products or in joining your team. And don’t automatically add people to virtual groups or parties. An invite is a better approach that lets people opt-in if they’d like to.

Do remember that social media is a two-way street; don’t be fake

A personal social media presence is important in the field of direct selling and MLM. And even though you may keep your business and personal pages separate, you should still be just as active on your personal page as you are on your business page. After all, your personal connections will likely help you grow your business connections.

Use your personal page to like and comment on other people’s posts to let them know you’re thinking about them. If you only use social media apps to promote your business, people will see through that. Don’t take advantage of personal connection as an opportunity to sell, however. For example, if someone comments on a post about your recent vacation, don’t immediately jump in with a comment about how your business helped you afford the trip and that they should give it a try.

Be real in your personal posts. If you only share carefully staged images, your page will appear curated rather than authentic. Be careful about oversharing, however. Posting every minute or meal of your life, engaging in a comment war, or sharing inflammatory content can all reflect poorly on your personal online presence.