S4DS - Social Selling for Direct Selling: How and Why?

DIRECT SELLING BLOG

Most, if not all your independent sellers have a social media presence. And if they do not have, they should. But getting them enrolled with your brand and turning them into brand ambassadors is a little more complex. Today we want to walk you through how you can get your consultants to become social sellers and why.  

 

social selling cycle

 

In an era of omnichannel seamless experiences demanded by consumers, your social media brand presence is not negotiable and Direct Selling businesses are not an exception. Instead, you have a huge advantage compared to a lot of other retailers, you have a massive sales force that correctly optimized will become social media sellers and replicators of your messages. Generating both more income for themselves and ultimately increasing your sales. So do not hesitate, we are here to help you bring your sales force to the top and put you ahead of the social selling game:

 

How to get your consultants involved with Social Selling?

1. Establish a Branding

Branding is the intangible that defines the fundamentals of a brand for any strategic development, it is who you are, who you talk to and why you talk to them. Branding is not only an aspect of the business but determines how customers perceive it at every touchpoint. Branding is not only a logo, it is a marketing strategy, social engagement, sales process, contents, services, products and everything else.

These are the elements you must have to create a solid Branding or brand base:

  1. Brand history.
  2. Establish your Brand personality traits (persona and archetypes).
  3. Define your Brand message: Brand statements, Brand promise value, elevator pitch, tone of conversation and topics.
  4. Basic visual & operational requirements.
  5. Define the profile of your client, who is your customer, your user, and your influencer; these three roles are different, and all have an impact on the strategic planning process. All three roles can be the same person or not and that will define all the audience that is subject to your messages and the different channels that they are in.

Brand Foundation is the starting point to build a strong strategy of Social Selling.

To develop a Customer-Centric brand make sure you run these strategies:

  1. Write appealing storytelling that can be transversal to all your content and that your buyer persona can relate to.
  2. Think about your customer journey throughout the complete process of the Brand Foundation, so you can design it to fill up his needs in every stage.

Re-imagine your Brand as a customer would perceive it and how they will feel about it and react to it.

 

2. Build an Audience

Create your brand profiles in the social media that you have identified your audience posts and consume content.

Tip: Consider your audience, always your customers first, because your consultants are always first off your clients.[1] 

  •  Start by posting about your products, your business model, your characteristics, brand philosophy, ask people to follow your social media accounts and encourage your consultants and influencers to share your brand profile to stay up to date with you.
  • Pay for some social media ads to get new consultants to sign up.
  • Host some giveaways.

All of these strategies will get your message going, your audience growing and the expectations increasing about new launches, but they are by no means one-time efforts. These and more have to be part of your social media life as you continue to build the online following of your brand and your distributors.

 

3. Build a Content Factory

With a built in audience on your social media and significant distributors on your network, it is time to start nurturing your community so that they care about following you and find value in it. Give your audience of both consultants and customers a reason to pay attention to you. Make sure that you are telling interesting stories, sharing real stories about people in your network, events you attended, your employees, the benefits and before-and-after use of your products, but be very careful, all these have to “sell without selling”, all your content cannot scream “buy now”, because your audience would feel attacked, instead it has to be an honest value content and talks to the people’s reality and makes them feel part of your community.  Or no matter how large a following you have built, you'll end up getting lost in the noise. 

A content factory includes all the articles, blogs, photos, videos, presentations, graphics, audio and in general everything that your communications team produces, but you can think about them all like stories, stories that share your brand with all your representatives and your customers and get them excited about your brand.

Consider that you have to create a list of topics of content for your stories, content that is going to be produced by your own team or by each consultant strengthening your social media brand presence, consider your motto “create stories, not just share statements”:

  • Before and after experiences
  • Real testimonials of income generation
  • Success stories from your top consultants
  • Interviews
  • Community events
  • Production, ingredients, process stories
  • Your team
  • New product releases
  • Events hosted by you, like influencers brunch or launch in a mall
  • Participation in fairs and expositions
  • Brand Alliance Experiences

 

4. Build your Content Calendar

A lot of stories derive from real-life situations, but it does not mean that you should leave to destiny your communications plan. A calendar is as important as the creation of your stories, it is not only about what to share, but when to share it?

If you do not plan you will have days in which the amount of content would be overwhelming for your audience and other days that your social media will be dead, and the best strategy is to be consistent, so make sure to plan your calendar of content creation and share. This will also keep your consultants motivated to share on a consistent basis your content that you share because when the brand cares to produce consistent value content they do not have to worry about posting bad homemade videos or products pictures without good lighting. Your consultants will be more than happy to repost your carefully created beautiful content along with their daily stories, which gives you the perfect balance for social presence and leading to boosts in your sales.  

  • Make a list of events or milestones you want to share.
  • Develop a list of content you want to create from each.
  • Make a list of the pieces of content that will be produced.
  • Plan the distribution of those pieces on each channel.
  • Assign responsibilities.
  • Post.

 

5. Set a Budget

Social media is free but assuring that your audience sees your posts is not free. You need to make sure there is a marketing budget for social media, to “boost” posts, share your content with people that will more likely be interested, get more followers, and for posts that encourage people to purchase your new product or a new promotion. 

TIP: Set a budget for different types of contents of different channels. Identify the best content to promote and the best timing for each. 

 

6. Put everything to action in the company

Ok, you have established your brand, define your audience, built your profiles, started to build your audience, planned your content calendar, made a calendar of events/milestones for at least the upcoming couple of months, and set your budget. Now, you can start to set everything in motion.

Start getting the social selling circle going, with your audience now experiencing content online to purchase and interact with your products offline, which is the ultimate objective of your social selling process. If you manage to share your online experience to the real world when they receive their products, they will come back for more online experiences, and that is the social media consumption cycle to aim for.

 

7. Provide your consultants with the right Training

Until now, it all sounds like we are telling you everything you need to do inside your company to get along this trend instead of telling you about what to ask your consultants to do. Simple, it all starts from the core of your business, and it all has to come from you before it impacts your consultants enough for them to want to share your content, fill their social media with your brand and become micro-influencers of your message with their networks. 

All you have built to this point to get your social selling cycle going and the last thing to provide your consultants with is with more content, not to replicate, but to understand how to get more from spreading your message. Share through your internal communication channels:

  • How they will get more income from more engagement of their networks with their social media.
  • How to offer customer service in social media channels.
  • How to deal with upset customers tagging them and posting in their profiles.
  • How to use the updates and new functionalities that the social media websites offer.

 

Why your consultants should be doing Social Selling:

According to We are social in their last Digitel 202 report, “Social networking takes up nearly a quarter of all time spent online and reaches more than 49% of all Internet users”. Engaging with your target audience on any level and on any stage of the customer cycle via social media, whether for business development or promoting your brand, that is social selling, which makes it a trend that you and your consultants are part of whether you are using it efficiently or not. We have covered how to get your consultants in your social selling trend, now we want to simplify for you why to get them along in this:

  • Social Selling. High profitability, low cost:

You already have a sales force, hundreds or even thousands of people are out there selling your product as a side business or as their main activity, in either case, their social media is a sales channel that they can use, for free, to reach all the people in their network without worrying if they are close enough for a visit or far enough that they do not even have to have a relationship in which they meet in person to purchase from them. 

  • Social Selling, Building Your Brand Reputation: 

Has your marketing team asked for more budget so they can use influencers’ marketing? If your answer is yes, then your company can benefit from the social media presence that micro-communities generate, and with your consultants sharing your content, telling others how to make money with your business, it not only brings new consultants, it sells more. 

  • Social Selling in Direct Selling, Improving Customer Support:

You should not have to deal with all your support from the corporate, if you have in place a working social selling cycle and your consultants trained and involved with your message, your brand, and your training, they will offer great customer support to their clients through their own social media, using the closer relationships they have to also guarantee more loyal clients.

  • Your clients are already in Social Media:

You still need more reasons, well, here is a good one: Your clients are already on social media, and your consultants too. They are already checking your competitors online before going to the store, they are already commenting, liking and sharing other brands’ content, they are already subject to the ads of other companies, so why not yours?

 

S4DS Software for the implementation of Social Selling in your Direct Selling Company

We do not have too much more to say today, there are great advantages for your business in social selling, let us be the tool to get the most out of this trend with our:

Do you have any questions? Let’s answer them, get a Free Guided Demo of our solution here:

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Related Content:

Grow your Direct Selling Business with these Social Selling Tips

Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Social Selling in Direct Selling

Content Factory Management to boost Social Selling

Creating Customer Centric content to get more Social Sellers

Understanding ROI in Social Selling with Influencer Marketing

Direct Selling, Adopting new Social Selling Practices


             
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