Reviving a dead Facebook group (or trying to)? Wondering which social channels you need to be on? Every month, we pull 3-5 questions from our listeners and answer them live on the podcast, and this month we have some great questions!!
Brenda: Hey everybody! Welcome to another episode of Direct Sales Social Marketing with Sassy Suite. I’m Brenda Ster and joining me, as always, is the delightful and effervescent Windy Lawson. Hi Windy!
Windy: Hi Brenda! We’re back y’all! We’re back!
Brenda: We’re back! One of these days, we’re gonna get consistent and post every single week, it’s gonna be amazing. Actually, I think we maybe do, but we just record them so sporadically I don’t know that we actually – we record big chunks- see this is…Let’s talk about just one little tip for one hot second. We talk about batching our tasks, so when Windy and I record podcasts, we literally record three or four of them at one time, so then they get scheduled out over the next several weeks, so we are – what are we doing? Maximizing our time and efficiency!
Brenda: So even though we don’t record them very often, I know you guys hear them more frequently than we record them.
Windy: Right! Exactly.
Brenda: Anyway! So today is one of our favorite episodes – Ask the Suite! And this is our series, we do Ask the Suite once a month on our podcast. It’s all about listener questions!
Windy: Hey, let’s do that! So Brenda, Sarah from California asks — this is a really good question — “My Facebook group is dead! I have over 3,000 people in it, but hardly anyone comments unless I’m doing a giveaway. I can’t keep doing giveaways, every week.” Girl, no you can’t! “How do I get people to see what I post?”
Brenda: Oh, Sarah from California… We are familiar with this particular problem. Here’s what’s happened. She has 3,000 in her group, she didn’t specifically indicate what she sells, when she submitted question. So I don’t know what kind of group it is, but what she’s basically done is trained people to respond only on giveaways. So, what she’s really doing is kind of… probably over-promoting or over-selling or trained them for the discount. So, Sarah, this is gonna be a little tricky, because we really have to work on retraining your community for new engagement. There’s a couple of strategies here. First of all, we have to understand how Facebook works. Now, Sarah indicated specifically, it was a Facebook group. So Facebook, the majority of content that people consume on Facebook is shown to them in their news feed. Facebook actually told Windy and I, on a live call, an actual call with Facebook, that 80% of content is consumed in the news feed — meaning that people are not going to your groups and pages – they’re simply seeing what Facebook shows them. And what Facebook shows them is high engagement content. So we have a bit of a dysfunctional cycle going here, because the high engagement content in Sarah’s group is things that is natively a giveaway, and then Facebook is saying, “Oh, high engagement stuff, I’ll post it out to more news feeds.” So what we really need to work on is how do we retrain for engagement? First thing Sarah, that I going to recommend you do, is you’re going to want to evaluate where your deadweight is – You’ve got 3,000 people in your group and I’m taking a wild guess that a good chunk of them never engaged on anything. So you’re going to want to do some analysis on where your deadweight is and shrink that 3,000 person base. And I know that sounds really scary, because you’re like, “Well, but wait – those are 3,000 people. I don’t wanna draw out my community.” Here’s the thing- Windy, what’s the problem here? 3,000 people aren’t buying, right?
Brenda: 3,000 people —
Windy: 3,000 people aren’t doing anything…
Windy: They are not saying anything…
Windy: They are not engaging anything, they’re not- they don’t even see it! And Facebook is saying, when she posts, when Sarah posts something and no one interacts, Facebook says, “Oh no one likes this. I’m not gonna push it out as much.”
Brenda: “I don’t wanna push it out to more people.” So I think we have a challenge, in that we probably have an over-fished community. We have a little bit of a dead pond, so we need to shrink the pond a little bit, before we can work on re-training and bringing in some new fish, to bring in my fishing metaphors! So once we do some analysis on deadweight, maybe cleaning up that group a little bit, shaking up some deadweight. The next thing we can work on is re-training and first of all, stop doing giveaway posts and then see if we can’t work on retraining and content engagement. So that’s gonna be looking at low-risk content. So it might be opinion-based content, things that are non-controversial, things that are not a big ask. But we want get people engaging, as they get to know you through personality content and bringing the engagement back, as we would slowly work to retrain them. The third thing we’re gonna then look at Sarah, is funnels. So we’ve talked about cleaning up your deadweight, working on retraining, and the third thing is your funnels: where are you bringing in new people? So your new people are gonna come from a variety of different sources: they’re gonna come from your in-person business, they’re gonna come from follow-up, they’re gonna come from literally asking people to join, and then they’re gonna come from your social channels. So they’re gonna come from Instagram, or Pinterest, or anywhere else on social media where you may have a presence. And you want to make sure you are creating a good call to action and a good value proposition, or lead magnet, of why somebody would wanna come to in your community. So there’s three major activities here. If you have a really, really, really dead group, you want to analyze the community you have — clean up a little bit. Trim sort of, trim the bushes so the flowers can grow, work on re-training content and then work on brand new funnels to keep the, keep the pond growing. I’m mixing all kinds of metaphors: flowers and fish and ponds and pruning. I don’t even know, but there you go. So, so Sarah- a little bit the last part of your question was, how do I get people to see what I post? There is not a magical formula that’s going to push your content out into news feeds. It is truly driven by engagement, so we need to work on building engagement on the things that people will engage on, that doesn’t cost you. And that’s gonna be personality, relationship, and more value-centric content to the — to the group member.
Brenda: Good question!
Windy: Sarah, just keep on keeping on! Well, don’t keep doing…
Brenda: Keep on keeping on…
Windy: Don’t give up, right?
Brenda: Don’t give up!
Windy: …because people aren’t interacting, that means that it doesn’t work, that’s is not the case!
Brenda: Right! Now, let me, let me side-bar for just one second and climb up on my soapbox, because you know how much I love a good soapbox.
Windy: That’s our speciality!
Brenda: It sort of is!
Windy: Sidebars and soapboxes!
Brenda: Sidebars and soapboxes — that should be the name of our new blog and new podcast. Sidebars and Soapboxes! Okay, so here’s an interesting challenge — Sarah specifically said, her Facebook group was dead, with over 3,000 people. The other, the other question, the underlying question is: how did her group get to that size and how did it get dead in the first place?
Brenda: Now Sarah didn’t specifically ask that, but I’m gonna answer that question anyway. And I’m gonna talk about how we end up with big communities that are dead.
Windy: I know!
Brenda: I think this is important, Windy you know the answer to this one.
Windy: I know, I know where they all came from.
Brenda: Tell me where?
Windy: Brenda, they all came from loops! They came from loops.
Brenda: They probably came from loops. Now, those of you that are in inventory-based clothing companies, there are things that are considered loops: follow this train, join all of these groups to see if you can win a prize! The challenge with those is there a very, very short-term. They’re very, very short-term and they’re very incentive-driven, they’re not relationship-driven joins, they’re incentive-driven joins. So what I mean by that, is if Windy joins my group and she simply here because she’s trying to win a prize — I have no relationship with Windy, she joins, she peaks at my stuff, and then she goes dormant. She disappears, because she doesn’t — she forgets she’s in my group. I don’t have a relationship with her and she literally kinda turns into deadweight — almost immediately. So people who do a lot of loops, they can see an uptake in sales, in a very immediate short-term, because people who do loops, may, you know, Windy, who joins my group and she peaks at my products for sale and says, “Oh I saw this thing, I’m gonna grab it”, but then almost immediately drops off a cliff and turns into deadweight. So, I think there’s an underlying challenge there in how Sarah got a big group. It’s dead in the first place, so I wanted to address, I think it’s an important sort of underlying point of understanding that social psychology.
Windy: Yeah, great…
Brenda: So okay, climbing down off my soapbox — over to you, Windy! Hey, that was a small soapbox for today.
Windy: You know, you mentioned something, which in your response to Sarah that is gonna play in perfectly with the next question we have, which is from Becky from New York!
Windy: You were talking about funnel strategy…
Brenda: I was.
Windy: And here’s Becky’s question: “I’m on Facebook, Instagram, The Twitters”, – she said the Twitters. “…The Twitters, and Pinterest. I’ve tried streamlining my work, so when I post on Instagram, it automatically posts on Facebook and Twitter. But I’m spending so much time on social media, I feel like that’s all I do. What are better ways to handle all the posting I have to do every day?”.
Brenda: Okay, great question. So, Becky is basically saying: I have a social strategy, I’m on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. My first respon-, my first question for Becky is: Which channel is your ideal customer on? And which channel are you getting the highest yield on? Because right now, what I hear is, “I’m average on four channels, versus being exceptional on two.” So I think that we may have an opportunity to streamline and see which channels you may want to cut back on, to get some efficiency and consistency in the posting schedules. And then look for the tools that are gonna help automate that. Now the other challenge is, is that each of those applications that Becky mentioned — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest — have different native sizing. So the things that post on Facebook, may not be optimally sized for the native feed on Instagram, or Twitter, or Pinterest. So the application itself may not be saying, “Oh this is really not the right size image, so I’m not gonna push it out to the news feeds. Because it came in from a different source, it wasn’t natively posted, it wasn’t natively sized. So we may wanna look at the analytics on each of those channels, Becky, and I would start with looking at your data and saying — what are your insights telling you? Are you getting any action there? Is there funnel that, is there a funnel that’s working from Instagram, to Facebook; or Pinterest to your group, or wherever you’re trying to get people to go? Are the funnels working? And then really kind of hone in and where we can focus on streamlining by not necessarily streamlining the work, but literally streamlining the channels. Are you… do you need to be on all four? Is your ideal customer on all four, or are you posting just to post?
Windy: Such a good point, Brenda. Because so many people when they start out, they feel like, “I have to be everywhere. I have to have this big net so everyone can find me everywhere.” And what happens is, if we end up being average, or even below average on one of those channels — not only is it not helping us, it’s actually hurting us.
Brenda: Right, exactly. So that’s — that’s a little bit of a catch-22 here. So, you know I think Becky’s question is a really great question and we all think we have to be everywhere. But if you’re not getting engagement somewhere, is it really serving your goal, versus putting more effort and attention where you have a better opportunity to get community going. For example, in the Suite, we focus nearly all of our time and energy on Facebook. We have Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, but they are much smaller presences and we spend proportionally lower time there, because our community and our ideal client is primarily Facebook-centric. So we recognize that. Not that we’re not on Twitter, but we don’t spend one-quarter of all of our time there. We spend probably, you know, one-tenth of our time there or less. So we make the judgment call based on where we’re gonna have the highest yield and return.
Brenda: Okay, Windy, I have a question for you. Anonymous, from Anonymous, USA. She did not include her name, or location. I do not know who this is from. She says, “I just started my company, and I don’t even know where to start. What should I focus on right now?” Well, does this not sound like everybody’s very first question? I get my pretty box of stuff, what do I do now?
Windy: What do I do now? Okay, so I’m first thing I’m gonna do, is I’m gonna give you a, “What Not To Do.” What you do not want to do is, become just a sales person for the brand that you’re representing. Or if I’m not sure, I don’t know if this is a direct sales company, or if she started started, like started a company, if she’s in business…
Windy: If Anonymous is in business for herself, but one of the things, myself included — Brenda, I’m sure you did the same thing — when we first got involved with our very first direct sales company, we did as we changed our profile picture on Facebook to the company logo, and we started spamming our news feed with all the imagery from the company.
Brenda: Right! All the images on Day One!
Windy: Right, because-
Brenda: Look at all my pretty things!
Windy: We had to make sure that every single person that knew us, in any capacity, knew that we were now their person for that company. And that’s not — that’s not sustainable. That won’t last. People do — anonymous, people do business with people that they know, like, and trust. So they’re gonna do business with you because of you, not necessarily because of what you sell. So, what you want to do from day one — that’s a don’t do! But from day one, what you wanna do is you want to start warming up your warm market, you wanna start warming up your cold market. You wanna start utilizing attraction marketing strategies, to where you are – you know those people that are on your friends list, but maybe you haven’t talked to in a hot minute- you wanna go talk to them. You wanna start warming them up, you wanna check in with them, see how they’re doing, like some of their stuff on Facebook, or on Instagram. Or if you are Becky from New York, on Twitter and on Pinterest, right?
Brenda: She’s everywhere, that girl is everywhere.
Windy: Start connecting with people, because once you start opening that relationship up, right, warming that relationship up, then you can absolutely invite them to shop with you. Invite them to come into your community group, invite them to like your page. But if you haven’t talked to them since high school, you don’t wanna just start blasting them-
Windy: – with information that’s coming from your corporate office or if you-
Brenda: Unfollow, unfriend, right?
Brenda: And burning out my warm network, before I even realize I’m doing it.
Brenda: Yeah, so the other thing I would suggest for Anonymous, from Anonymous, USA is – Chances are she just started my new company. Now again, she does not specify what company, she’s so anonymous and obscure, we don’t know she is. But that’s okay! So it’s sort of a one-size-fits-all answer. The other thing I would suggest is if you did join a direct sales company, talked to your upline about how you appropriately plan and execute your launch party. So this is probably something you’re going to want to plan for; do personal invitations, get those first sales out there, because those are where your first bookings are gonna come from that are gonna help extend your reach. And they may be your friends and family, but nonetheless, those are your first people that you wanna start building relationships with to extend into new markets. So that would be something else I would suggest. “I don’t know where to start” – Start with you planning your launch party, and if you need support, ask in our Suite community, or ask your upline if you have one. Alright, our next question is from Melissa from Florida. Windy, do you know Melissa, because you know everyone in Florida!
Windy: Of course I do! It not a huge state at all!
Brenda: I know! So anyway, Melissa from Florida says, “I know that follow-up is important, but no one ever responds, so I feel like it’s a waste of time. I just keep leaving voicemails and never get a call back? Should I keep calling? Should I call it different times?” So I know this is one of your passion topics, so you go ahead. Let me hand you the soapbox, Windy. Climb on up and talk about follow-up.
Windy: Because you know I will climb up on my soapbox when it talks about follow-up. Melissa, first of all, neighbor — obviously we are neighbors.
Windy: I’m so proud of you for doing follow-up, because so many people won’t even do the follow-up. So first of all, I’m so proud of you for doing the follow-up. But let’s talk about, it feels a waste of time and should you keep leaving voicemails? So number one, okay, I’m going to give you an even bigger pat on the back, because you’re leaving voicemails. You’re picking up that 800 pound phone and dialing a person — that’s huge. So let me talk, let’s talk about that though for one second: I don’t answer my phone. Brenda, do you answer your phone?
Brenda: My phone is for checking Facebook and texting my mother.
Windy: Right! People don’t answer their phones, people just don’t. We don’t answer our phones anymore. We listen to voicemail, but here’s the thing I want you to think about with your follow-ups: your follow-up is not so much about you, as it is providing service to your customer. So when you’re calling your customer after the sale – I don’t know when you’re calling, you said you keep leaving voicemails, so I am guessing that you’re doing this, you know, maybe you’re doing a thank you, maybe you’re doing a two-week check-in, a two-month check-in. When they don’t answer and they don’t return your call, all that means is that they don’t need service from you right now. The important thing is that you’re there to provide that service. You’re giving, you are conveying the message to them that,”hey you’re important to me. This sale is appreciated. I’m here if you need anything.” So the fact that they’re not answering, doesn’t surprise me. The fact that they’re not even calling back, doesn’t surprise me either. Now, I will say that if you keep calling, like don’t keep, don’t call somebody like once a day for a month, because then that’s no longer fun follow-up, right? But if you’re calling people and they’re not responding, then I would recommend send an email, send the text message, reach out to them another way. One of the things that I like to do is, I always ask my customers: Which is, what way do you prefer to be reached? And if they wanna be texted, I’ll text them. if they wanna be called, I’ll call them. Nobody wants to have… I don’t think anyone ever said, “Yeah, I really like a phone call”.
Brenda: I would love it if you would call me, I mean, you know… I really don’t! And, so I’ve literally just got a brand new phone… I just got a phone, new phone this week. I got the new iPhone X, or the new iPhone max this week. Brand new! And I was joking with the guy at the AT&T store that I don’t even really need to have AT&T, I just need to be able to get to texting and messaging and Facebook. Honestly, I don’t even need the data plan. Can I have that kind of phone?
Windy: Do you wanna hear something crazy? Now we’re really side barring here. But we had a phone, when we switched over our cable when we moved, because the phone was part of the package. I don’t even own a phone to like plug in. I don’t even know what the number is.
Brenda: Oh, we don’t have a phone either. We got rid of our landline years ago. Years ago! I know it’s crazy weird, but this is really indicative of a consumer trend in general that people prefer to be contacted via a digital medium, that they can respond to on their own time –.
Brenda: -when they have a convenience, or a need factor. So I agree! Melissa from Florida is doing follow-up. That is fantastic. But she’s got a little bit of mindset of going, “But they’re not responding to me.” Girl! It means they don’t have a need. But guarent-, I guarantee every single time you do that little service check, whether it’s once a month, or you change your email, pop an email occasionally… you’re reinforcing the relationship that when they do have a need, they will reach out to you and they will contact you, and you’re extending your relationship at every one of those touch — touch points. So I think it’s great that she’s doing it. I just, we need to shift the mindset that it’s the consumer doesn’t have a need at this time.
Windy: Yeah, right!
Brenda: And I’ll be honest, I am the same way. I shop from a lot of direct sellers and most of them do follow-up with me, and sometimes I’ll do a quick, especially if it’s easy… if it’s a text or a Facebook message or an email, I’ll be like, just a quick thanks. But if someone leaves me a voicemail — and occasionally they do — I don’t have a need to call back just to say, “Got your message thanks!”
Brenda: So it’s just, it’s just a mindset thing. It’s not that they’re bothering me, it’s purely about service and I don’t have a need at this time. So Melissa, keep on doing what you’re doing girl. You’re doing the right thing.
Windy: Get after it, sister!
Brenda: Get after it, sister!
Windy: You’re gonna call, you’re gonna keep calling, and at some point – somebody’s gonna pick up and they’re gonna be like, “I’m so glad you called. I needed this… How funny, just today, I was just thinking about you, I wanted to call you.” So keep on keeping on, sister.
Brenda: Yes! It’s exactly right. Now, can we do also do a little sidebar plug for follow-up, for everybody who’s listening, because right now we’re coming into the holiday window. We are in October, we’re in October of the… sliding into fourth quarter and what happens in fourth quarter, you guys? It is gift-giving season!
Brenda: So you follow-up now, the extra little bonus perk to add into your follow-up is, “Can I help you with any gift-giving opportunities? Can I save you a trip to the mall? Or is there anybody in your gift giving list, who would really benefit from X, Y, Z. I would love to help you and provide you service and make your gift giving experience easier.” That’s a value of leading with service and it’s absolutely the right time of year, now, to be doing that, or even looking at your holiday bookings and saying, “Can I help you to complete your gift giving lists for free?”
Brenda: Those are all value statements, so I would absolutely recommend in that vein as well. So I think we got four questions in today, Windy, before we start running out of time… Because we’re both so boxy today. Is that a word? Sidebars and Soapboxes, I’m not even kidding, you guys…you’re all gonna end up on our new podcast some day with sidebars and soapboxes.
Windy: That’s like the, ‘After-Podcast-Podcast”
Brenda: It’s the after party podcast, I don’t even know what our after-party would look like. It’d be like you drinking coffee, me drinking Diet Coke, and both of us laying around in our yoga pants. We know how to party.
Windy: With our.. With our phones in our hands.
Brenda: With our phones in our hands, exactly! For the sole purpose of reading Facebook.
Brenda: There is nothing else that I use my phone for. Anyway! And, honestly, it seemed questionable whether I answer it if my husband or mother calls me. But I don’t think Windy in the multiple years, I have known you, I don’t even think I have your phone number.
Windy: You know, you do. We’ve texted.
Brenda: Have we?
Windy: We’ve texted from the airport. I thin
Brenda: I’m quite positive that we’ve never talked on the phone though.
Windy: No, we haven’t, no, no, we don’t talk.
Brenda: That would be weird and ridiculous and awkward. I don’t even know who you are in any way. Okay, so sidebar you guys… Hey, we are trying something new on the podcast:If you’ve made it this far, we would love to invite you to send us a voice memo. We want you to send us a voice memo and we would love to hear feedback. We would love to hear your next question, and if you submit a voice memo, using the voice utility or the voice recording utility on your phone – we’re actually going to play your voice memo asking us a question, and feel free to share your name, where you sell, or- where you sell? What you sell here… Wait… who you are, where you live, what you sell, unless you are Anonymous, from Anonymous, USA. Feel free to share who you are, what you sell, where you live, and pop us a voice memo with your question, or Ask the Suite feedback. We would love to start incorporating your voice, into our sessions. And the best way to do that is to quite literally have you send us your voice. So, pop us a memo, a voice memo and sent it to firstname.lastname@example.org. As always…
Windy: So I was gonna say, just go ahead and call us. We’ll take your call!
Brenda: Don’t call us, that would be weird. Don’t call us. Don’t call us. Send us a voice memo, as a little MP4 file at email@example.com. They will land right in Windy’s inbox. You will talk to her personally, on her very own secret alias e-mail account. And as always, thank you for tuning in to Social Marketing with Sassy Suite! If you are on Facebook, come on over and join us in the Socialite Suite on Facebook. We have a variety of free social marketing resources, and tools, and community, and culture for home-based business owners. And join us here on the podcast next time, we try to publish a new podcast every Monday or so, ish.
Windy: Every week!
Brenda: Kind of! Well, you know it is really good to have a goal. This is one of those batching and consistency things… we’re all striving to improve. So-
Brenda: Alright guys, we will see you next time. Hope you’re having a great day, see you in the Suite!
Windy: Bye guys!