Network Marketing: Beyond Traditional Social Media

Last week we discussed how to use Social Media to maximize your Network Marketing business. Within that discussion, we introduced some statistics and insight into using (or not using) Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for your Network Marketing endeavors.

As three of the largest Social Networks on the planet, one might assume that all Network Marketing success on Social Media would come through those three giants: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But what if I told you that for some, the most Network Marketing success on Social Media could come through Pinterest, Google Plus, and Instagram? What if I told you that there’s a “ringer” out there as well, a social network you may not have heard of before, but that could end up being the boost your MLM needs?

MLM SEO

Before I introduce that ringer, let’s dive into how to use some of these other Social Media to maximize your Network Marketing and acquire new downline reps.

Pinterest

As reported by Media Bistro back in April of 2013, Pinterest is still very much dominated by women. In the latest 2013 statistics, women remain the majority Pinterest audience at around 80 percent. Obviously, if you’re a female Network Marketer, Pinterest is a major place of MLM business growth potential. But it can be effective for anyone, as explained in this article by Sarah Robbins of Home Business Hangout.

But what if you’re a man? What if you’re a manly man with a beard that grows its own beard and a gun rack in your car’s trunk? Is Pinterest still important to your MLM success? Absolutely. Here’s why:

Anyone can Communicate with and Sell to Women

Once upon a time, I was that manly man mentioned above. I was a sports writer for the local daily newspaper with a weekly football column and regular TV and radio interviews. I talked about the toughness of sports, highlighting the masculinity on the football field, relating it to a war zone. But then I got a call from a top 10 MLM company. The CEO of that company was a fan of mine and wanted me to join his marketing team as a writer. Two weeks later, I submitted my final football column and began my first project at this MLM company: write appealing new copy for the product catalog’s feminine products pages. That’s right; I went from football to tampons in one week. And believe it or not, after hours of competitive research, I created one heck of a feminine product ad.

My point is that marketing to women on Social Media, especially on Pinterest, is actually very easy for men to do. Remember: women love men to begin with. Just by being yourself, as long as you’re not a sexist chauvinist, you will gain the adoration of hundreds of Pinterest followers. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to research what other successful pinners are doing and saying on Pinterest and modifying your style to match theirs.

Women love content that provokes an emotion, especially a joyful emotion. As Bizreport reported last year in an article about emotional branding, “Men who feel ‘love’ for their beer brand purchase 38% more beer than average, and women who feel ‘bonding’ with their laundry detergent purchase 60% more than average.” Keep that in mind as you begin pinning.  And before you begin, read up on how to market to women in this excellent article from Startup Nation.

Pinterest is Photo-Driven

I tend to liken Pinterest to window shopping: it’s all about what you see … and men generally don’t window shop. It’s a phenomenal concept, as Forbes reports, that Pinterest can actually drive sales online.

Whatever your MLM product, there are likely dozens to hundreds of photos that can be shared. If you’re part of a major MLM giant like the one I wrote for, then you should have hundreds of product photos, before-and-after photos, and sharable infographics at your disposal. Pin them all. Become an online index of your products. Show how valuable your products are. Most of all, use images and graphics to connect your products to feelings of happiness. As The Daily Dot says, Pinterest can be more than window shopping, it can be good for the soul. Use that as motivation in everything you pin.

Pinterest Directly Builds SEO

Social Media Today called Pinterest the Secret SEO Weapon. Why? Because while many serious marketers consider Pinterest a floozy “girl thing”, Google considers Pinterest to be an overly valuable meetinghouse for underground, non-corporate concepts. Here’s what I mean: Google search for “Cool Hats”. The first results are shopping sites like Amazon and eBay because Google thinks you want to buy a cool hat. Then it shows images from those shopping sites. What comes next? Sites that have a collection of photos of cool hats, just in case you don’t want to buy one, you just want to see some. That’s what Google thinks Pinterest is: a place to see cool things, not a place to buy cool things. So, by building a strong Pinterest site and following, your MLM products and business could rank very, very high on Google for search terms related to your products. Soon, you could have pinners across the country contacting you on Pinterest to ask about where/how they can get the products you posted.

Google Plus

Talk about your overestimations. When Google launched its social network back in 2011, it fully intended to use its searching and indexing superpowers to replace Twitter and Facebook, as mentioned in this Read Write article. Did that ever happen? No. Since then, the 10 or so people on Earth who actually love Google Plus and prefer it over Facebook and Twitter (including someone at Business Insider) continually report that Google Plus’s user statistics are growing and growing. In fact, The Search Engine Journal reported recently that Google Plus surpassed Twitter in active users.

googlePlus MLM

As a longtime marketer myself, I recognize spin and farce when I see it. Google Plus has nowhere near as many active users as Twitter. The numbers lie. How? Because when I sign into my gmail, I am automatically signed into my G+. I don’t use it very often, but I am signed in and thus labeled “active” by the Google Gods.

Regardless, Google Plus can indeed be effective for growing your Network Marketing business model. Empower Network, among several others, has even found ways to immediately grow your downline rep leads on Google Plus.

SEO

Even if you’re a small startup Network Marketing operation, enhancing your Google search rankings can grow your business immediately. Google Plus has become the most influential social network for Google search rankings. And it’s pretty obvious why, as satirically outlined in this tongue-in-cheek, fake news report from The Faster Times. In 2011, when Google Plus launched, nobody joined. It was embarrassing for Google to see its social network ignored by the common, everyday internet user. So, over time, Google made it practically necessary for anyone who wanted to rank high on Google to have their own Google Plus account and actively engage in discussions. Plus, Google bought Youtube and integrated all Youtube account holders and Blogspot (now Blogger) account holders into it’s Google Plus database. So, if you have a Youtube account, you also have a Google Plus account. As a result, as SEO Moz reported last month, Google Plus activity has the highest direct correlation to SEO success when compared to any other social media site.

So how should you, the Network Marketer, use Google Plus for SEO benefits? It’s simple. Not only should you follow the advice of other Network Marketers who have succeeded on G+, including Jerry Chen, but you should regularly, even daily, engage people on G+. Join groups and discussions, comment on everything and +1 everything. Become a constant +1er. And post all of your other social media content from Pinterest and Facebook onto your Google Plus feed. That will make you an SEO success.

Instagram

As I learned at the 2013 Pubcon Convention in New Orleans, images gain attention online. Images gain likes, +1s, comments, interaction, tweets, engagement, etc. Heck, even Google acknowledges the importance of images in SEO rankings. As Chris Crum reported of Web Pro News, a vast array of images can improve your SEO rankings more than you may think. Though perhaps the reason for the heightened Google ranking is the larger interaction received on social media following an image post.

Instagram MLM

Regardless, Instagram has the same window shopping powers of Pinterest, but without the constant advertisements that clutter Facebook. Ironically, Instagram is owned by Facebook, and MarketWatch recently reported that Facebook is growing Instagram’s advertising possibilities behind the scenes.

Instagram demographics are similar to Twitter’s. It is surprisingly popular among black people, twice as much as whites. Hispanics use Instagram 50% as much as white folks. As mentioned in the Twitter section of last week’s post, user ethnicity should not mean anything to most Network Marketers. But to some, ethnicity means everything because they build their success on certain cultural selling tactics.

Instagram also carries some weight with Google’s SEO rankings, as described by Manta.com, though not as much weight as Pinterest and Google Plus carry.

I love this article by the MLM Jedi about how to use Instagram for Social Networking success. He highlights the proper use of hashtags, which can certainly be relevant to using Google Plus, Twitter and now Facebook as well.

“So how do you get home business leads using Instagram?” the article asks. “Well, one for sure way is to go to where the hashtags are and explore some of the home business tags. There are quite a few, so finding them shouldn’t be too hard. Some examples are #Homebiz #MLM #Workfromhome, simple hash tags.”

Use Instagram for product photos and before-and-after pics. Share. Like others’ photos. Become popular. It’s easy and kind of fun.

Instagram Network Marketing

The Ringer: MLMSocial.com

That’s right, a social network exists solely for Network Marketing and MLM lead generation. I cannot claim to know much about MLMSocial, but I can tell you that joining a large network of successful MLMers certainly wouldn’t hurt one’s influence and business. You can ask MLM millionaires directly for tips and help. You can vent your MLM struggles. You can learn more about other MLM opportunities that may sway you toward a more profitable venture.

For the newer Network Marketers, be warned that a lot of MLM sharks exist out there and it can only be assumed that many of them use MLMSocial to prey on new MLMers. While it’s never a bad thing to join a money-making opportunity, be careful that you don’t become a downline rep to someone who lies about the level of their success. These are the Network Marketers that give MLMs a bad name.

MLMSocial proclaims on its homepage that you can use its site to separate your personal social media from your business social media. DO NOT FOLLOW THAT ADVICE. While Facebook isn’t a great Network Marketing tool, the other social networks absolutely can grow your business if used right.

Other Social Networks

If you consider Youtube a social network, then yes, absolutely use it. Youtube was not included in this two-article blog because Youtube is difficult to place in the same format as Facebook and Google Plus. While friendships and engagement exists on Youtube, it is not quite as lucrative as an engagement machine as others. That said, it can definitely generate new leads and boost your Google rankings.

YouTube MLM

Myspace, Tumblr, Reddit and others were also left out from this group for their formatting differences as a Social Network. They were also neglected because MLM success has not been measured to effectiveness as much as the larger social networks.

All in all, social media can grow your downline rep numbers and increase your local search result rankings, which also directly results in downline growth. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to pursue some level of Network Marketing tactics on social media. If you’re wondering which of the seven social networks you should focus on, I advise you to do them all. Not only will it put your name at the top of Google rankings (trust me, I’ve done it), but it will create a diversity in lead generation channels. Have fun and enjoy your work!

Guest Blog Post:  Zach Zavoral is an award-winning journalist who specializes in public relations, advertising, SEO and social media.

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