HOW AMWAY TOOK FACEBOOK GLOBAL
It seems only natural that Amway – built on networking during the last 50 years – should welcome the social media age with great enthusiasm. But turning a juggernaut of its scale into an efficiently run social media enterprise had its global team dealing with a number of obstacles.
The brand focused on how it can best leverage Facebook to help open doors for its global network of sellers. It embarked on a country-by-country process, including 25 Facebook brand pages focused on specific cultures.
Michael Edwards, director of digital and experiential marketing for the company, explained the importance of localizing the pages in terms of language, customs, and merchandise.
“Being locally relevant is the main reason why a company like ours needs a unique Facebook footprint in many markets,” Edwards said.
For instance, he said, in parts of South Asia and Southeast Asia, skin-whitening cosmetics are among Amway’s most popular products. Edwards added that the products “have been researched, formulated and promoted to target a demographic for which skin pigmentation [is an important consideration]. So on the Thailand page, the tips, promotions, expert commentary, and posts will often…address this unique skin issue – just like our products do. Again, it’s targeting our content so it’s relevant and valuable to our many different audiences in different regions.”
A team of roughly 30 staffers was put on social media marketing for Amway. While regional offices manage some of its Facebook pages, the firm’s international team has overseen the others.
Half of Amway’s direct sellers are under the age of 30 in Australia. There, they’ve developed a social media character, “Zac,” to be a voice for the brand’s social media efforts. The character supports direct-selling competitions on Facebook, engages event attendees on the site, and evangelizes about how social media can help individual sellers’ marketing and networking efforts. For instance Zac informs Facebook users about how to create groups on the platform to discuss business matters.
Multiple people from Amway’s Australia/New Zealand division manage how the character interacts with his audience while posting items like photos of events put on by the brand. The same social media staffers author wall posts in the name of Amway. One from July 2011: “Happy WORLD SOCIAL MEDIA DAY! To celebrate we have come up with some exclusive offers for our Facebook fans! Simply enter the VS of the product directly into your shopping basket. Offers apply to Australia online orders only, while stocks last. BUY NOW.
Marketers can learn plenty from Amway’s worldwide Facebook organizational skills.
“Facebook helps us tell that story like no other global platform ever has,” said Edwards. “We have always – and still do – send our executives and our distributor leaders all over the world to meet distributors at every level of the business, whether they received a starter kit yesterday or 25 years ago. Now we have a way to do that online. It’s transformative for us because we can provide a global view…. It is a technology that connects the global, regional and local dots.”