The Right Way: Using Social Media To Build A Strong Contact List

Lance and Michelle Smith at a computer
The right way: using social media to build a strong contact list

CORPORATE DIRECTORS III Lance and Michelle Smith have used the internet as a means for growing their contact list since the beginning of their Melaleuca business in 2000. For the Smiths, the idea was never to blast friends with spam emails or post advertisements on the fringes of popular websites. Their goal was always to make a connection and establish a relationship.

With the growth in the popularity of social media in recent years (Facebook claims 1.11 billion users worldwide), Lance and Michelle have turned to sites like Facebook and Pinterest to reconnect with people they already know but haven’t seen in years.

“When people start writing their contact lists, they typically think only of the people in their immediate past,” Lance says. “They forget about all of those sorority sisters and frat brothers, all of the high school sports teammates and classmates—everyone they knew 15 years ago instead of two or three years ago. The nice thing about Facebook is there’s no gettingto-know-you period; they remember you, so they already know you and trust you.”

Lance doesn’t pin copies of his checks on Pinterest or make sales pitches on his Facebook page; as well as violating Melaleuca’s policies, Lance says, things like that “turn people off.” So
instead, he starts the same way he would if he were reconnecting with someone in person.

Lance and Michelle Smith article recap

“After someone accepts my friend request, I’ll go to their profile and see how they’re doing,” he says. “And I’m sincerely interested in how things have turned out for them—I’m not just doing
it to enroll someone. I’ll look at their photos to see if they have a family, and then I’ll spend some time rekindling old relationships. I try to find what they care about so I’ll know what to lead with when I talk about Melaleuca.”

Lance sends a private message or an email saying, essentially, “How are you?” or, “How’s your family?” Eventually, the conversation turns to, “What are you doing for work now?” and Lance invites more curiosity.

“I’ll say, ‘Things turned out great for me—I have four kids and a great wife, and we’re both really blessed to work from home,’” Lance says. “When they see that, they forget all about my great wife and four kids, and all they see is that Michelle and I work from home. When they ask what we do, I’ll say, ‘Enough with this technology stuff—give me your phone number, and I’ll give you an old-fashioned phone call so we can reconnect.’”

From time to time, Lance might post a photo of himself and Michelle at President’s Club or Standing Executive Leadership Council, or he might even post a photo of them receiving an award at the
Convention banquet. But for Lance, posting pictures is just another way to stimulate curiosity.

“People need to watch their privacy settings; you don’t want the whole world to see what you’re doing on Facebook,” Lance says. “And if you’re using Facebook, use it—don’t spend the whole day on
there playing solitaire. Look around and ask yourself, ‘Who can I help?’ and, ‘How can I help them?’

“Earlier this year, we enrolled a friend of mine I hadn’t seen in 25 years—Barbara, who I reconnected with on Facebook. For the first eight or nine months, all we did was rekindle a relationship with her. Now, she has enrolled 35 personal customers and advanced to Pacesetter Director III.


  1. Ralph Steven on October 24, 2013 at 5:30 am

    Hi Lance,

    This is great to learn from your experience connecting to people on Facebook. I will apply this myself.
    I need couple more to enroll to get to my first eight customers or DIR.1.

    Kind Regards


  2. Louella on October 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Brilliant! I like the switch from fb to the “old fashioned telephone”. Will definitely have a go at that today! Thank you;)

  3. Betty H on October 25, 2013 at 7:41 am

    I am totally new to Facebook and your comments were most helpful. Thanks.

  4. Luseane Fakatou on October 30, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Thanks, great content very helpful I will definitely apply this.I love the switch to connecting on the phone. That is so so awesome. Thank you!!!

  5. francis liew on November 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Lance,
    I have so many friends that i have lost contact more than 20 yrs ago.When i write my contact list,they were never on my mind. Starting from this moment, i will try my very best to reconnect with them through Facebook. As you mentioned,these are the people we knew in the past but the most important thing is they also know us-that makes things(building relationship) a lot easier.
    thank you.
    best regards,
    francis liew , Malaysia.

  6. Tyler on November 6, 2013 at 2:45 am

    How can i build my business using facebook if i dont have a lot of old contacts on facebook?

  7. Ken on November 15, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    This is great! I am new to the brand and will use this approach when marketing our products. Thanks!

  8. Sandra on December 5, 2013 at 6:17 am

    This is great advice. It must be wonderful to re-connect with people you haven’t seen in years. I’m just curious, how would someone apply this strategy if, like me, they moved around so much in life that there were no “friends” to re-connect with?

    I do look and try to find those who have a need, and when I see posts about those looking for financial changes in their lives I try to connect with them, build a bit of relationship in order to see how to introduce Melaleuca to them.

    My difficulty lies in getting any kind of response back, other than game invites. How is it best to proceed with people (aka, strangers) to get that “flow” going? There are so many out there blasting people with ads, offers, etc, that most people don’t even respond to a simple “hello, how are you”….

  9. Renee on January 15, 2014 at 12:02 am

    Tyler, if you remember names of school mates or team mates, old friends, etc, do a search on Face book and say, hey, something triggered a memory of us playing junior basketball together and I thought I would see if you are on fb. If they answer you, ask to be added as a friend and continue getting reacquainted. I have found many of my high school friends on fb and we have re-connected.

    Sandra, the game invites aren’t generally sent by the game player/friend. I have requested that my friends not send game requests and they said they hadn’t sent one. FB sends them if you are corresponding with a friend that plays a game. Can you tell that I spend too much time on FB? I’m learning to cut down except when I want to connect with friends and send birthday wishes :)