One of the comments on my blog this past week got me thinking. It was stated that social media marketing is not the FUTURE of direct sales, it’s the PRESENT. I’m sorry, but I’m not sure that I can agree with that statement. Is it true that many forward thinking direct sellers are embracing social media marketing with varying degrees of success? Yes. Is it true that some forward-thinking companies are putting tools in the hands of their distributors that make it easier for them to implement a social media marketing strategy within their businesses? Yes. But is this the norm? I have to say no.
And furthermore, I think the question still needs to be fully answered as to whether or not every company in our industry NEEDS social media marketing. Now I know, if you’ve read my stuff on how social media marketing is the future of direct sales, you must be scratching your heads. And I do have to say that I believe that there can be components of social media marketing that apply to every business. We especially have to consider that 18-24 year old demographic, which is our next wave of consultants. They have grown up on this stuff, and would be surprised NOT to have it available.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that social media marketing will not be the same for everyone. For some companies with lower ticket items, it makes a lot of sense to have the online storefront for distributors, training on online parties and how to expand your social network using sites like Facebook and Twitter, etc. Yet for other companies, perhaps regular online newsletters and social networking training is enough. The company can build content that creates value around the company’s name and products through a blog and YouTube videos, without requiring this of its distributors.
But no matter what social media marketing strategy is employed, the keys are content that provides value to the customer and potential distributor base (and it’s important to decide who is going to be producing the content…that conversation needs to happen NOW), as well as the ability to employ networking strategies that work. Consultants MUST be taught how to network effectively if the strategy is to benefit the company, and provide income for the distributor.
So if you’re reading this, what do you think? How will social media marketing affect your business? What are you currently doing to put it to work for your business? Let’s learn from each other, and create a resource that will be valuable to the entire industry.