Yesterday I shared with you my concerns about what the WordPress.com crackdown on MLM blogs may mean for us as an industry (and it isn’t pretty.) We can’t afford to get shut out of the social media space. The benefits are too important to overlook, and that means that direct sales companies really need to step up to the plate here in terms of getting involved themselves, educating the sales force, and pushing back when companies such as WordPress unfairly discriminate against direct sellers. (And I sincerely hope the DSA gets involved as well.)
However, the responsibility does not lie solely with direct selling companies. Unfortunately, it is the actions of individual direct sellers/MLMers that got us to this point in the first place. Now I understand that at least some of these actions were based on ignorance of social media etiquette and ethics, but now this is affecting us as an industry and it needs to stop. We need to have a zero-tolerance policy as an industry for deceptive online advertising/marketing practices that harm everyone. Folks, this is serious business. Aggressive online marketing DOES NOT WORK, and it is causing the entire industry to get shut out. It needs to stop.
So what can individual direct sellers do? Here are some ideas:
- If your company does not have clear policies and procedures on appropriate ways to use social media, ASK FOR THEM, and then help your company enforce them by reporting offenders. (Companies, if you need help with this, contact me. I help direct selling and network marketing companies create effective policies that work.)
- Get yourself educated on appropriate ways to use social media marketing that are effective. If your company does not offer this training, find an outside source. You can start here with a free recording that I offer, Social Media 101.
- When you see other direct sellers using social media in unethical ways, call them on it. We have to rise up as an industry to stop this terrible reputation we’re gaining.
- Share links to articles on appropriate use of social media for your business with your team, your company, and with other direct sellers that you know. Post links on your social networking profiles too.
- If you blog, write articles yourself on appropriate ways to market your business through social media. MAKE SURE you are using a content marketing approach and not spamming the world with your blog.
Here are a couple of blogs that do an EXCELLENT job of keeping their marketing value-centered.
Use these as a starting point to develop your own value-centered message in social media marketing. When you focus on providing value to the people you’re connected with, you’ll experience long term benefits for your business that will greatly outlast the 1 or 2 people you might convince once to buy something from you. Go for the long term! It’s way more profitable.
Only by working all together can we stop this lousy reputation that is going to have a serious impact on our industry’s ability to play in the social media space. Everyone is responsible for making sure we get it right, finally.
I hope you’ll share this post with others in our industry that need to read it.
Photo Credit: Shooting Brooklyn