How Should I Get a New Recruit Started with Social Media?

When a new person joins your direct sales team, there’s a lot they need to know.  And it can be incredibly overwhelming.  In fact, we lose a lot of new people before they start, simply due to information overload.  And then when you begin to consider social media marketing, and when to teach it, the worry is whether or not we’re adding to that excess of information that the new recruit experiences.

The flip side, of course, is that person who intends to use social media marketing as a first step.  Before he picks up the phone to call a single friend about his business, he may go online and ask all his friends at once to buy, or join, or meet with him about the business.  And when that’s done as a general status update, it’s spam. 

So we need to give SOME information, but at the same time, we don’t want to overwhelm the recruit with too much, before they even learn the business.  What’s the solution?

Here are some ideas:

  • When a new person joins, give them a few sample status updates that can be used to announce his or her business, without crossing the line into spam.  Here are a couple of examples: “I’m so excited!  I just joined Company X!  Wish me luck!” or “Can you believe it?  I was at Sue’s Company X party, and loved the products so much I joined myself!  Wish me luck!”  You can also show them how to add a link to their personal website on their social networks.
  • In your welcome letter to the new consultant, encourage the new recruit to learn the business before talking about it online.  After announcing the business with a status update you’ve provided, they should listen and learn before promoting themselves more.  You might want to include one paragraph in your welcome letter that explains that this is social media, not sales media, and it’s important for the consultant to learn the differences, along with social media etiquette for business, before promoting her business online.  After all, she doesn’t want to alienate her friends by using it poorly.
  • Provide the new consultant with a couple of examples of consultants in your company who are using social media well.  Point out HOW they are doing it well, and also make a point of what they’re NOT doing.
  • AFTER the consultant has learned the basics of the business (the in-person stuff), then you can begin providing more social-media specific information.  This can include a social media 101 course like the one I offer on this site for free (you can get it here), as well as implementing social media tactics in your regular training.  For example, in a unit on hostess coaching, you can build in content that teaches how to help hostesses set up events in Facebook, and how to do some of the hostess follow-ups on Facebook.  Social media does not exist in a bubble, and we do well by not over-emphasizing it in our training.  It should be part of the overall method we teach.

When new recruits join a direct selling company, they really do need to learn the business first.  The challenge we face as companies and leaders is how to provide enough information about social media to avoid misuse, while at the same time making sure we don’t overwhelm the new recruit with too much information. 

How do you approach social media training with your new recruits?  Do you use a similar method?  Teach in a different way?  Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!

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