In Defense of Common Sense

As part of my job, I provide online monitoring services for direct selling companies. We have tools that allow us to monitor the internet 24×7, and provide regular reports to companies on what is being said about the brand online.

But what continues to surprise me are some of the consultant posts we find. Blogs (with very poor formatting) dedicated to pitching products and opportunity (or even worse, multiple companies’ products and opportunities) and nothing else. Status updates that scream “join my team!” and “buy my stuff.” Maybe I was naive to think we’d made enough progress collectively in the industry to move past that kind of stuff, but it just isn’t so.

Honesty, do YOU seek out blogs that only try to sell you stuff? Do you find any value whatsoever in posts that beat you over the head with products and opportunity?

Have we lost all perspective when it comes to common sense?

Now granted, a lot of you that read this blog put a lot of time and effort into doing social media marketing the right way. You realize that social media marketing is NOT free advertising. But your responsibility doesn’t end there.

It’s up to each of you to make sure your company has the information needed to guide distributors properly. Send them articles and blog posts that provide that guidance. It’s also up to you to guide your own team appropriately, dedicating time in meetings and in your monthly newsletter to social media marketing guidelines. And when you see bad behavior (within your own team or just among the consultants in your company), say something. It’s not being mean. In fact, you’re helping someone gain valuable insight that will make their social media marketing efforts more productive, and ultimately more profitable. Who wouldn’t want more money in their pocket?

Seriously, take a step back and look at what you’ve posted over the last month. Is it a steady stream of ads? If so, you need to do something differently. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that your customers “appreciate” knowing about all your specials. The fact of the matter is, ads get old fast. If you’re not providing real value, with only occasional ads done in opt-in areas, you’re going to lose those customers on your social networks. They’ll hide you, and you’ll never know.

Use your common sense, and think about what you enjoy reading from other marketers. (Key term here being ENJOY, not tolerate.) If your content isn’t enjoyable, start over. Don’t waste your time.

Use some common sense.

Your thoughts?

6 Responses to In Defense of Common Sense
  1. Chrisitne Janis
    March 6, 2011 | 5:34 am

    Hi Jennifer,

    I’ve been making jewelry for a while now and people keep telling me to create a website, put it on Etsy, etc. to sell. So I’ve decided to start a jewelry blog. I’m new to your blog page and have been reading all the past information you’ve posted. I think it will be invaluable to my project. While doing research, I also found another site about blogging successfully. I thought I would pass it on to you in case you haven’t heard of it yet (which I’m sure isn’t the case). It’s While he talks a lot about selling through blogging, he also has relevant articles about good blogging in general. Just thought I’d pass it on. Happy Spring!!!!!

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 6, 2011 | 11:12 am

      Hi Christine! ProBlogger is an excellent resource, as is CopyBlogger. I wish you much success with your project!

  2. Lenore Sanborn
    March 5, 2011 | 10:09 am

    In all fairness, I do have to ask: If you are running searches for when a specific brand or company is mentioned, doesn’t that increase the likelihood that the post will be about a specific product or opportunity that is offered by the company is mentioned?

    For example, I try to post useful, free tips as a rule (mostly about getting photos organized), but when an exceptional sale comes along, or a specific tool is mentioned in my post, that is when I will mention my company’s name. (Other than simple tags or links to their own content)However, the other 80% of my posts manke no mention of any specific company at all.

    I just wonder if the nature of the search is going to bring to light the worst possible scenarios.

  3. Stacie Wiesenbaugh
    March 5, 2011 | 9:35 am

    Do you happen to have an example of a well done recruitment blog? Thanks so much.

  4. Dino Baskovic
    March 4, 2011 | 1:18 pm

    You nailed it. We all need to step back and reflect, even for a moment. My team does a lot of self-editing and cross-checking, though I feel a third-party perspective opens our eyes to how online communit—scratch that, PEOPLE—see us.

    As you said, the average person reading your blog pretty much gets the message, loud and clear. Still, we can never be completely sure, so prescribing to an outer dose of reality sure does the trick.
    Dino Baskovic recently posted..Even a monkey can cut and paste

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 4, 2011 | 2:11 pm

      Completely agreed Dino. It can be so helpful to get an outsider’s perspective. Although, if you’re not getting any kind of feedback on your posts whatsoever, that can be a pretty healthy dose of reality as well.

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