I came across this blog post today about the cooperating of automakers in the social media arena, and thought that it has an amazing amount of application to direct selling: http://www.scottmonty.com/2008/09/social-media-encourages-co-opetition.html
In the article, Scott Monty talks about how Ford and GM are sharing knowledge related to social networking, even as they are competing for auto sales. The idea behind it is that they are advancing the industry as a whole, which is good for their own companies.
I see great parallels here for the direct selling industry. We need to work together as an industry to explore the concept of social media, and determine best practices for its implementation in our industry. I was speaking today with an industry colleague, and we kept coming to the conclusion that SO MUCH of how you do social networking well (exchange of ideas and information, finding the people who know the people that are interested in what you have to offer, etc.) is EXACTLY what we do within our industry with face to face contact. The difference is that social media enables the tearing down of geographic limitations. You suddenly have the whole world at your fingertips, which expands your networking reach way beyond what you could do in person.
Direct selling and social media were made for each other. It’s up to us now as an industry to harness the power of these tools in a way that encourages profitablity, brand integrity, and recruiting. By working together we can set a standard for the way social media is used within our industry for years to come.
Are you interested in being part of the conversation? Tell us what you think!