Social Media Tools Are Not the Enemy

42-15977462I recently had a conversation with a direct seller that sells a product aimed at children, primarily.  She had invited a team member to join her in a Facebook Group she set up specifically for her team, and got some push-back.  The person told her that she would never have anything to do with Facebook, and she didn’t think it was a  “good move for anyone in a profession that involves the public, in particular children.”

While some might find this conclusion surprising, I think there are others who completely agree, and so it’s something that I want to chat about a bit today.

I find that for people who don’t use social media currently, they base their impressions of what it is on media stories.  The problem with this, of course, is that the media likes to play on our emotions, and highlight worst case scenarios, because that’s what sells.  Quite honestly, there’s not a lot of drama in the day to day work of using social media effectively.  It’s not really a story.  Instead, it’s just another way of getting to know people.

Now those bad stories that the media plays up, involving hackers, people pushing porn, etc, are based on fact.  Those people ARE out there.  But I would be willing to venture that they are NOT the majority.  The vast majority of people using social media are just like you and me.  They are there to connect with people they enjoy socializing with.  And by employing a few strategies to keep yourself safe (click here for a post I did on being safe online) you can enjoy tremendous benefits by using social media to both reach new people, as well as follow up and build deeper relationships with people you already know.

angryonphone by meddygarnetI equate this to the telephone.  Are there people who use the telephone to annoy you at dinnertime with their marketing messages?  Have people used the telephone to harrass other people?  Yes.  But that doesn’t keep you from using the telephone as a tool to build your business.  You might invest in a caller ID to screen calls before you answer the phone, to control who you speak with.  But at the end of the day, there are other people at the end of that line, and the vast majority of them are good people, just like you.

I think that the direct seller I spoke with about this handled the situation just right.  She knew this person had already made up her mind, and simply respected her decision.  But as more and more people learn about social media, I think it’s important for us to be ready to share that this is a TOOL, and that there are people involved.  That’s what makes it so powerful.  Obviously you have to use your common sense when connecting with new people anywhere.  But at the end of the day, your business is built on your ability to connect with new people, and provide superior service to those you have worked with before.  And social media is a powerful tool to help you do just that.

What do you think?  Have you encountered these attitudes?  How have you handled them?  Please take a minute and share your comments below!

Photo Credit: meddygarnet

P.S. Are you looking for ways to build and support your team through social media?  Check out my newest class that starts on November 23…Team Building Through Social Media.

6 Responses to Social Media Tools Are Not the Enemy
  1. Mark Bosworth
    November 13, 2009 | 9:47 am

    I think it’s important to be aware of, and manage fear of new things on the internet. Remember that people are constantly hearing about bad things happening on the internet. From viruses to scams to perverts, it’s all out there.

    I focus on the benefits. My mom (76 years old) finally got a facebook page to connect with her grandkids and see pictures. Just remember that the perceived benefit has to be higher than the perceived risk, in order for people to participate. The medial spends a lot of time focusing on the risk!

    • Jennifer
      November 13, 2009 | 12:41 pm

      Very, very good point Mark! Thanks for commenting. 🙂


  2. Diane Aksten
    November 12, 2009 | 12:03 pm

    I think for some people it’s a fear of the unknown or an inability or reluctance to embrace change. The advent of social media allows us to connect and form relationships with people all over the world; we never know if one of these “relationships” we’ve nurtured could be our next customer. Change is good and social media could prove to be a real boon to your direct selling business, if you’ll allow yourself to be open to the possibility. If you don’t know where to start, take a class like Jennifer’s that will point you in the right direction.

    Diane Aksten

  3. Jill Shea
    November 12, 2009 | 11:45 am

    I’ve met people who will not get involved in social media for their own personal reasons. After taking your social media course for Direct Sellers over the summer I am now much more comfortable using Facebook. I am encouraging people to take your classes to learn about all the benefits of using social media with their direct sales business. It’s a huge benefit! I am truly enjoying all the new friendships I’ve made on Facebook and it’s tons of fun. Thank you!!!

    Love & Success,
    Jill Shea

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