When Do You Get a New Recruit Started with Social Media?

My dad joined a network marketing company last Friday, selling green energy.  It’s been super fun watching him get started. (Hi dad!) 🙂  He’s never done network marketing before, so he’s got a lot to learn.  But the company is a great fit for him, and he’s got a super upline in place to help him achieve success.

What’s been interesting, though, is to also observe the amount of information he can take in at one point.  As I said, he’s got a lot to learn.  And there are some basics that we who have been in the industry a long time take for granted, that he is just finding out. For example, he went to a holiday party this weekend, and didn’t have business cards in his pocket or a notebook to collect contact info.  (We quickly rectified that before he walked out the door, so he came home with leads.)  He didn’t realize he should have a number of leads to come home with as a goal.  And he thought he should wait until Monday before following up on those leads (he made the calls on Saturday and wound up getting 4 appointments scheduled already!)

The point is, we have to be so careful when getting new people started.  Obviously, being the dad of someone who knows a great deal about social media for the industry, he was interested in putting all that to work for his business.  And we did secure a URL, blog name, etc.  But at the same time, he very quickly got to the point of information overload.  We put all the social media stuff on hold for the moment, and I told him to concentrate on learning the business, and working his warm market.  The social media stuff can come later.

The thing is, social media is really about warming up a cooler or cold market.  When someone gets started, they don’t need that yet, because they have a whole, untapped warm market.  As new people learn the business, that’s the best place to work, and get all the kinks worked out.  Then they’ll be better prepared to reach a new market, using social media.

Don’t be so quick to get your new recruits up and running on social media.  If they’re already using social media for their personal lives, be sure they understand the difference between social media for personal and business use.  But then focus on helping them learn the business…the way you do things at your company.  There’s a time and place for social media, but it’s not necessarily where people should start.

How do you get your team started with social media?  When do you introduce it to a new recruit?  Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!

image credit: sashafatcat

10 Responses to When Do You Get a New Recruit Started with Social Media?
  1. Dawn-Michele Okamoto
    December 21, 2010 | 1:20 pm

    Wow, great advice and comments from all! Thank you so much for sharing this. This is one of my new facets to my business in 2011, and I am working on things now! Again, thank you so much! Your giving of your knowledge is such a blessing!

    • Jennifer Fong
      December 22, 2010 | 9:04 am

      Sounds great. And good for you making a plan for 2011. That’s one of the big keys to success!

  2. Barb Maurais
    December 20, 2010 | 3:17 pm

    Good points. We forget how much information new members of our team need to learn and absorb just in understanding our business. I think that less is more in regard to social media. My newest recruit is focused on getting orders, meeting folks, building relationships and learning to use our business software and is not at a point to add social media to her plate.
    Perhaps we as mentors need to develop an informal inventory of readiness to determine when it is time to introduce/add social media possibilities for our downlines. Food for thought.

    • Jennifer Fong
      December 20, 2010 | 4:38 pm

      Great points Barb! Will have to think on the idea of an inventory. Might be something companies could consider too.

  3. Darren Spruyt
    December 20, 2010 | 9:30 am

    Hey Jenn!

    I guess the best case scenario would be to recruit younger people who are more well-versed with social media, but it may not mean they will know the different between personal and business use which you will definitely have to highlight.

    I believe you have to know the offline techniques of networking and just being who you are before using social media. Not only may we have information overload, we might even lose our identities! I feel that some people find “leaders” to follow online that they forget about themselves and turn up being just followers, in turn not establishing their own personal presence. Especially with social media.

    I guess the best time to introduce social media into the picture would when your members are comfortable with being WHO THEY ARE. Life is really a journey of self-discovery and most people do not even know who or what they want in life, so it’s really best to get them to finding out their passions and what they are really for in life.

    I must say your dad’s very fortunate to have you around to guide him through his new journey! 🙂 I wish him all the best and success!

    Regards,
    Darren Spruyt

    • Jennifer Fong
      December 20, 2010 | 10:25 am

      Darren,
      Thanks for your comments! At least in the US, the baby boomer population (over 65) is a big factor we should be considering, as they are among the largest population right now. Therefore, they may not have a lot of social media experience, but offer a wealth of opportunity. Many will need to supplement retirement incomes.

      And you’re right. We do need to establish our own personal identity, both online and off. That’s what personal branding is all about!

      Thanks for your comments, and the kind words! Cheers,
      Jennifer

      • Pat Zahn
        December 20, 2010 | 12:32 pm

        Personal branding is not something, (I think), most DS companies focus on. I think part of the training given to new recruits is to identify that in moving forward. As far as social media, it depends on the individual, but I definitely think that the company should offer social media etiquette training and clearly state the rules for that company.

        Pat Zahn

        • Jennifer Fong
          December 20, 2010 | 12:42 pm

          You’re absolutely right, Pat. And yes, most companies do (and should) focus largely on etiquette and rules. But we have to be careful not to put TOO much emphasis on social media early on, or we risk overwhelming (and losing) new recruits.

        • Darren Spruyt
          December 20, 2010 | 2:00 pm

          I guess most DS companies come from a different position. To them it’s really about getting word on their product/service but it’s really about personal branding, and building trust for the IBO. If the IBO has the same focus as the DS company (which most people are guilty of in my opinion), they just become a pushy salesman. Not a businessman.

          Regards,
          Darren Spruyt

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