Social Media

What? It’s Not For Me?

Posted on May 21, 2009. Filed under: PropelHQ, Social Media | Tags: , , , |

not corporate

I am posting this here rather than on our main company site because it is a big reason why we decided to create PropelHQ. Recently IgniteHQ was hired by a large billion dollar Direct Sales company to lead their social marketing efforts and deploy a social network for their distributors. So here we are in our first meeting to discuss the project. Within minutes it became clear that hiring us was a great move that will end up saving them thousands of dollars and months of time. Understand I am not saying that to toot our horn, I am saying this because the ideas and concepts they were describing were not user focused and they would have missed the target.

Like any web application or marketing strategy-A social tool or social marketing effort will only be successful when it is created for the end user and only the end user. In our meeting the corporate leaders were asking for popular mainstream functionality and features but did not know why they wanted them. Without understanding how they apply to the user (in this case the user  is the distributors and the customers) and building their business you will fail. You can have all of the functionality in the world but if it does not provide value or move the you closer to your goals or just plain is not relevant than it is a waste of time and money.

The point here is “who is it for?”.  Although this is a simple and fundamental approach it is surprisingly overlooked when it comes to social media and technology. Like in this real world case, because a feature is popular in mainstream social networking does not mean it is right for your MLM or network marketing company. Focus on the results that the user (distributor) needs not what is cool now or what Joe Marketing Department wants.

Yes, social networking technology and social marketing are new to the Direct Sales and most MLM companies do not know how to apply them and make it work. Honestly they are right-partly. Social networking is not new. This industry is social networking at it’s finest. The only thing that has changed is how the communication is taking place. The first thing I will tell our clients is-the technology will not replace proven, time-tested, belly button-to-belly button techniques we design and build it only to enhance these techniques. The technology must enhance the traditional methods and at the same time introduce some new methods. CAUTION…here comes a plug… Our team at IgniteHQ has been developing and implementing social technology and social marketing strategies within the network marketing industry for years. We have large companies and small teams using our tools and tapping into our expertise. Check us out if you are interested in learning more about how we can help you break into the Coversation_Silhouettenew era and create a fun, enjoyable experience for your users.

What does this have to do with PropelHQ you ask? Well, PropelHQ is a simple approach to enhance not replace what you are currently doing. It is not designed to replace the mainstream social networks but work with them. It is a social tool that gives you another reason to talk to customers or prospective customers (joing our health/fitness/weight loss competition), it provides a fun and unique way to interact (see competitions, coaching) with your team, customers etc., it also provides a great way to connect with new people and deepen your relationship with them. There are many other ways to use PropelHQ and all of these ways will move you closer to acheiving your goals. If you have ideas or suggestions about other tools or features and how or why they would be useful we want to hear from you. Click here to contact me.

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MLM, Twitter, Facebook and Spam

Posted on May 18, 2009. Filed under: PropelHQ, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , |

twitter spamI am sure most of you have seen the post on Mashable by Adam Ostrow about MLM Invading Twitter.  I recently set up the propelhq twitter account. If you are here you know that we develop social tools for the Direct Sales industry or MLM. Once I created my new account I instantly began to receive spam followers and messages. Plus, people that I initially thought would be interesting to follow soon began to spam me with direct messages and a slew of spam tweets. Working as a Social Media/Technology vendor in the Network Marketing industry for the last few years I have spent a lot of time getting to know the industry and how social networking fits in. Spammers and scammers are horrible for social networking and direct sales.

In recent meetings with top distributors we discussed how they were using Facebook as a” tool”. Quickly the conversation went south. As soon as I heard how they were using it I jumped in. Their thought was by building out their profile and screaming business opportunity and join my team and you have to try these products they would attract and recruit new people. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Social networking and relationships in general are about providing value and the mutual exchange and sharing of thoughts, ideas, interests etc. Not force feeding content down someone’s throat. When I am on Facebook or Twitter I want my time there to mean something. Nobody wants to be plastered with spam and posts / comments that scream scam. The industry has enough image problems as it is for people to behave like this on these platforms. Email has been hammered from this type of activity-you can’t even mention the words opportunity, MLM, Network Marketing, Make Money etc without setting off every spam filter.

So what can you do? How can you do it right? The big question that everyone is trying to figure out is can you build your MLM business with social networking and social media? The short answer to all of these question is – if people are asking you for it and you are giving them something of value then you will be ok. While thinking about this post today I came across a blog post from Randy Gage. I don’t know much about Randy, I have never met him, I did not read much more than this post-yet, but I think he did a great job of addressing this topic-read it here.

Here is one of my favorite paragraphs from his post:

“I believe in providing value, giving people a reason to view my stuff, and then offer options (coaching programs, seminars, books and other learning resources) where they can spend money if they like my work and want deeper assistance.  So I don’t really make any sales from posting on Twitter directly, but I rake in a lot of dosh because I Twitter.”

All of these tools are a great way to communicate and network when used appropriately. I am still searching for some good tweeters and bloggers that are not going to spam me and make me feel like I am getting scammed. If you know any please comment here or find me on twitter @propelhq.

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