MLM industry fails to connect with social networking
Ask any MLM or Network Marketing company today about their core marketing strategies and it’s almost guaranteed you’ll hear about their ‘social networking campaign’.
Whilst most people understand that the social networks are there to connect freely with other people over a variety of platforms, the MLM industry seems to have forgotten what this is about.
At a time when information is so abundantly available on the internet and in an industry that continues to try and control how information about itself is distributed and presented, is it any wonder then that nearly every MLM company completely misses the mark when it comes to social networking?
Let’s have a look at some recent examples;
1. LiveSmart 360 and their secretive marketing campaign with ‘LockYourSpot’
When LiveSmart 360 launched under a veil of secrecy via the LockYourSpot website, the website itself became redundant the second the company launched.
Now that everyone knew LiveSmart 360’s name, there wasn’t much point in having a website that existed with the sole purpose of masking a company’s name.
Or so one would think.
Recently LiveSmart 360 have relaunched ‘LockYourSpot’ (or supercharged it as they tackily put it), with the intention of it being a marketing portal for associates to utilise.
The idea is that the LockYourSpot website can be promoted via social networks by LiveSmart 360 associates. The LockYourSpot website has been setup to contain just enough information to get people curious but then feel they have to contact LiveSmart 360 associates to find out more.
What LiveSmart 360 seem to have completely forgotten is this is the age of the internet. Anybody with an internet connection (which they’ve already demonstrated they have if they’re viewing the LockYourSpot website), is capable of plugging in LockYourSpot into Google and finding out more about the company.
Thus an entire social networking campaign is rendered useless.
2. Polaris Global attempts to control web presence for the company via social networking campaign
A few weeks back now Polaris Global EMC member Michael Berry sent out an email
As you may be aware that commenting on other people’s blogs increases their rankings in the search engines based upon their key words and tags. Some of you may have joined various tribes because of this. What I’m proposing is that we have our own tribe within Polaris therefore if we support each other we will accomplish the same thing and much more.
My plan is to compile a list of your blogs and make it available to everyone that has chosen in. If everyone would just spend less than 1/2 hour a day making comments on other people’s blogs it would make a huge difference.
The spreadsheet will be posted on my site and I will update it from the bottom therefore I would suggest you start at the top and comment on a few blogs and make a note of the last comment and the next day continue down the list.
Firstly the fact that this email went out highlights the fact that gone are the days when MLM companies can control what information is published about them.
Secondly Berry’s email highlights the futility in trying to do so. If you were searching for information on a particular company and the first page of results were a whole bunch of blogs from company associates trying to market to you, are you going to take that at face value or keep searching?
Due diligence is just that and no amount of attempted manipulation of search engine results is going to change that.
3. GiveOpp’s complete lack of information transparency
If you thought LiveSmart 360 were being tight with company details prior to launch, then you haven’t had a look at GiveOpp.
GiveOpp went into prelaunch a few months ago and are set to launch on July 4th. To date the amount of information officially released by the company has been negligible.
Instead, prospective associates are required to hand over personal information before they are given any idea of what the company is about.
My prediction is that with prelaunch just around the corner this style of controlled information is going to hurt GiveOpp come launch day.
A simple Google search for ‘GiveOpp’ reveals information about the company but nothing official from the company. All of the social networking marketing in the world won’t do you any good if, because of the fact you’ve been so secretive your own company website doesn’t rank, you aren’t searchable.
What each of these three examples highlights is a reluctance from the MLM industry to actively engage social networking properly. Social networking is a two way street and using it solely to your advantage has traditionally never really worked.
There’s a reason a month after Avant launched the company’s Twitter account (weareavant) has just 50 followers.
If the MLM industry is going to truly succeed in social networking it’s going to have to change the way it presents information about itself and rethink how it interacts with the internet.
Currently most MLM companies are reluctant to engage people outside of the very controlled environments they foster on the internet such as company owned Twitter and Facebook accounts.
The problem here is that these environments aren’t just going to be the sole reference point for potential associates. The vast majority of people are going to do some sort of research and this is where MLM companies need to have a presence.
Be it on blogs like BehindMLM, forums discussing MLM and Network Marketing or just branching out on Facebook and Twitter to reach people who aren’t already directly related to the company.
Take for example Avant’s recent ‘Give to the Gulf’ campaign. Announced internally on Avant controlled platforms, the smart thing to do would have been to use the campaign to reach out to credible sources and use the opportunity to promote to a wider audience.
I rely a fair bit on reader submitted news as it’s impossible for one person to be involved in every MLM/Network Marketing company out there. Likewise there’s nothing stopping MLM companies themselves from providing third parties with announcements like these.
Blogs are very much part of the social networking sphere and at worse I don’t write about it but from what I’ve read I can’t really find any fault with the ‘Give to the Gulf’ campaign.
Contrary to popular belief I’m not adverse to writing just about the negatives of companies. Credit given where credits due – the ‘Give to the Gulf’ campaign looks promising.
The method of controlled information and only circulating it in controlled environments ensures that absolutely nothing beyond false moderated discussion is presented about your company, but it also raises suspicions amongst people if it’s the only information they can find.
It’s time to get out there and engage the wider social networking community guys. Social networking is a truly interactive open platform and gone are the days you can control it.