The following is an excerpt from Jonathan’s book for direct selling executives, Blastoff! Creating Growth in the Modern Direct Selling Company. Direct Selling executives are qualified for a complimentary copy—send us a note.
In Social Selling I wrote of the revolution in social media and its impact on direct sellers. One of the driving themes of that book was that social media, being structurally very similar to direct selling, is made for our business.
Other industries were decimated by the advent of social media, but because of our unique model and emphasis on the importance of relationships, we were made for this new era. And the opportunity exists to grow far beyond the limits we perceive today.
Since writing my previous book, the industry has come a long way to embrace social media, but we’re not quite there. We’ve gone from ignoring it, to acknowledging it, to treating it as another marketing tool. The next step is to see social media as a central function of our companies, distinct from marketing.
For instance, we have a client, wonderful as they are, who cannot seem to make that distinction. They tend to want to apply traditional print marketing techniques to their social. Their program is overseen by a more traditional marketing director who has limited knowledge of social, so naturally their images and videos reflect a “branding” mindset, their communications reflect it, and their social presence suffers.
If you accept that social media is central to your company’s future growth (and you should), it deserves its own budget and dedicated resources. The ideal way to treat social at corporate would be as its own function, a collaborative peer to marketing, finance, or operations, appropriately staffed with communicators, creators, and inspirational types. Not just marketers.