MLM’s Aggressively Enter the Social Media Space

Along with the ever rising number of social media tools, there seems to be an almost frantic rate of participation by MLM’s searching for the golden ticket to increase revenue. I can appreciate the desire to increase your reach and revenue but what has really got me perturbed is the onslaught of the people in MLM’s who are suddenly posturing themselves as an expert in the social media space as well, teaching their recruits the ways to fish for followers, or stalk and make nice with strangers on Facebook before luring them in to make the sale.

I’ll share this example. One of my personal favorite fitness guru’s, whom I’ve been a follower of long before social media entered the picture, is suddenly teaching her followers how to increase recruiting and revenue by sharing (cough..selling) the companies products via social media. This guru offers free and paid classes in how to set-up your Facebook page, how to Twitter without being pushy (in the beginning), and even techniques in creating videos to gain audience. All of this is great. Mentoring your team is wonderful. But, it made me stop and wonder why a fitness guru is suddenly branding themselves as a social media expert. If fitness is your core brand, why would you feel the need to stray from message and confuse your audience. Isn’t your product enticing enough? If it’s not, social media isn’t going to make it so. Or is your REAL product recruitment?

And, doesn’t it make you a little suspicious of the value of the product offering if it’s constantly being shoved in your face?

Recently this particular “guru” was touting a tool called Tweetadder, designed to Find and Engage in Like-Minded Twitter Followers & Automate Twitter Posts.  I decided to test it out. It worked exactly like it said would. I was able to consistently add new followers automatically, day and night, while I was sleeping or just AFK.  However, the ultimate result was that I had a mess on my hands in short order. The new accounts I was following weren’t always sending the kinds of messages I was interested in reading, and they were cluttering my view of the key contacts I wanted to engage with. I was getting those spamming DM’s to view this or that or connect on FB.

It was simple enough to fix that situation. I simply went back through HUNDREDS of following records and added the key contacts to a list I could monitor. Then I used my Tweetdeck to set up a Key Contacts column, thus ensuring I didn’t miss something important.

My point though, is that the fitness guru neglected to mention to her followers that it’s not all about amassing followers and pushing your message and crossing your fingers that someone leaps at your offer. Maybe the odds could support that strategy, but to what end? But, ultimately, social media was designed to allow us to take part in multi-directional conversations in or around the content on the Web. How can you engage in conversations, well, effective conversations with thousands of users? In my opinion, you can’t. The best you can hope for is “spray and pray”. Which to me is not an effective marketing strategy. I think this type of marketing tactic is going to be a leading factor in the impending social fatigue we’re likely to see.



Cool Social Media Tools to Test Your Reach and Influence

Sometimes it pretty difficult to really get a feel for where you stand in the muck and mire of the social networking arena. It seems like I hear about a new tool every few weeks. This is not to say these tools are all new, just that they didn’t hit my radar when they were launched.

Here’s my short list.

This tool let me look at who I follow but they don’t follow me. I am not deeply offended if someone isn’t following me, I generally find it a challenge to see if I can add enough value to get them to start to follow me. But the cool thing I liked about this was that it also showed me which accounts have been inactive for an extended time, in some cases a year. So, with the click of a button – Unfollow.

This is a cool little tool, which is free but willing to accept donations for their development work. It will graph your tweets per hour, per month and give you a great timeline. You can dig a little deeper by clicking on a month, showing you who you RT, who you @ reply and which interface you use whether the Twitter web-version or some third-party tool.

Klout describes itself as “the standard for influence,” the startup focusing its measurements on assessing people’s Twitter and Facebook influence.

From their site: The Klout Score is the measurement of your overall online influence. The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.

NOTE: I was rated an Explorer -You actively engage in the social web, constantly trying out new ways to interact and network. You’re exploring the ecosystem and making it work for you. Your level of activity and engagement shows that you “get it”, we predict you’ll be moving up.

Perhaps one of my all-time favorites is Hubspot‘s Grader site. It’s pretty much a one-stop shop that helps you measure and analyze your marketing efforts. Not only can you measure Twitter and Facebook, but you can get a grade rating on your website, RSS feeds and even Press Releases you write.

If you have a favorite tool, please let me know and I’ll include it in future posts. In the meantime, have fun with it. The object for me is to test, test, test … how to the changes I make in the way I communicate change the influence I have.