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By Alfredo “Al” Bala
I have been in the direct selling industry for more than 35 years, and I am seeing how social media is changing our industry rapidly. When I was a young man growing up, we didn’t have the technology that my children and grandchildren are using today. A big difference in our culture and society has changed in the last 10-15 years due to the rise of social media. And thanks to social media, it is revolutionising the direct selling industry, which is good news for my Mannatech family.
We already know that the direct sales channel is growing and that technology is quickly replacing jobs. But now we have a tool, social media, on our side.
The Globe at Your Fingertips
According to We Are Social, as of January 2016 the world’s population is at 7.3 billion, and there are 3.4 billion internet users, 2.3 billion active social media users, 3.7 billion unique mobile users and 1.9 billion active mobile social users in the world. That means there are tons of people in the world who have access to the internet, a social media account and a mobile device who enjoy exchanging information with one another.
Image source: We Are Social
When someone enters the direct selling space as a distributor, or let’s say as a Mannatech Associate, one of the first steps to business building success has traditionally been to “make a list” of people you know. Let’s stop right there and think about this. Ask yourself, “If I had to make a list right now of people I know, who could I name? How many people could I list?” In the past, it was hoped that you could list 100 people.
Today, according to Statista, the average Facebook user has 350 friends. Social media has put the world at our fingertips, expanding our once small circle to include “friends” in all countries and continents. And with the help of our smart phones or mobile devices, we can chat, send messages, photos, videos, emails and connect with each other in ways that did not use to exist. For people like you and me in the direct selling industry, social media puts the entire globe in the palm of our hand.
Why it Matters
Since we already know that jobs are being replaced by technology, we can expect that the future holds a narrow window for success for retail stores. And since we also know that direct selling retail sales are on the rise, it can be concluded that people will quit going to the store to go shopping. Shoppers can shop online from their phones and take recommendations from friends.
In fact, we are right in the middle of what is called the “P2P Economy”, or peer-to-peer economy, where two individuals can interact, buy and sell goods and services directly with each other without intermediation by a third party. According to Nielsen’s 2015 “Global Trust in Advertising”, 78 percent of people trust and take recommendations from people they know.
Think about that for a minute. Several studies show that we take recommendations from our friends and people we know. We have a huge opportunity to share and make recommendations with our average 350 Facebook friends every day. And they are likely to trust our recommendation.
I encourage you all to begin leveraging the power of social media to build your business and share how Mannatech is transforming your life. And feel free to keep up with me on social media, too, as I am always sharing Mannatech updates and industry tips.
All the best,