8 Ways Social Media is like Multi-Level Marketing

usedcar 1. The people who get in first see the most benefits. The people who join later are lucky to get 10% of that.
2. One of your friends starts raving about how awesome Amway or MySpace or Twitter is, but you just can’t believe it’s as great as s/he says.
3. A small group of your friends keep telling you that you HAVE TO get in on it because it’s the next big thing.
4. They tell you that the key to success is building your network .
5. Once you do join, you agree it’s cool, but sadly, you don’t get from it what you were promised.
6a. It feels like a lot more work than you really want to be putting into something you had to be convinced to do .
6b. Or, you weren’t told how much time it would take for you to really be successful, so you find yourself neglecting it without realizing it.
7. Just as you’re getting settled, your friends jump ship and start making the same promises to you about some other new company/program/network.
8. Most people like it until some person or company comes along, buys it up, changes it, and squeezes every cent of profit out of it until you no longer recognize it as what you first signed up for.


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  • hahaha I like. I agree the hype is big. Although it will become a staple part of marketing so it is a must for not all but many companies out there. I see it's main roles as a feedback mechanism, HR and accountability tool. I am VERY excited to see the integrations into Google Wave.

    As for content filtering, Social Media is the new layer that will become a platform for the rest of the web to grow on. It's an extension of SEO since there is so much content out there. From here new layers will form to add the next levels of the web.
  • This is so true, I have suffered from gottatryitfirstitis and gottahaveitfirstitis my entire life. We spent $1500on a state of the art VHS player, we were the only one's that had it. It did things that we didn't even know or understand, but we enjoyed it. Then how about the PC Junior by IBM. We bought into the one as well, for a cool $3200. NO PROGRAMS just the computer, our operating system was DOS. That was a total waste of money. but we had to get it first. :-) Still I keep jumping in on the first floor.
  • Wow, Eric, you really fired up the people over at at Amway. Or was it Pre-Paid Legal? Vemma perhaps. What are the other big pyramid schemes going on right now? Herbalife? Mary Kay? Monavie?
  • Jeff

    It seems that you have not been successful in MLM to be making this comparison.

    MLM is a vehicle and Social Media is a vehicle that works if the driver does something. There are many very successful MLMers and many very successful Social Networkers with a common bond. They both worked the vehicle, took it seriously and that is why there are some folks on LinkedIn with 1000++ contacts and why many folks in MLM work from home and do what they want to do when they want to do it.

    We all need to work it each and every day.

    The elevator to success is broken so we must take the stairs.

  • Thanks for prejudging me without the least concern for checking up on my background, Jeff. I suppose that's how people make money in multi-level marketing, right? They get people to jump in underneath them without first doing all of their background research on what exactly they will be doing, no?
  • GI
    Ok, i will NOT prejudge you - neither will i take the pain of checking up on your background. I completely understand your sentiments about MLM, because that is exactly how i used to feel/believe (and hence think is true) about all of them. Then i was "sucked" into one of them a few years back - and thanks to my skepticism, i dragged on for more than 3 years, trying to find the truth behind it. Thank God i stuck around for 3 years studying the "Stupid" thing, i realised exactly what our friend Jeff had to say - "people who take it up seriously will make it". The part of taking it seriously includes "LEARNING", just as it is true of any other career. The last 4 years of learning and working at it seriously has earned my wife her "freedom" from going to a 10-hour work on daily basis, working for one of the top 3 global software giants as a financial consultant (she's done her MBA from a top univ); and with all my skepticism, i believe i can choose to "retire" from my job as a director of the world's largest enterprise solutions company (i've not been jobless either, nor do i lack the required academic credentials) by end-2009. Our income from the "stupid" MLM business is far higher than our combined multinational full-time jobs have been giving us and in the last 1 year (yeah, during the recession!!), we decided to double our income and have worked our way for that too. Now, if you are as skeptical as i used to be, i will help you with a couple of possible responses too:
    i. "Ah! you were the lucky one" (we chose to work out the business during our free time, which is roughly about 14 hours a week, including weekends. yes, we were lucky to understand what we can do productively in our unproductive time")
    ii. "You must've gotten in very early" (we got in after the company has been operational for more than 40 years!!. and fyi, there is someone who got in much after us, and who worked more harder than we did, and hence makes a ton of money more than we do!!)
    iii. "You really took advantage of your friends/relatives" (oh yes, we did. we have taken advantage of them, and because of that, the people who chose to learn have a part-time income from the MLM business, which has supported them thro' this downtime). I am glad someone took advantage of us!
    iv. (ok...ok...i will give you the freedom to choose your own words as well)
    Eric, just because the majority of the people have chosen not to learn how to succeed in running a business, does not make the business any bad. Any substantial income cannot be built over a simple 3-6 month effort - i am sure you are intelligent enough to know that. And one cannot achieve something significant in a completely new field, without real learning either. Pottery, cycling, swimming - or building a MLM business - look very simple from the outside, but it takes consistent practice and willingness to learn to be a master at either. Just because my 4 year old son knows swimming, i will not assume that he knows everything Michael Phelps knows.
    Feel free to negate everything on this reply - but the truth is that - what you dont know, you dont know. If you ever wish to learn, feel free to ping me as well. All the best.
  • #8 is so true, but that's a good thing. Every time some company comes along, buys something up and screws with it, it becomes the catalyst for a more innovative or more interesting "next thing."
  • The way of the modern world buddy! :O)
  • That damn cat sold me a lemon just last week.

    Seriously though, this is completely true. That sad thing is, even knowing this I'll STILL jump into just about anything new because I have a disease called "gottatryitfirstitis"
  • Haha. The cat got me too unfortunately.

    I'm with you on the "gottatryitfirstitis". Seems like I'm always jumping into the next new thing and then trying to hold myself back from essentially selling it to my friends ;-)
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