Predicting demand and being ahead of the curve regarding future trends is something all Network Marketing companies aspire to do. It instils confidence in the field, and it empowers the business to maintain relevance year after year. With this in mind, I want to look specifically at Distributor behaviour and how it will evolve in the near future. Where will 2021 take Distributors? How will they act differently? What will they look for when it comes to running their business and getting the word out on their opportunity? Here are four critical trends in behaviour that we should anticipate, prepare for and engage with.

  1. Snackable Video.
    Social media video is the most engaging digital content available. Because it is so accessible and creatable it has now become a core part of social feeds. The boom in Tik Tok and Instagram’s Reels feature have added to this incredibly popular video feature. Expect to see more and more Network Marketers engaging their audiences, prospects, teams and customers with this great tool – short, punchy, bite size videos. As a business, look at ways to repurpose content for Instagram Reems and short attractive videos that can be shared and promoted easily.
  2. Social Commerce.
    Almost half the world is on social media now, this means the drive to e-commerce purchases will be the next big step for social platforms. Already we have Facebook Shops and Instagram shops. This makes online purchases quick, convenient and hassle free. What does this mean for MLM? It means companies should expect higher demands from the field on simple online shopping experiences for their customers. Their competition is fierce in this space. Research shows that 71% of consumers turn to social media for inspiration in their shopping decisions and 55% of online shoppers use social media channels now. Big brands like Levi’s and Clothing the Gap now sell through Pinterest Catalogues, Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops. A few quick clicks and inspiration turns to a convenient purchase. What will your business do moving forwards in this space?
  3. Live Video.
    In 2019 internet users watched an incredible 1.1 billion hours of live video! One in five Facebook videos are live streams and 1 million Instagram users are watching live video every day. Other platforms are jumping on board with the trend such as Youtube and LinkedIn. Distributors will use this platform more and more to host events, sell product, train teams and celebrate successes. It is becoming far more potent than conventional meetings. Facebook Live for example can remain on a host’s page long after the event has ended attracting more participants, comments and responses than in-home meetings. Where once a Distributor may have 20 people in their living room, a live event can garner well over 100, 200 or even over 1,000 views. Simply put, Live Video grabs people’s attention.
  4. Cause Related Content.
    2020 has seen a significant spike in cause related social content. Topics such as: Black Lives Matter, Feminism, Climate Change, COVID-19, Mental Health, Human Rights, and so much more are being spoken of with louder voices and greater convictions. Big brands are getting behind this and awareness on critical topics is being spread faster than ever before. Distributors will want to link critical social issues with your business opportunity and product line more and more to show relevance, leadership, sincerity and value. This will require company engagement to ensure training is provided and enthusiasm isn’t replaced with false claims. We have seen many companies this year for example get challenged by the FTC due to Distributors sharing product solutions for the pandemic. So we need to be cautious as well as great brand ambassadors here.

All in all, the billions of social media users around the world tell us one critical thing. If we want more Customers and Distributors in our business, we need to go to where they are – Social Media platforms. We must share the same space and engage them. And in 2021 Social Media is the space where Distributors will make that will happen more than ever before.

This migration to social selling, Live Video, snackable video bites and cause-related messaging is already underway. Early adapters have been at this for a while and 2020 has ignited many new hearts to engage in this space. Now, as it normalises and becomes more mainstream, the numbers will grow significantly, and some traditional Distributor practices and behaviours will see their end.

Ben Woodward is an Associate with DiSSECT Consulting, best-selling author, top ranking field leader and former MLM company President. He can be reached at: benw@dissect.info