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When I talk to business owners about social media, they invariably make one of a couple kneejerk responses that make them sound a little like Austin Powers when he told Scott “I’m with it; I’m hip,” right before he busts out with the Macarena.

The problem is, their reactions are based on old information about the use and value of the various social media platforms. They think Facebook is for vacation photos; LinkedIn is an online Rolodex; and Twitter is about what you had for breakfast. While these things may have been among the headlines in each platforms’ infancies – and they can still be used for those things, should you want – they have grown and evolved dramatically since then. Hopefully, it’s just that you were too busy running your business to keep up with the changes.

Today, there are roughly 1.44 billion monthly active users on Facebook. That’s approximately one of every five people – ON THE PLANET. On a daily basis, Facebook sees about 936 million active users who are spending an average of 20 minutes on the platform. In the US and Canada alone, there are approximately 161 million active daily users. If 161 million isn’t enough of an audience for you, then you’re probably running a global brand and I’m curious to hear how you found this blog.

On Twitter, there are about 302 million active monthly users, with 100 million of them active daily and more than 50 million of them in the US. LinkedIn has 350 million users, with more than 107 million of them in the US. LinkedIn reaches more than 200 countries and territories and 70% of its reach is outside the US.

What I’m trying to convey is that social media channels have evolved to become remarkably powerful connection platforms. What this means for you is that – no matter who your prospective customer or client is – they’re likely using one or more of these platforms. The flip side of that statement is that you could be using the platforms to find and connect with them.

More and more, savvy sales, marketing and business people are turning to social media as an emerging way to prospect for new customers and clients. If you know a little about the kind of person you’re trying to find, or the kind of problems they’re trying to solve, you can use the platforms to find and connect with them.

We have created a workbook that will help you learn how to use social media to find new leads for your business. The workbook outlines the fundamentals of listening to social media and tips to help you get the best results from your time spent prospecting. If you want to learn how to use social media for prospecting, please download our guide. If you’ve got any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments…or tweet us @savoirfairemc!

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