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Front Page - Friday, March 7, 2014

< 6 Degrees

The power of social media

The impact of social media is the basis of this column. because of social media, we’re less than the Kevin Bacon theory of six degrees of separation from one another. Facebook alone has redefined how we communicate. Coupled with Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and so on, we’re more connected now to information and each other than ever before. Not a fan of social media? Too bad, because the rest of the world is. Let’s take a look at some Facebook facts and figures that will blow you mind.

10-year anniversary of Facebook:

• 1.23 billion monthly active users at the end of 2013 (that’s one-sixth of the world’s population)

• 945 million of the users were accessing Facebook on mobile devices

• The largest market is the U.S. with an estimated 180 million users (46.6 percent of North America), followed by India with 84.9 million

• 57 percent of all American adults are on Facebook as of December 2013

Now do we have your attention?! Will Facebook last forever? Who knows? I do feel confident in saying social media in general, no matter what the forum or latest catch phrase, is the new norm for mass communications going forward.

For business purposes, my personal favorite is LinkedIn, which is 11-years-old

• 277 million users and 90 million in the U.S.

• 200 countries in 20 languages

• 3 million business pages

• 2.1 million groups

• 1 billion LinkedIn endorsements

• 40 percent of users check in daily

LinkedIn is widely accepted as one of the main resources for the nation’s best professional recruiters. I myself was recruited for a previous employment opportunity due to LinkedIn, so I know it works. If you’re seeking employment or if you’re looking to connect with prospects, try LinkedIn.

I spoke with a friend today who’s a website and app developer. He gave me an example of a company that would normally use 10 employees and hours of cold calling to fulfill a marketing research project. It was replaced by a single demographically targeted Facebook campaign netting results in a fraction of the time with “virtually” (pun intended) no overhead.

Simply put, social media should be a major part of your marketing and business plan, as the results cannot be ignored anymore. Don’t know where to start? Ask your kids, and then find a professional. It’s time and money well spent when it’s done right!

Craig Miller is the Founder & Director of B2B Networking Chattanooga, for more information go to: www.b2bnetworkingchattanooga.com or contact him at info@b2bnetworkingchattanooga.com