It always amazes me how people (and I hate to admit it, I’m a person too) can get something in their head and vigorously defend that position while relying on anecdotal evidence or worse to make their point. I recently had someone who has a B2B business tell me that Facebook wasn’t that important to business development and growing their practice as most of their prospects were on LinkedIn and Twitter. I’m pretty sure that what they meant was more like, “Most of the prospects I’ve identified have come from LinkedIn and Twitter.”
So what is anecdotal evidence? Feel free to look it up, here is the Wikipedia definition. I tend to like this statement regarding anecdotal evidence; anecdotal evidence and explanations may affect our understanding of a premise, and therefore influence our judgment. So this individual has essentially discounted other social media sources, most noteworthy Facebook, based on what is possibly faulty judgement. I don’t think that is the best way to run a business.
So let’s look at some numbers then I can toss my own anecdotes into the ring. Over at The Social Skinny, my soon to be new friend Cara Pring, published “99 New Social Media Stats for 2012.” One stat stands out…
LinkedIn is 4X better for B2B lead generation than Facebook and Twitter (business development)
OK, I can buy that but I have to ask, what kind of lead generation and is that number a great enough inducement to convince me to give up on a social network (hint Facebook) that will soon reach a billion users? That’s like walking away from three quarters of India. More importantly, how is the business owner tracking these leads? Again, is is scientific or anecdotal? If the only sandbox you play in is LinkedIn then you’re pretty much assured you’re only going to get leads from there.
Now I don’t have any solid evidence to back up this claim but I’m willing to bet that most people that are active on a social network, say LinkedIn, are probably active on others as well. Twitter jumps to mind and so does Facebook. Keep in mind that each platform fills a different need or their wouldn’t be a need for all of them. LinkedIn is the most professional and Facebook is more social. Twitter is just Twitter.
I use all three and when I’m prospecting for business development and I use LinkedIn and Facebook about equally. I find someone on LI, I check them out on FB and vice versa. Why, you ask? I’m a firm believer that the more you know about someone the more genuine you can be. That leads to deeper relationships which can translate to more rewarding interactions.
So here is the problem with my B2B friend. In his social media strategy, he has essentially abandoned most of India for Bangladesh without any real evidence to support his claim and the worst thing is he didn’t have to. Here is my anecdotal thought for the day. Since I find that most people that have a LinkedIn profile probably have one on Facebook as well. Why not run on all cylinders instead of just some of them?