Not Everyone Online is Online

This week Keith F. Luscher, Author, Prospect & Flourish takes on the challenge of what do you do once your identify a potential client that appears to be online but really isn’t.

Currently, more than 60 percent of U.S. Twitter users fail to return the following month, or in other words, Twitter’s audience retention rate, or the percentage of a given month’s users who come back the following month, is currently about 40 percent.”

—David Martin,
Vice President of Primary Research, Nielsen Online

I signed up my Twitter account in July of 2008, after hearing some buzz on the news. I didn’t get engaged till almost six months later. It took me a while to figure it out.

Let’s say you attend a business function and meet Jane, a senior level, experienced corporate executive or business owner. You can trade business cards with her, and go back to LinkedIn and look up her profile. You find it!

Next to her name is her title, the company, and how many years she has been there. But there is nothing else; no photo, and a minimal description of the company. Oh yes, she has five connections. “How in the world did she become soooo successful?” you ask yourself. There MUST be an explanation!

Let me tell you something: with Jane, you got lucky. You only found one profile, and not three duplicates! (Some of you are nodding…been there; done that.) The same can be true for Facebook or any of the others.

For me, it’s Plaxo. I have a profile and connections, but I am not engaged there (Fortunately it’s connected to Facebook now.).

Lots of people are online. But many of those folks are not as engaged. They don’t take to technology as well; nor do their business or social requirements demand that they learn it. They got on because someone told them to, or their 14-year-old kid walked them through it or did it for them.

The “laws” of prospecting with social media are no different than prospecting in any other form of interpersonal communication. You must reach out to people in a manner in which they feel comfortable.

So, remember that social media is only going to help you connect with those who are engaged. Others are not—so be prepared to follow up with them in a way they prefer. It might just be the telephone.

Keith F. Luscher (Google Search) is the author of five books, including Prospect & Flourish and Don’t Wait Until You Graduate. He is also a recruiting director for The Money Foundation /H. Beck, Inc. Prior to this work, he served professionals in the insurance and financial services industries as a management consultant. In that role, he advised producers on issues related to marketing and prospecting, and developed groundbreaking educational curriculum. Luscher previously worked in capital fund raising for eleven years, serving nonprofit organizations around the country. In addition, he is also a nationally known author, speaker, and expert in media, interpersonal communication and marketing.

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