My cousin Mark and I had dinner last night. He is a nurse educator for a medical supply distributor and wanted to, “pick my brain,” about social media. He’s convinced his boss that social media is a good opportunity for them to connect with their target audiences mostly because their competition isn’t.

Choose the right social networkBecause he’s new to social, he made the statement, “We have to be on Facebook and we have to be on Twitter.” I didn’t disagree right away, but asked more questions about his target audiences. It seems his company sells to 3-4 distinct buying decision-makers and the role varies by facility. Sometimes it’s purchasing or procurement agents, sometimes is risk management staff and sometimes it’s a nurse-administrator.

On the surface, you might think, “Well, he needs to use LinkedIn to get to those people.” And you wouldn’t be wrong, necessarily. But then he said something that made me pause. He said, “I’ll be 95 percent of the nurses in the United States have an iPhone in their front pocket and the first app they open when they have a chance is Facebook.”

If that is even close to true, then he was right about Facebook and not wrong about not thinking LinkedIn first. Certainly, research and surveys to get some numbers behind those assumptions are needed, but I like his assertion about Facebook for two reasons: He’s a nurse, so his assertion about usage of Facebook by nurses is probably more right than wrong. And even though nurses may not be the ultimate decision-maker, influencing the audience that uses the product is a smart strategy in a B2B approach.

Sometimes our instincts tell us that Facebook is for looking at pictures of your friends and their kids, your grandchildren or even just socializing. Thus, we shouldn’t jump to the 800-pound gorilla for business activities. But if you can find a way to connect with that ultimate buying or consumption audience on Facebook, break through the clutter of the newsfeed and connect? Well then, you’ve done something quite magical.

Here’s to my cousin having good instincts. Be sure to trust yours if the wrong social network seems so right.

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