As the popularity and potential of social media continues to explode exponentially, it's no longer being viewed as a fad, but a fundamental shift in the way we communicate — and do business.
With this reality in mind, the forward-thinking Las Vegas Market launched a social media bar called Hot Spot during this summer's show to help lighting industry professionals get up to speed on what social media can do for their business. On the lighting-centric 10th floor of Building C, experts set up social media accounts for interested attendees and offered tips to best navigate this new medium.
Still skeptical about social media's influence? Here's a picture of the changing landscape by the numbers:
- Facebook boasts more than 350 million active users worldwide, making it the No. 1 social media site.
- The 35-and-over demographic now represents more than 30 percent of Facebook's entire user base.
- The 55-and-over audience grew a whopping 923 percent in 2009, making it the fastest growing segment of users.
- More than 700,000 local businesses have active pages on Facebook.
- The average Facebook user has 130 friends.
- People spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook.
- 50 percent of active users log into the site each day.
- Twitter has 75 million user accounts.
- About 50 million tweets are sent per day.
- LinkedIn has over 50 million members worldwide.
- There are 200,000,000 blogs in cyberspace -- and counting.
- 34 percent of bloggers post opinions about products and brands.
For fun — and mind-boggling — facts about the "social media revolution" and how it might impact your bottom line, check out this eye-opening video: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/5965/The-Ultimate-List-300-Social-Media-Statistics.aspx 
And speaking of videos, be sure to check out our Plugged In  video report from the June Dallas Market, including special coverage of the groundbreaking Showroom of the Year Awards reception.