Against My Expectations, Facebook Worked

12.20.12

I’ll admit it — I’m not the biggest Facebook fan. Keeping up with relatives and old friends was easy before Facebook — a birthday card ‘here, a phone call there, a visit now and then. No stress.

Facebook changed that… now people expect me to be sociable, keep up with their birthdays, “like” their kid’s photos, etc. The stress of not feeling able to ignore those social obligations kept me off Facebook, mostly.

But work called. With hundreds of millions of Americans (read: potential clients) on Facebook, I needed to get busy… after all, as John said — “this coffee isn’t going to pay for itself!”

Over the past couple of months we’ve started posting more frequently to Facebook, and doing so with a plan… and what’s happened? Well, it worked.

Here are two examples: new opportunity & found dog.

New Opportunity

In the most convoluted way possible, Facebook led a major regional company to call us and set up a meeting. That meeting led to an exciting new opportunity, one that’s going to enable us to work in a new industry with a hot, growing client.

And it isn’t surprising that the path that led this client to us was a twisting, mult-branched one. After all, that’s the power of social networking — unknown, distant connections together with focused intent leading to “discovery” on one side, and opportunity on the other. This is the ChaosTheory/Non-linear Dynamics potential that the Web has always seemed to promise.

Found Dog

This morning we discovered that our dog Jake had slipped out of the house while my wife was leaving for work. An hour or two spent looking for said dog (aka “The Beast”) was fruitless. My son was unhappy, my wife upset, my attention – distracted.

Enter Graphic Designer extraordinaire Travis Hoffman. He pointed me to the Facebook page for Lost & Found Pets in Adams County IL, where I posted about Jake.

Within an hour or so, my neighbor called — they’d seen the post on Facebook, and told me they’d received a call that morning from another neighbor who thought Jake was their dog and had him. When they found out he wasn’t, they called Animal Control, who picked him up. Our neighbor suggested we call the City, which we did, but the shelter was closed due today’s snowstorm.

Then, someone at the City saw my post, grabbed Jake’s photo, and sent it to Animal Control with my phone number. Administration at Animal Control called Officer Steve, ‘he called me, and within half an hour I was re-united with Jake. All because of social networking on Facebook.

So… we’re going to continue to work Facebook (and LinkedIn, and, to a degree, Twitter). And let the power of cascading social networks work for us… and our clients!