April 14, 2013

Rachel Strella

Social Media: The Instant Referral

By Megan Barto

You’re leaving a restaurant. They have one of those jars of starlight mints by the cash register.  After just eating a plate of garlic linguine, you of course take one.  You chomp down on it just the wrong way and CRACK!! You crack one of your teeth.

What do you do? You’ve been bad, and haven’t been to the dentist in ages (in fact, you’re pretty sure the one you went to as a kid has since retired).  Do you open up the phone book? Yeah right.  Do you drive aimlessly around town and look for one that looks “inviting?”  Ha! Who wants to spend the gas money to do that?

You take to Facebook to ask the advice of your friends. “Who can recommend a good dentist in the area?

You start to get a comment or two, and suddenly there are 15!  Everyone has an opinion and why shouldn’t they? A dentist is something most people are loyal to once they find one they like!

But what if one friend, any friend, was “friends” with their dentist ON Facebook?  And then they started a “private message” between the friend who was in pain with a broken tooth, and the dentist themselves.

“Hey - Chris, I know your tooth is broken, here’s my friend, Dan is an *amazing* dentist!  Dan, meet Chris - he broke his tooth - I’m sure you can fix him up! Take care, Frank.”

And the conversation between Dam and Chris begins.  Dan just happens to specialize in cracked teeth (but what dentist doesn’t?).

Moral of the story -- Cracked Tooth Chris --> Frank the Friend--> Dentist Dan.  Dan just got another client today, who he may have never had, had it not been for Facebook.

The same kind of thing happens on Twitter everyday.  I know an expert in a different field, my friend asks me a question, I then RT the question and “cc” the expert!

Many, many, many many...many of these types of conversations happen on Social Media every single day.  Not just on Facebook, or Twitter, but on the myriad of other social media websites that are popping up all over the place.

Having connections and community is important.  We wouldn’t be who we are today without the connections and community we’ve acquired over the years. They’ve helped shape us into who we are today.  And if you’re anything like me, I kinda like who I am!

Before the days of social media, people used to make these connections at barbeques, a book club, or the golf course. Those places are all great ways to forge new connections.  However, I’ve met people from all over the world via social media.

So build your network and grow your connections so that, one day, ‘Frank the Friend’ will start a conversation with you and you may very well may get a new client because of it.

Megan BartoMegan Barto is the Internet Sales Director for Ciocca Honda in Harrisburg. Just for fun, check our her interview with Strella Social Media in 2011!  You can also follow her on Twitter: @skeetle.

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