Facebook – More Social Than You Think

How do you use Facebook, the most popular social media site?  Are you simply sharing links to cat videos on YouTube or posting pictures of your friends, kids and self?

Or are you part of a growing audience that treats Facebook as a personal focus group?

Many of my “friends” now use Facebook as a resource for finding skilled professionals, new restaurants or physicians who are reliable and provide great outcomes.

I’ve watched this happen frequently. Recently, a friend was seeking a good GYN, so she turned to her friends who she trusted. Her Facebook friends, that is. Dozens of responses, both negative and positive, were posted within minutes.

In the old days, we might have asked our neighbor or someone in the office for advice. But today, we have the power of social media and easy access to friends around the world. And there’s nothing more social than helping a friend solve a problem.

I decided to give it a try. When my roof leaked, I turned to Facebook. After previously finding, AND hiring, every horrible, over-priced, unreliable contractor in the area, I was determined to find someone who was honest, qualified and reasonably priced.

Guess what, it worked!  Minutes after I typed in my request to my Facebook status, numerous friends posted on my wall and even called me to talk about the awesome – and not-so-awesome – roof repair professionals.  A Facebook friend, who I never would’ve thought of calling, recommended a company she hired after weeks of researching and interviewing several firms. The one she chose restored her belief in talented, honest and reliable craftsmen.

I hear talk about how social media is making us “less social” – but in some ways, I think it’s connecting us with more people and on more levels than we ever imagined. We all have our own ways of using Facebook. Seeking opinions of others through social media could open doors you didn’t realize were there to open. Maybe the next time you’re looking for a yoga instructor, dog sitter or a new contractor, you should ask Facebook.

On the flip side, if you’re a business owner, keep your eyes peeled to friends’ updates in your online networks. Your next customer could very well be behind the latest social media post.