I had a meeting last week with a potential client that sells to consumers. We spoke a little about social networking (ie: FaceBook, Linked-In, etc.) He made it very clear that he had no interest in doing anything in that realm. He then went on to tell me a story about a customer that would only purchase his product once they found someone they knew who was using it and happy with it. They had checked the company’s references, and although they were all very good, it wasn’t until they spoke with someone they knew that they decided the product was good for them.
This is an example of social networking, except that it was done over the phone instead of the computer. Now, imagine you could create this kind of referral that would go out to many people instead of just the person on the other end of the phone. That is what social networking can do for you.