Making Connections

Posted & filed under Life, Social Media.

My husband and I had an old friend from out of town over for a beer the other night. Not a super-blogworthy activity, you’re thinking, but how it came about is pretty remarkable, at least to me.

We haven’t seen our friend, Richard, face-to-face in nearly 25 years. He’s not even really my friend to begin with – my husband hung out with him during a brief period in high school. And like many short, intense friendships at that age, they burn out pretty quickly and you move on to other things.

But over the past year, Richard has become one of my closest friends. We chat almost daily, about jobs, kids, Shakespeare, bad ‘60s sitcoms (anyone remember Brian Keith and that freaky doll Mrs. Beasley?), and the old songs on the jukebox of Lenny’s Nosh Bar, the hangout of choice for earnest, wanna-be poets in our day. I get a little worried now if several days go by without hearing from him.

I “friended” Richard on a whim in Facebook. I didn’t think he’d remember me – the black-clad girlfriend of a weird kid he knew in high school. But keeping in touch with Richard helped me reconnect those threads and remember things about Richard that I always liked, and I guess always will. And now that we’re both raising preschoolers, I feel fortunate to be adding new chapters – and this new friend – to the story.

Many people dismiss the power of social networking – “it’s shallow, it’s a time-waster, it’s never a substitute for ‘real’ relationships,” they say. Of course, it isn’t. But new technologies like social networking help us reinforce what’s already there, and build on it in new, unexpected ways.

Consider using these powerful tools to continue building your valued customer relationships. Reconnect with old “friends.” Help them remember what they already like about you – even when they’re not shopping for your product or service.

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