Amazing the utility of Social Media (SM) and Social Networks (SN’s).  I don’t know about you, but this stuff is really getting cool.  Couple stories from this week…

Linkedin

I needed to make a very important, high-profile connection with a large, international organization based in another country.  I had no contacts.  So I went to Linkedin and started a search on the company name.  Up comes a guy that’s connected to someone I know, call him “George” (sorry for the Seinfeld allusion).   So I reach out to him through the invitation to connect, but not as a connection, just as a communication tool to carry my ‘interested in talking to you‘ content.  Turns out we have more in common than I realize.  Within a week, I’m on a conference call with the senior people for North America from that company – the EXACT people I need to connect with, they’re totally up to speed, no credibility issues – a VERY productive call.  One Week! How ’bout that?!?!?

Comment: Anything like this happen to you yet?  Any how-to questions I might be able to help with?  Comment below…

Facebook

The night before the aforementioned call, I’m checking facebook on personal business and see a birthday wish to a former client that I became friends with in the course of the business relationship and then connected with on fb.  So I click through to add my wish and guess who gave the wish immediately preceding mine?  Yep, ‘George’.  Just phenomenal.  Sure enough, the next morning I have an invitation to connect with George on facebook – and the relationship builds… It’s just amazing!

Do you have a story like this?  What’s your take?  Comment below…

Twitter

Also this week, I connected with several new people on twitter (see my connections here).  Some really useful people in the insurance technology space, or around the insurance marketing space in general.  I also connected with a follower/contact for a potential speaking gig.  I followed a couple trending events, I tweeted a Webinar I attended, I blocked a few people from following me (p-rn stuff – yep there’s danger, too), and I drove some traffic and learned some things.  And with TweetDeck, it did not take a huge amount of time.

Blog

And then there’s this blog.  It’s sort of the nerve center of a lot of this.  It’s a vehicle to publish.  It’s a way to build relationship, credibility, drive change, so much.  I just can’t say enough about it.  So glad my boss told me to do it back in February of 2005.  Thanks, Jim.  Tremendous.

Your Corporate Web presence: Ya gotta do all this plus have an interactive, Web 2.0, e-commerce site – professionally done, no issues.

If you need help getting a strategy together, generating internal buy-in, overcoming obstacles, documenting, finding insurance technology and insurance marketing partners, reach out to me – mwise at ideastar dot com or twitter or linkedin or facebook.  Happy to help.

Oh yeah, shooting Houghton College stuff this weekend.  Unfortunately, my son’s roommate and soccer teammate, Johnny Kimani, collided with a goalie, suffered a lacerated kidney and a broken vertebrae.  So I made this 8×10 for him last night.  Looking forward to encouraging him with it.  Poor guy – he loves soccer so much, was off to a great start, is an orphan from Kenya, and now is out for his Junior Year.  Well, he scored on the collision any way.  And he’s up and around and encouraging his teammates.  So we’ll see where it goes.  (The print is a photo-series from the play before where he scored and then did a round-off to celebrate!  He used the flip-pic for his fb profile pic, so I know he really likes it – cool.)

Kimani 2009 Injury Gift