In July I went to ICRS (The International Christian Retailing Show). At least two dozen times someone stopped me on the floor, “I’m your friend on Facebook” or “I’m following you on Twitter.” From there we launched into great conversations. These were people I’d never met before. Some where salesmen working on one of my books. (I had no clue when I befriended them online.) Some were other people in the industry, from publishing houses I’ve never worked with … yet we had a launch point with that comment, “I follow you.”
Later that month I was back in my home town, Weed, California, for my 20th high school reunion. I hung out with old friends, some that I haven’t seen for 20 years. I’m connected with a few of them on Facebook, and it was nice already feeling somewhat “in the know” about each others lives. We chatted and had fun because we’d connected online.
I was at the local carnival and a woman approached me. She was two years ahead of me in high school. I can’t remember one conversation we had in high school, but she recently became a friend on Facebook. “Tricia, I love been connected with you. I follow all your posts. I’m the high school librarian now and I buy all your books and recommend them.” Yeah!
One more story.
Last fall I connected with someone on Facebook. (She asked to be by friend.) We chatted about whatever. A month later I was invited to Focus on the Family to be on the radio. The person I’d been chatting with was a producer there. They’d been considering me, and she thought she’d connect. I again had no clue. We are still friends.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that a sort of Facebook “tribe” has formed. My friends talk with each other on my page. Sometimes about me, sometimes just with each other. One reader in Germany shared a recipe with one of my editors in Chicago … on my page. (I was off on a cruise, but it didn’t matter.) People talk about my books. They chat about stuff like reunions and Weed (the city). How cool is that?
I accept all friend invitations. I follow everyone who follows me. People have my trust until they lose it. I daily connect with old friends, readers, publishing folks, friends from church, new friends. No one gets better treatment. I think it pays off. I know it does.
Just my .02!