This week, I’m featuring personal case studies to demonstrate how the social web can provide tremendous business benefits … often when you least expect it!

Today’s example started when I tweeted ”Go Steelers!” … and ended with the video about my business that you can view by clicking the image above.

I was watching a Monday night football game and tackling a little work at the same time. I flipped to Twitter and cheered for my favorite team. “I’m cheering for the Steelers, too” Michelle Chmielewski tweeted back.  And soon we were sharing our love for football, Pittsburgh (where she was a student), and blogging.

I had never connected with her before but Michelle had been reading {grow} and had just started to blog herself,  The Observing Participant.  As a new blogger, she asked me for some feedback on her own posts.  Over time I grew to really love the  quirky, funny video posts she featured. One day I had a brainstorm — one of these videos would be a great way to explain my business to potential customers!   Michelle agreed to do it, but on one condition – instead of pay, she needed a new high-definition camera to take her video blogging to a new level.  I was glad to oblige and provide her with a tool that could further her career.

I’m sure you’ll agree that Michelle’s video is awesome, and in a week or so I will be featuring it on my website.

Throughout the year, Michelle and I continued to learn from each other. She talked me into getting on to Skype and has looked to me as a mentor on career issues.  Best of all, Michelle is my friend, and that never would have happened without the social web.

So here’s the lesson of Twitter: You just never know!

Let’s check in again with my formula for creating business benefits on the social web and see how it relates to this case study:

Connections + Meaningful content + Authentic helpfulness = Business benefits

How this worked in the real world:

  • Michelle and I both actively created connections by engaging with people on Twitter.
  • Because of the meaningful content on my blog, Michelle became an interested follower.  Michelle’s video content created engagement with me and eventually resulted in a mutually-beneficial business benefit.
  • We continuously offer authentic helpfulness to each other without regard of any future “pay-back.”  This trusting friendship will continue to pay personal and business dividends.

This formula works.  What “unexpected” Twitter stories do you have?

This is the second installment of the unexpected benefits of the social web. You might enjoy these other articles:

Part 1: How to become a CMO in 10 tweets or less

Part 3: LinkedIn: A goldmine of business benefits

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