Social networking for business benefits, YES it works!

Why am I waving my fist in the air?  You will just have to click on the video to see!

I’m just not much of a video guy but hey, I’m trying!  Here’s a little story about a wide web of social connections coming together over a period of two years to create extraordinary new economic value for me, a university, a client, and several valued business partners.

Social networking for business — it WORKS!

What is your best social networking story? Would you share an experience in the comment section?

All posts

  • Anonymous

    Great to see that you have decided to share your success story with us through a video. I think Mark is doing better than he thinks, don’t you agree?;-)


  • Well, I thought I’d be the first commenter here since I’m up so early – almost made it!

    I really enjoyed the video, Mark. I’d love to see more, so please keep pushing yourself. :p (uh oh, there’s a smiley!).

    What a great story. I have so many, it’s tough to pick one out. On a personal level, it might be the one where, after connecting with someone local on Twitter through another of my Twitter (and then IRL) friends, we discovered that she had a piano she needed to sell, and I desperately wanted one (I grew up playing the piano and hadn’t been able to since I moved to the US). I ended up getting a great piano for literally a steal!

    Almost all my business has come to me through the social web, or, at least, it has played a significance part. Since you talked about teaching, it reminded me of how I got my position at Hopkins; I was introduced to my program chair through an IABC friend, who’d seen me get very active in social media. Now I’ve been teaching there for 3 years. 

    Even better, when I’ve needed help, I’ve been able to hire former students as sub-contractors, and one of my favorite clients ended up coming to me through a former student. That work has also expanded, and I’ve been able to bring in someone to help me with that project – someone I first met on Twitter and then IRL.

    I love it when worlds collide.

  • Debbie Gioquindo, CSW

    My best social networking story is the creation of Happy Bitch Wines.  I am known in the Hudson Valley as the Hudson Valley Wine Goddess, have a blog, active on social media and educated in wine.  Keryl is the Happy Bitch, a blogger and author and active on social media.  Keryl and I are acquaintances. One day she tweeted “What do you think about a Happy Bitch Wine”.  I answered, “Why don’t you make it local, source grapes from the Hudson Valley or NY State”. She responded “Let’s meet.”   We met for coffee and now the release of our first vintage will be October 20.

  • I’ll bet I know why before I even watch the video. Hold on please.

  • YES! You do need to push yourself. You are GREAT on camera. And not everyone is great on camera. Do more video!

  • Anonymous

    The best part of this video is how your warmth and professional generosity shines through. It’s not hard to see why new business follows…kudos!

  • Mark,
    LOVE the video – and especially the message of just how powerful real and meaningful social media connections are.  And you come through as so genuine – another key to really building these relationships. 

    I too have found social media to be such a such a great tool to creating new ideas – and the thing is, it’s not always an instant thing – yet, I can look back now and see how some of these things – they are completely because I’ve been involved in the social media space.

    Great stuff!!

  • I thought you did a fine job presenting on video. One question. Is CK a part of the team you put together for the company pitch? Since you asked for our Twitter connection stories, here’s a link to a story I recently posted on my blog about how I connected with Ken Blanchard on Twitter – and why it happened. After I publicized the post on Twitter using his Twitter handle, Ken DM’ed me right away to say he loved the post and RT’d it to his 25k followers. It was a last minute post I put together when I saw an email message come across my screen saying that Ken was following me on Twitter and it led to a very good day for my blog. Enjoy!

  • You are too kind! : ) Thanks Claude!

  • A great way to put it Shonali.  Thanks for sharing those experiences!

  • Oh that is fantastic!  Hilarious.  Please keep me in the loop on your progress!! Will your wine be tweet or dry?

  • Thanks for the encouragement. I feel like awkward on video.  I wish I had your easy going style on video Gini!  You’re the best!

  • Thanks Elizabeth! Very kind of you,

  • That is a really good point Lance. It is almost never an instant thing. I like to say that the business plan for social media is, “you just never know!”  Thanks for the great comment!

  • Hurray.  Great story!  No, CK was not part of this team.  I needed some very specialized skills. However, her name did come up in the meeting and she will hopefully be involved in this project as we progress toward some mobile marketing concepts.

  • Collaboration, passion, value, video and you… this indeed works, thank you Mark for your marvelous reminder?

  • Video and me? Nah.  I am so much more comfortable just writing stuff. But I will really try to do more,  You are a great source of encouragement Dr. Rae.  I appreciate your amazing support!

  • James


    Really enjoyed your video – you’ve got a very real and engaging style and the message is grounded and helpful

    Its a funny thing how we are used to being in front of rooms of people and engaging and inspiring folks but as soon as the Video camera comes out it has the ‘Kryptonite around superman’ effect.

    You are Kryptonite-proof – keep up the videos!

    Regards from the UK


  • I’ve had so many awesome connections through social media, too many to count! But I do remember this one guy I randomly ran into at SXSW this year… hint… hint. It was one of the highlights!

  • I smiled all the way through the video, and you are great on camera. 

  • Mark, I love your videos. You do very well on camera, and that’s not easy! So yes.. you should do more 😉

    It is *so* important to connect and understand the value of your network. You never know where the next opportunity could be. I’ve benefited from my social media relationships many times, although for me, it is the joy of meeting people and making friends is the reward.

    If I am establishing a working relationship with a company or individual (and this has happened when vetting agencies, when working with vendors etc), if I am already connected to them in social networks, I feel like I know them even if we haven’t had many direct interactions.

    On the flip side, I’ve also witnessed people lose out on opportunities because they were not more open in the way they connected.

  • Such an enigma isn’t it?  I am definitely more comfortable in front of 500 people than alone, in my hotel room with a video camera. It is strange, I’ll grant you that. : )

  • That was SO MUCH FUN!  It was great meeting you and hope to see you next year!

  • Thanks Ryah!

  • Great wisdom here Elyse.  I’m glad we’re connected!

  • Thank you Mark!

  • I’m looking forward to seeing you again, too! Do you have a session this year? I’d love to vote for it and promote it!

  • Don’t give up on video.  Your passion is evident in your blog all the time but it is contagious in the video.  You have extended the reach of your classroom.  The good news for your audience is we don’t have to pay tuition to attend.  We also never cut class.

  • You are great on Video!

    I have met some wonderful people from Facebook, twitter and blogging….some have become friends, some have paid for my services and I am currently bartering with one!

    My next step is to attend a local tweet-up!

    Gotta love the Internet!

  • Anonymous

    “Why am I waving my fist in the air?  You will just have to click on the video to see!”I haven’t even watched the video yet but I’m laughing so hard at this opening line and that image of you that I wanted to first thank-you for a much needed moment of good humor. You have a way with captions, headlines and imagery.

    Now back to the video and your article. But first I need to wipe up the coffee I spilled while laughing.

  • Mark you need to keep doing this, please. So genuine. Was your last video blog the one about the Art Galleries?

  • Mark you need to keep doing this, please. So genuine. Was your last video blog the one about the Art Galleries?

  • Mark
    Great video and message. I was thinking about how, when I speak to young people, usually during a career exploration class/course, or as a mentor, I am always suggesting (emphasizing) to them the need to build and nourish their networks. It is hard, as a 20-something to imagine how helpful to you a current classmate can become in the future. I tell them how to make the most of leveraging the introductions they might experience at a college presentation, a reception at the president’s house, or when doing volunteer work (where they can meet local legislators, content experts, entrepreneurs, etc). I encourage them to use their introduction to me in a way that could help them develop their careers or further their education.

    Listening to you talk, finally helped me realize that what we are doing in our electronic neighborhoods and get-togethers is no different, just BETTER, because the opportunities are so much wider and greater. If I were preparing this comment via web-cam you would see me smack myself on the forehead. Here I have been a bit nervous being “new” on Twitter and in the blogosphere, when I really shouldn’t be. Its just the method of communication and networking that is different, but the purpose and outcomes are the same as what I have been teaching and doing in real life for years. And its so much easier to maintain contact with your network through Twitter, and by commenting on other people’s blogs, that this should really be kind of a “no-brainer” although we should use our brains to make sure we are always appropriate, sincere and helpful.

    Once again, I thank you for presenting a post that has helped me to connect the dots of social media networking. There are several “success stories” in the making, that I will be able to share at a later date.

  • Anonymous

    You speak the truth Mark. If not for twitter we wouldn’t have met and the work you’ve helped our team at MLT Creative with could fill another video. Great video and good luck on that project! Your positive energy is contagious.

  • I haven’t really pursued it.  So busy!

  • Ha!  So funny.  Nice to see my star student around the blog!!

  • I think this is your longest comment ever!  : )   Just had to kid the Queen of Brevity today!

    Definitely go to a tweet-up.  Lots of fun to connect the dots.

  • Ha!  I always end up looking so stupid in these You Tube screen captures. They give you three to choose from and the other two were even worse than this one. I’m pleased that it always makes you laugh when I look like an idiot : )

  • Oooooh.  Has it really been that long??  Well, I have done a bunch of interviews with other people. They count don’t they? : )

  • Brilliant.  What a gift to all of us this comment is!  Beautifully said. I am excited and energized by the progress I see in every one of your comments.  Now … when do you start the blog??? And you don’t live that far away. I hope you plan to meet all the people from {grow} at Social Slam April 27, 2012!

  • We are definitely an on-going success story! And maybe my favorite! : )

  • Ok. Ok. I suppose they do. Plus you had the podcast with Mitch Joel. You’re forgiven. 🙂

  • Love seeing you in Video Blogs. And since the topic of Connecting, doing a video Blog is perfect for this article.

    Thanks for sharing the knowledge Mark. Hugs.

  • The video is great.  Congratulations on the proposal.  Fingers crossed it all works out.  It is amazing the people you “meet” via Twitter. I’m trying to build my connections in hopes it leads to a new career.  I love meeting new people and “stalking” those who are pioneers.  It takes a lot of work to build an online community.  But, your story is inspiring!

  • I love this earnest, passionate social media siren call and I’m sure your students benefit from this engagement in the classroom Mark. 

    Obviously Gini has taught you a lot about getting your look just right before you go in front of the camera !

  • Mark, thanks for your response. Oh, I have a blog–I started it nearly a year ago, but have seen a big increase in readership after getting on Twitter, even though there aren’t that many direct referrals from Twitter or the related apps. It’s called “Close To Home; Perspectives on Child Health in SW Virginia” and can be found at I was the first (and so far only) doc in my system to be blogging. Most of them can’t even find their way onto the web for FB or Twitter. And they think I am wasting my time.

    I must admit, I started it without ANY real concept of what to do or how to do it. Read a few books on blogging, and it took a while to find my voice. Then in May, since all the blogging info said blogs worked best when combined with other forms of social media I decided to take the Twitter plunge. Started my Twitter account all wrong (no bio or picture) but changed all that after I read the Tao of Twitter a few weeks later.

    I think that right now my blog is too narrowly focused and my twitter account is too broad (I am interested in too many things). However, the way to generate focused twitter followers is by attending and participating in the Twitter chats, which has further increased my blog readership. All I have to do now is to Blog MORE OFTEN and regularly. Hah! more easily said then done.

  • You definitely don’t come across awkward at all. I need to really force myself to make some videos.

  • Love the video Mark!  Such a great way to further share your message with those who don’t have the pleasure of getting to chat with you in person and/or who may not be as into reading an article as watching a video.  The use of both is very powerful. 

    I did love CK’s energy in Social Slam and have followed her blog ever since.  You opened my eyes to a whole new realm of talent with that event.

    I still recommend The Tao of Twitter ( constantly for VIEO Design’s clients and we are thrilled to have had the honor of working on the Tao website (ah yes, I do use the East TN pronunciation).  

    Congrats on your upcoming gig – can’t wait to find out more about that : )

  • Mark,

    Fantastic video that really demonstrates the full lifecycle of social media value with a real world example.  I think the most important item is you are out there “doing” and making an impact on the lives of many.  Kudos to you and congrats on seeing alot of hard work pay off. 


  • I want to tease you, ask what Gini paid for that endorsement.. except she really is a natural presenter, very good on camera.

  • It’s a good video Mark, think you’re too hard on yourself. Glad to see your passion, your story of how social media connections are working for you. My best social networking story is probably.. the people. I’ve learned so much that has made me a better professional. I am developing a network for my business, but more than anything it’s the followers and friends as I have made some great connections. Little sappy but it’ll have to do.. until I land that big deal w/ just a blog, a tweet and a prayer. 😉 FWIW.

  • First, like others have said, great video. You really did a nice job and your passion oozes through. Having met you “IRL”, I know that the video really shows the real you. It’s not a facade. That’s what makes it so great. I think it’s normal to feel awkward on video. I know I do. But, I can assure you that you did great. People really like seeing the human side of things, isn’t that what this is all about, after all?
    Second, congrats on the new business! I’m really excited for you and all of these new opportunities. It’s well deserved. :)Oh, and I almost forgot, as for social media networking stories? There are lots. You’re right, it’s amazing. And, I certainly count our friendship as one of the many successes of social networking at it’s finest. 

  • You’re great on camera, Mark. You’re not awkward at all. Stop thinking
    that! You’re lovable. All your passion and kindness is right there. It’s
    like meeting you for coffee. And what’s not to love about that? Glad to see you happy!

  • There are teachers and then there are TEACHERS! I have had both and you definitely fall into the latter category. Awkward or not you come across as passionate, genuine, and natural on video…maybe you should keep some of the awkward part ;-). I was totally inspired by your video and I finally broke down and ordered a quality webcam for my computer system. I can only hope I come across as well as you.

  • Debbie Gioquindo, CSW

    We are allowing the public to decide at the Hudson Valley Wine Festival.  We decided on a base blend of the Frizzante and will have 3 variations of that blend for them the choose.  The winning blend is what we will produce and we have a launch party scheduled for October 20.

  • Can you send me an email? I might have an opportunity for you.

  • Mark, you really did a great job! One thing I really like about vlogs is that they really help fill in the impression someone makes in print. You came across really energetic and enthusiastic. And the message of how social  translates into real relationships and opportunities was a perfect topic, as you are really passionate about it.

  • Mark, I love real life examples of successes that are easy to relate to. What might be really cool would be to invite the {Grow} community to submit case examples like this for guest videos (or written blogs).  You’ve published a few of these over the years (and they’ve all been awesome). Maybe making it a subset of {Grow} rather than the main thread would be a good way to do this and attract an entirely new audience looking for “real life” examples.

  • Thanks my friend!

  • Kind of you to say.  Good luck with that!

  • Believe me, I take my share of teasing from @Ginidietrich so she owed me one nice one! : )

  • Thanks Autumn. I literally couold fill EVERY blog post with stories such as this. It happens every day. Very powerful stuff. Believe!

  • Well what you don;t know is that I was naked from the waist down. Kidding, kidding. Or am I?

    What I have learned from gini is to have the courage to be yourself.  Which I do … just not on camera!

  • Thanks so much Holly. CK rocks!

  • And many thanks to you for helping to make it happen!

  • Have faith. You’re doing all the right things! : )  Thanks for your comment and kind support Davina!

  • Yes, you and I are a case study in progress.  You will undoubtedly be a blog post or video some day!

  • Well, I think my next one WILL be over coffee. That is a good idea!

  • Phil, I don’t know what to say to that. It is always very humbling to see where I have an impact on people. Thank you very much for taking the time to tell me.  Look forward to the videos!

  • Thanks Adam.  I really do believe in it because I have seen dozens, if not hundreds, of my students benefit from “The Tao.” It’s not technology. It’s a mindset and that’s what most people miss.

  • Very, very interesting idea. I’ll think on that one : )

  • You never know who will hold the key to your next success. As my friend Boe Parrish says, “You are only one connection away from your destiny!” The real world techniques I write about, I also use on Social Media. Would love for you to visit and contribute at hhtp://

The Marketing Companion Podcast

Why not tune into the world’s most entertaining marketing podcast that I co-host with Tom Webster.

View details

Let's plot a strategy together

Want to solve big marketing problems for a little bit of money? Sign up for an hour of Mark’s time and put your business on the fast-track.

View details