Mate of Mine is a website designed to raise awareness about the importance of small businesses to communities and the local economy by utilising Facebook to connect friends needing help or services to small businesses in their area.
Users create a business listing with their Facebook profile enabling friends to easily find and support their business. “Lets face it, wouldn’t you be more likely to click on a business listing, if you either knew the owner or were a mutual Facebook friend”, says Westerweller.
Business owners can expand their social network by adding Facebook friends to their business listing. This feature is primarily designed for family run businesses. It enables mums and dads to combine their friends of friends network for more business.
“You can add up to 10 Facebook profiles to a business listing. The average Facebook user has 130 friends, his or her friends also has 130 friends, which means a single social network is equal 16,900 people”, he says.
Fake online reviews mean cash-for-comment is rife and can’t be trusted. However, Facebook recommendations are quickly becoming the most trusted source of information available. Friends can easily provide names, numbers and URL links of the businesses they support. Evidence suggests that 9/10 friends recommend a mutual Facebook friends business.
Two years ago, Westerweller had his own lucky case of word-of-mouth online. “I was at my cousin’s wedding and I did a backflip on the dance floor, landing the first one effortlessly. But the second one went horribly wrong,” he says. On the second flip, Westerweller landed on his head and sustained a bulging disk in his lower back. “I was lucky not to break my neck,” he says.
Desperately needing treatment if he was to return to full mobility, Westerweller wasn’t willing to put his health in anyone’s hands. He was also reluctant to go down the regular path of the big medical centers and hospitals. He needed someone local, someone experienced, and someone he could trust. He then turned to Facebook to seek advice from friends.
“A mate of mine recommended his friend Michael Cohen from Chiro Sports, Coogee. I had rehab with Michael for six months and he got me back better than new,” he says.
Westerweller isn’t alone when asking for advice online. “Nearly half of social media users ask their friends for advice every day” a study commissioned by mobile service provider Amaysim has found. The most commonly sought assistance is for entertainment, restaurants, holiday spots and parental advice.
Hayley Markham recently turned to Facebook to seek advice from her friends for a local baby photographer. “Why would you bother calling a someone, when you can type and ask hundreds”, she says. Within a few minutes, Markham had a list of recommended photographers her friend’s value and trust.
Do you feel more comfortable when dealing with a friend of a friend?
May Your Business this Year be - As You Plan It.
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