“This story is about how a social networking connection, turns into a life-long friendship. Julianne had been a friend for a while before this all happened.” John Lusher
I collected social media success stories while writing the book “Success Using Social Media.”
This story is about a personal friend, who I met thru Twitter.
June 29, 2011 was a hard day personally for me. I attended the funeral of a friend and former co-worker that left us much too soon. Dealing with the mix of emotions and sadness, I did what we all have to do at times, put a brave face on and carry on. That same evening, I was joining colleagues and friends for a social media Meetup in Floyd, VA. This was the inaugural event for the group in Floyd, and as one of the founding members of our local Roanoke VA Meetup group, I was excited to attend their event, albeit with sadness in my heart.
I joined my friends along with a dozen or so other professionals and social media novices for our event. Good food, good friends and good times. Obviously I was hurting inside, but the networking and time with friends felt good. It felt right.
Fast forward a couple of hours until time for us to leave. When my friend started paying their bills for the night, our waitress asked, who is John Lusher? I admitted it was me, and she stated that my check had been already been paid by someone. I asked my friends and they knew nothing about it. Our waitress said a lady called in and paid for my meal and drinks. She couldn’t remember the name but said something about the person being from the north. We were thinking a friend of mine in Canada had done it until the waitress mentioned something about it being the Jewelry lady! I knew instantly it was my friend, Julianne Paulsen, (https://twitter.com/YRJewelryGal) owner of Viaggiao Bracelets (http://viaggiobracelet.com/)
On the drive back, I called Julianne. Laughter is all I heard as she answered the phone. Laughter from both of us. She knew exactly why I was calling. Julianne had seen my posts on Facebook that day about my friends funeral service along with our networking event that evening. She decided to do a little something to lift my spirits by buying my dinner and drinks. The funny thing is, she had to Google the name of the restaurant we were at, call them and convince them she wasn’t a nut and wanted to pay for my meal! The footnote to this story happened in 2012 when I was in California for the Orange County Social Media Summit #OCSMS; we repeated the process. With my full knowledge Julianne paid for one of my meals, to show another friend the power of social connections and how they can enrich our lives.
Paying for my meal is not the story. This story is about how a social networking connection, turns into a life-long friendship. Julianne had been a friend for a while before this all happened. We originally connected on Twitter then on Facebook. Today she is a dear and close friend. This is why social media is so vital; it provides a way to connect to people that you otherwise may not meet and when you nurture the relationship it can develop into a life long friendship.