Social Media Success Story – Mark Tosczak

“I have three social media success stories to share with you.” Mark Tosczak

I collected social media success stories while writing the book “Success Using Social Media.”

@marktzk
marktzk.com
linkedin.com/in/marktosczak

Here are three social media success stories I want to share with you.

From Foursquare to Real Life

There’s a popular lunch spot near my office, a Mediterranean-style cafe called Zaytoon. I had been using Foursquare more and more, and had gotten into the habit of checking in wherever I went, even if it was only when I walked the 50 feet from my office to the cafe.

One day, I checked in at Zaytoon and got the Foursquare notification indicating that I had “stolen” the mayorship from someone else. The previous mayor’s name didn’t immediately ring a bell with me, and I didn’t give it much thought. I had won mayorships at sorts of places.

But soon after (it must have been that afternoon or the same week), I got a Twitter message from the previous mayor: “Well played, Sir!” it said, congratulating me on winning the mayorship. The person sending the message was David Horne, Zaytoon’s previous Foursquare mayor and, I realized, someone I’d met before at Greensboro’s ConvergeSouth. A quick check of his online profile and I realized that he, like me, was in the marketing business. David was someone I should probably know better than I did.

So I replied and asked if he’d like to get together for lunch (at Zaytoon, of course). He did, and we did, and we soon became friends. Since then, David and I have volunteered together, worked together and used each other as professional sounding boards to get feedback on ideas and talk about our personal and professional aspirations. It’s a relationship that I value, and it was Foursquare that helped make it happen.

Look me up on LinkedIn

In 2007, I was walking down the street a few months after having left The Triad Business Journal and started working at RLF Communications. As a result of leaving the paper, my byline had disappeared from its regular place in the weekly paper, and I had lost touch with some connections I had made at the paper.

A man driving a large white pick-up truck rolled down his passenger side window and leaned toward me “Hey Mark,” he yelled, while his truck was stopped at a red light. “I haven’t seen your name in the paper lately. What have you been up to?”

It was Jonathan Smith, a financial advisor and one of the very first sources I’d interviewed for one of my very first stories when I joined the Business Journal Staff in 2004. I yelled back something about having a new job and saying we should reconnect. But I was acutely aware that at any moment the traffic light was going to turn green and Jonathan was going to drive off. We didn’t have time to exchange cards or do anything else. “Google me” I told Jonathan.

He did, and my LinkedIn profile came up right at the top of the search results. That led Jonathan to discovering LinkedIn and signing up for an account. And, of course, we reconnected over a meal later – much more leisurely than yelling at each other in traffic. Jonathan is now my financial advisor.

Recognized on a plane

A few years ago I was getting on a plane, headed someplace for business meetings. As I was making my way toward the back of the plane, looking for a place to sit (this was a Southwest flight), a woman looked up at me and said “Mark!”

She had recognized my face from my Twitter profile! It turns out that she used to work, many years before, with my wife. I had not seen her in quite a few years, but as soon as she introduced herself I remembered who she was. I doubt she would have recognized me, either, except that she followed me on Twitter and was so used to seeing my profile photo that she recognized me when she saw me on the plane.

Pretty cool.

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