Back in the mid nineties, both Julia and I worked at BCA – Book Club Associates – recognised then as one the leading players in the DM business. We produced full page adverts and inserts in the press selling book club membership around the simple proposition of 4 books for 99p. Admittedly, the work wasn't the most exciting, but the people and the atmosphere at the office more than made up for this. The other great thing about BCA was that it was full of marketers, copywriters and art directors/designers and we all socialised together regularly.
Over the years as that group has moved on, many of us have remained in touch. This loose affiliation have helped each other out with freelance work and recommendations, staying in contact, first through email and more recently with the likes of Facebook, Myspace and Linked-in.
Recently we (HUGHES | DESIGN) needed a Heavyweight copywriter on a project and we were trying work out if knew anyone from the old days. At roughly the same time an old colleague from back then, whom I was in touch with already on Facebook, asked for a recommendation on Linked-in. Now this probably says more about me, but it never crossed my mind to think of this ex-colleague as a professional when I'd be in contact with them on Facebook. It took an e-mail from Linked-in to make the professional connection and prod me into action. Suffice to say they did they did the copywriting job too.
So is it just me who when on Facebook sees it purely as social tool? Or should I increasingly be thinking that Facebook presents business opportunity to network? Should I be using Linked-in to be sociable? I've heard tell of a man who if you buy him lunch, will give you access to his thousands of friends on Facebook and in return you can market your product or service to his contact book. Is this really the future of marketing or just one man's plan to eat well? If it's anything, it's certainly food for thought.