When I was working for Telstra, I conducted a social networking experiment on Facebook. A Telstra Fan Page had previously been set up on Facebook with 34 fans. Commencing on Saturday, 19th April 2008, the experiment tested if I could increase the number of fans in seven days just by utilising my friends network, which numbered 200.
The theory was that based on a recommendation (invitation), I could get my network to sign-up as 'fans'. The goal was to get to 100 fans in seven days by simply inviting contacts. By midnight on Friday, 25th April, there were 116 fans registered - an increase of 341% during the test period. The numbers doubled by Monday 21st April (69 fans) and tripled by Thursday, 24th April (102).
What did I conclude from this? Two things - (a) don't underestimate the power of your personal network for something they may support based on a recommendation and (b) the Facebook friends network is a good way to rally for a cause quickly and efficiently. My thanks to all those who particpated.