How Facebook Connect Can Drive Business Center Referrals

Savvy players in the alternative workforce space are using social media technology to the fullest. Once prime example is Loosecubes and its use of Facebook.

No, Loosecubes is not merely launching another social media campaign or contest. This coworking facility is making creative use of Facebook’s technology to drive referrals.

In case you aren’t familiar with Loosecubes, the site lets you find a coworking space or advertise your coworking office space anywhere in the United States. So far, the site is off to a good start with facilities listed in 347 cities and 47 countries. The concept is growing rapidly. At launch about a year ago there were only 194 facilities in 77 cities.

Loosecubes describes itself as a “community of independent people building a global network of shared workspaces.” Now, the site is using Facebook Connect to drive free referrals.

Facebook Connect is the next iteration of Facebook Platform that allows users to “connect” their Facebook identity, friends and privacy to any site. Facebook Connect lets third party Web sites—like Loosecubes or your business center’s Web site— implement and offer even more features of Facebook Platform off of Facebook.

Loosecubes used Facebook Connect to launch a new tool called “Recommended Spaces.” TechCrunch describes the new feature that taps into “your social graph” to recommend office space “based on your friends, location, and line of work.” Essentially, Loosecubes is leveraging Facebook Connect to make personalized recommendations for coworking space, all the while enticing referrals that don’t cost them a dime.

Here’s how it looks on the consumer-facing end: Visitors see a button named “Facebook Connect.” When they click it, they get a “Request for Permission” from Facebook to allow Loosecubes to send them e-mail directly, access their data, and access their profile information.

“Right now it is based on the host’s relationship to your social graph, i.e. which spaces do I have mutual friends with the host?” Loosecubes Founder Campbell McKeller told “We are expanding this along other dimensions—where my friends have worked, etc., as we gather this data. Very exciting!”

Very exciting, indeed. This is the cutting edge of using social technology to drive more (and free) referrals. So now that your business center is up and running with Facebook (and if you aren’t, then you should be) it may be time to try something beyond posting about your brand’s promotion or pithy quotes. It may be time to tie your followers and their friends together with your business center brand. With a creative programmer, the technological possibilities of building a recommendation engine that taps into your tenant’s social graph are virtually endless—and inexpensive.

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