I have a question, can you help me? Facebook Questions can!

I have been in the question mode for the past few weeks. I am currently trying to buy a home in a city that I have only lived in for two years and feel like I lack the resources needed to handle such a large milestone. So I took to Facebook and asked of my friends in this fair city who they recommend.

Real Estate agent check
Mortgage broker check
Closing Lawyer check
Accountant check (everyone needs one of those!)

A few haphazard (and slightly frantic) status updates and I had names and numbers for every need from friends that I value their opinions and recommendations. Genius!

So how does this type of random query among a group of friends affect the larger picture of word of mouth, and more specifically how can my personal experience provide learnings for how I guide my clients?

I conducted my personal research in a rushed manner sans any applications and still received results, but what if I could have not only asked my friends, but their friends too? The chance that one of my friends in Chicago has a friend that is a Real Estate agent, Mortgage Broker, Lawyer or Accountant is probably pretty decent. The recently updated Questions application on Facebook could have been just the tool to do the trick. Facebook Questions allows a user to ask open ended questions and every friend that answers in turn is sharing their recommendation with their own friends. Imagine my anticipated reach from just one question?

Putting my service provider hat back on, how can this type of functionality help my clients? Having clients in the travel industry, the possibilities seem endless. Acting through an admin a property or destination could run an impromptu poll to decide where they should host their next familiarization trip or offer an open ended question to the favorite restaurants and shops of their fans in a specific region.

This is market research that fans are happy to participate in. They can show off their insider knowledge to help others and in the process are also sharing with their own audience. The sharing can increase exponentially as people are sharing through familiar connections and shared interests.

How do you see brands taking advantage of Facebook Questions?