The subject line on the e-mail from Foursquare* said "You've just been ousted as the mayor of Tammadge Market Research!"

"Really?" I thought, "Wonder who our new mayor is . . ."

Inside the e-mail said, "Sorry for the bad news, but Drew has just ousted you as mayor of Tammadge Market Research!" (Foursquare is so dramatic with their exclamation points.)

"Who is this Drew?" I thought to myself. "Better not be a participant." You have to have checked in at a particular location at least twice in the last couple of months to be a mayor and (I don't have to tell you this) participants aren't supposed to be here that often.

Of course Foursquare gave me all the info (photo and hometown) I needed to determine that Drew had been in our back room observing research. And, since Drew had linked his twitter account to his Foursquare account I could start following him on Twitter and send him a message congratulating him on his Tammadge mayorship. Because I was on Foursquare and Twitter I was able to make an extra connection with a client.

Have you had a serendipitous encounter with a client on a social network? How do you use social networks to make an extra touch or two to your business contacts?

*For the uninitiated, Foursquare is one of the major players in the location-based social networking realm. Using your mobile phone (mostly), you check in where ever you go – the local Mexican food joint, the grocery store, the barber – and then the people who follow you can see where you are and, preferably, join you and buy you a cup of coffee and vice versa. On Foursquare, the person who checks in most often at a location becomes the mayor of that spot.