Hey, it’s not what it sounds like. Facebook is not offering a new feature allowing users to recommend professional services providers. But what’s already available on Facebook is just as good.

This afternoon, a former practicing lawyer I know who is now a marketing consultant asked on Facebook, “Anyone have a recommendation for a dentist who’s really really good with adults who are terrified of the dentist?”

Seven hours later she has 12 recommendations from people she already knows and trusts.

Where were ever you going go to get that many recommendations from people you knew and trusted before Facebook? And better for the dentists recommended than them having ads on Facebook or responding that they could help her, the dentists were each recommended by someone who the person knew and trusted.

As confirmed by a survey conducted by the American Bar Association (ABA) last year, the number one way people find a lawyer is by turning to someone they trust.

People with personal legal matters are far more likely to turn to trusted sources instead of impersonal sources to find a lawyer… ‘Trusted sources’ include friends, co-employees, business associates, relatives, and so on.

Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook so we could better connect and nurture relationships with the people we already know. Friends, relatives, fellow alumni, co-employees, business associates, organization members, etc.

facebook recommendationPeople using Facebook build more relationships and solidify and nurture the relationships they already have. They grow their circle or network of people who they trust in an accelerated fashion.

The person who asked for the recommendation of the dentist on Facebook didn’t just have her circle of trusted friends overnight. She used the net for years. Blogging. Using Twitter. And of course using Facebook. I met her face to face after getting to know her through the net.

She shared personal stories and pictures on Facebook. Pictures that were very cool because of her interests in the outdoors and her career which has taken her in the direction of her interests. Doing so she drew engagement from others and she engaged others who posted on Facebook. Trust was built all around.

Whether lawyers like it or not, people are going to increasingly use Facebook to get recommendations of professional services providers, including lawyers. A Facebook user may not ask for the name of a lawyer on sensitive matters, but that’s not the case when looking for an IP, corporate, estate planning, environmental, real estate, personal injury, or tax lawyer.

The day is also soon to come when lawyers and business people who have nurtured relationships of trust on Facebook will turn to each other, via Facebook, for the name of a good lawyer.

The wild thing is that this is not an unusual development. People have always turned to someone they trust for the name of a lawyer.

Facebook is just changing the way one builds trust and asks for a recommendation for a growing segment of our population.