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Other than finding new patients, Childs says social media lets Burg Pediatric Dentistry connect with its customers and reach thousands of people with one post. Burg has used Facebook to promote patient appreciation parties and contests. “We can post pictures of fun events we do, such as ‘dress up days,’ contest winners and other things that get people excited about coming to the dentist. It makes the visit a more fun experience,” he says.
Childs advises any company starting out on Facebook to just use it a lot and let it work for you. Letting the site’s built-in networking create connections makes it easier to find new patients. He says if someone “likes” their page, friends and family see that and it gives Burg Pediatric Dentistry more credibility.
Hartman Plumbing, Heating and Air
In an industry where customers only need your services every once in a while, it’s important for them to remember you when something does come up. That’s why Hartman Plumbing, Heating and Air decided last year that getting on Facebook was a good idea for the business, says Rachel Ward, marketer for the company. It’s also a good way to connect with potential clients, knowing that every “like” introduces the company to new people. “Getting anyone to like your business is valuable, especially when they do it publicly.”
2,999 to 1,000 fans
Hotel Park City
According to Bill Ekblad, director of sales for Hotel Park City, participation in social media is a high ranking priority for the hotel, and should be for every company. But he warns, “Before posting any message, make sure it is unique or offers substance—fans become tired of ‘spam’ style messaging.”
The perks of a company being active on Facebook are well worth the time it takes to set up an account and keep followers engaged. “We have clients that use this medium as a way to stay connected to promotions and specials that we offer,” says Ekblad. “It assists us in sales and marketing and branding. It increases public awareness of our products.”
According to Ekblad, growing your fan base is beneficial in other ways, too. Fans are of very high value because they act almost as a sales staff. “Personal referrals from our fans to their FB friends drive product knowledge and reservations,” he says. It also means people support the company—and that is priceless. “Business is about the relationship you have with your clients. Social media allows you the opportunity to communicate on a more personal level with them.”
Social media threw a curve ball at the business world, and Ekblad and his team are using it to their advantage. “It is a major instrument for the customer and the business. In our business, guest reviews and comments on service have a direct result in future occupancy levels,” he says.
Hotel Park City also uses Twitter and LinkedIn to stay connected to industry professionals and clients.
All Points Travel
“Facebook has become an integral part of our marketing strategy. The biggest value for us as a small business is the affordability and ease of use for social media. We are able to quickly get promotions, news and tips posted and out to our fans on a daily (and often more than once per day) basis,” says Corina Johnson, co-owner of All Points Travel. “Our goal is to continue to grow our fan base and find ways to keep our fans engaged with our page. Ultimately, this increases that actual amount of business we book as a result of social media.”
999 to 500 fans
South Davis Community Hospital
“South Davis Community Hospital (SDCH) ventured into social media for the first time with Utah Business’ People’s Choice Awards. Over the past year, the need for SDCH to participate in social media had become more and more apparent. We thought the contest would provide us with the perfect opportunity to roll out our page. It was our first experience with social media, and a great one at that,” says Jamey Sulser, development director at SDCH.
Though relatively new to Facebook, SDCH has already made it a priority because, according to Sulser, it provides an informal opportunity to notify the hospital’s stakeholders on-the-fly about exciting news and developments. “It also allows us to leverage our marketing investments. For instance, we recently debuted a new commercial featuring our staff on our Facebook page; the commercial will run once throughout the week on one channel, but it can be viewed and shared at any time through our Facebook page and on YouTube,” she says.