Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Do Local Businesses Need a Social Media Strategy?

They do if they want to grow like crazy!

Business finds success through social networking

(Excerpted from 7/28/2009 NECN report by Peter Howe) - Louis E. Page Inc. , a 116-year-old Massachusetts company is proving to be a raging success story for how to use social networking and other online tools to increase sales and sales leads.

The company supplemented its mailed-out catalog and ads in specialty magazines with a website about five years ago, but the big breakthrough came last December, when Duncan Page added a blog that he calls The Fence Post.

Since then, he has had an 850 percent increase in sales leads.

One article Duncan wrote was about how to use something called woven wire fencing to build a horse paddock. Guess how many people have downloaded it? More than 1,500.

Page said his typical blog post is "just an article about the products. We don't say you should buy this from us. We don't really refer to ourselves at all. It's really important to the whole marketing effort to blog and sort of become known as an authority and a trusted authority on what you're selling.''

"One of the things I've learned is that it really works,'' Page said. As Louis Page & Co. enters its 117th year, the namesake's grandson's looking ahead ... to video blogging. "I would like to get into video, is one thing, because that's very effective to be able to actually show somebody rather than have to write and describe it with words.''

My Take

What a perfect illustration of a trusted, established business using social media to leverage its reputation and its profile among its customers and prospective customers.

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