Use Social Media Sites to Connect with Customers Online: Even the O&P Industry Can Benefit

By Jason Pawelsky, Sales & Marketing

The other night I finally gave in to the urge to see The Social Network – the fictional Hollywood rendition of the story about how Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook®, began his now 25 billion dollar empire. It wouldn’t be kind to ruin the story for you, so check it out for yourself, but I wanted to share a few tips for fellow manufacturers, distributors, practitioners & technicians in the O&P industry (and every industry for that matter).

Social networking sites such as Facebook®, Linkedin®, Twitter® and YouTube®; as well as Blogging platforms like WordPress®, are incredibly powerful business tools. If you think picture, video and status-sharing websites are a waste of time, I urge you to reconsider. Any website that can generate 500 million fans and a 25 billion dollar valuation in just a few years should warrant some serious consideration.

As a small research, development and manufacturing company in the orthotic, prosthetic, pedorthic, complex rehabilitation and sports medicine markets, we rely heavily on word-of-mouth “marketing” by satisfied customers to grow our business. The more positive experiences that customers have with our products, the greater the chance that they’ll discuss their experiences with other people. That’s the goal, at least. Now how can a small company get their names in front of hundreds….thousands… even millions of potential and current customers with their new products and services – and without spending millions of dollars? Social networking!

Tamarack® Habilitation Technologies utilizes our Inside Tamarack Blog to share interesting & relevant information with our customers. Along with our 2-3x annual print newsletters, we highlight these articles and blog posts in our Linkedin Group and Twitter profile. Tamarack also has a Facebook fan page for its ENGO® Blister Prevention Patches – where customers can share their feedback, ask questions and post pictures to share with the company and others. Our goal is to provide educational opportunities for customers to learn more about Tamarack® products and technologies in whichever format the customer prefers. Whether you prefer traditional printed literature, website resources or more engaging social media content, we want to be readily available to you. That’s how we engage with customers using social networking tools.

If you’re interested in growing your social networking competency to help promote your business or personal professional mission, consider creating a few profiles on the multitude of social networking websites. Contrary to what some people believe, every small business can benefit from creating a name for themselves on social networking sites. What better way to find out what your customers want and how they’re using your products than by connecting with them online. Give it a try!

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