I often hear small business owners skeptical of using social media asking for concrete examples of how the medium can benefit their bottom line. I had an experience recently that clearly demonstrates how the effective use of social media can drive incremental business and increase revenues.
Like a lot of folks in New England, water has been wreaking havoc on my house over the course of the last year and has led to fairly extensively damage that needs to be repaired. I detailed some of the frustrations I’ve been experiencing in dealing with contractors in a recent column for the Waltham News Tribune.
Although I faced the possibility of our problems being exacerbated by the arrival of Hurricane Irene (downgraded, to a tropical storm by the time she reached my neck of the woods), I was lucky enough to only have to deal with flooding in my unfinished basement.
At the height of the storm, I took a break from my efforts battling the incoming wave of water and sent the following tweet with a video I shot of the water coming in through the foundation:
— Dave Cutler (@CutlerDave) August 28, 2011
The next morning I received a notification about the following tweet sent in response:
@CutlerDave That is quite a leak! We can stop the water even as it's coming in! Specialists in foundation crack repair! Here if you need us
— Richard Comeras (@A1crackman) August 29, 2011
I was impressed that the company was savvy enough to find my tweet and decided to investigate further. I was pleased to discover a fairly extensive website with a regularly updated blog. I was even more impressed to find an entry posted just prior to the storm entitled “Here Comes Hurricane Irene, Prepare Your Basement and Your Home.”
I was intrigued enough to respond via a Direct Message on Twitter. The company was very responsive and arranged for someone to pay me a visit the following day to assess the damage and provide an estimate. I have since made arrangements to hire the company to complete the work required to fix the problem.
Given that I had documented many of the difficulties I’ve had with contractors of late in my newspaper column, I felt compelled to also address this significantly more encouraging interaction and wrote about it here.
In a blog post from May I documented a missed opportunity on the part of nearby Chrysler dealerships who failed to capitalize on the tweets of a disgruntled client of their competitor. By using the right search tools and listening via Twitter they could have gained a new (and loyal) customer in much the same fashion as I outlined above.
Do you have a story you’d like to share (positive or negative) about an interaction you had with a local business through social media? I’d love to hear it. Please share it with me using the comments section below.