Friday, August 17, 2012

You can teach an old dog new tricks! thoughts on social media for DME Providers.

There are  many excellent means of communication for DME/HME providers available today. I am always pleasantly surprised when I receive an e-mail or  phone call from an old friend. I welcome these and make every effort to answer each. But today the number of “hits” I receive from Facebook overwhelms me.

This morning, I heard from 12 people on LinkedIn. I recognized nine and am sure somewhere I crossed paths with the others. I receive several messages daily. My problem is in my 86th year, I neither have the skill nor the patience necessary to acknowledge them all.  All of these "social networks" including FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are superb means of communication. I strongly suggest that every DME/HME provider utilize at least one of these sites to his or her advantage.

What I do not want to see is that this great service degenerate into a major marketing and advertising program. I believe if you attempt to use it to overly-promote your business and specials, it will defeat your effort and your "friends" will begin to tune you out. However, when used as a personal approach it can fill a big notch. What I suggest is a DME/HME provider use Facebook as a simple method to say “thank you” to your customer and share with them interesting articles they may find useful. Make sure that whatever you provide is overall helpful to your customers.  That is called “good customer service.”

A special program in your showroom such as Blood Pressure or Diabetes screening day invitations can be sent via Facebook. Offering a  demonstration of equipment on a Saturday morning with the manufacturer’s salesperson is also appropriate. Use Facebook to make the announcement. This should be supplemented by an announcement to the local newspaper,  radio and TV stations.

Communication, when used properly, is one of the most effective  means of customer service. By providing good information you are also selling your company and this is far less expensive than buying advertisements. A satisfied customer is the best ROI you can obtain. 

Please find me in the social media world on Facebook & Twitter! I would love to hear from old friends. 

Also, connect with Medtrade's social accounts for the latest news from across our industry! 



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