Let’s hear it from a young businessmen who thinks social media networking is an indispensable tool for making a business grow. He confirms that Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc is great for promotion, customer relations, and even product development.
Ian Carandang, 30 something, owner of famous Sebastian’s Ice Cream says:
“Sebastian’s Ice Cream is on Facebook where it has gained 8,000 followers and counting. I administer the page, it’s mainly I who communicate with the customers who have registered there as ‘fans.’
“We use the FB page to announce new flavors, post teasers on new products, communicate promos and to gather customer reactions to these. The fans go to the page to get updated about the products, take advantage of the promos (discounts, buy-two-take one, etc.), join the contests, to give their reviews on new products and flavors.
“The most recent contest we launched on the page was how to short- cut the name of the company to fit into Twitter’s maximum 16-character title count. The response was warm and enthusiastic. We received so many entries suggesting names.
“So, very soon, Sebastian’s would be on Twitter, too.
“Not too long ago, we announced on the page our innovative kakanin ice cream (ice cream with chunks of sapin-sapin, biko, suman, and sprinkling of latik. It was a great topic for discussions and I suppose it drew some cusotomers to our scooping stations to try the flavor. I also announced there I experimented on “bagoong ice cream” with disastrous results as the resulting product emphasized the fishy taste of bagoong.
“It is also a good way to carry on one-on-one conversations with customers. We handle some complaints early and effectively that way.
“One customer complained on Facebook about not getting good service from a Sebastian’s branch. I apologized and promised I would talk with the personnel and branch manager involved. And I did quickly. I think we fixed a potentially damaging problem early, thanks to the power of social networking.
“I also put up a section gathering customer suggestions on new products and new flavors.”
Photo: from Sebastian’s Ice Cream page on Facebook