July 1, 2012

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People’s Choice

Social media has revolutionized the way companies communicate and interact...Read More

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People’s Choice

Celebrating Utah’s Most Admired Companies

Utah Business Editors

July 1, 2012

“Social media for us isn’t about advertising products or sales, it’s about creating a relationship between our company and the customers,” says Ryan Baylis, social media manager for NordicTrack. “If you have a great voice and a great message, customers really appreciate it and want to be engaged; it puts your company as a forefront in their minds next time they’re cruising the market for your product. You can really give your brand or company a unique voice that people are drawn to, and they’ll be more open with you in the future.”

A warm, approachable voice is particularly important when dealing with customer service issues. “You have to talk to people like they’re your friend. Using a corporate, robotic voice in customer service posts only frustrates people and makes them feel that you’re not being genuine,” says Baylis.

In addition to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, NordicTrack also participates on Tumblr and Pinterest. Baylis says the company’s followers tend to be firmly committed to a healthy lifestyle or have big goals for personal change. Because of that above-average commitment, the company takes their opinions very seriously.

“Behind every ‘like’ is a person who trusts our company, our products and our information on living a fit lifestyle,” he says. “A ‘like’ means we have an audience who can help us know what customers across the board need.”

Second Place
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort

When it comes to social media, Snowbird is an early adopter. In 2002, the resort began engaging guests by posting photos of them—and taken by them—on a Photo of the Day page on its website. Snowbird created a YouTube channel in 2007 and launched Facebook and Twitter campaigns in 2009.

“Thanks to social media, our guest experience doesn’t end at the bottom of the mountain. It continues as they post photos, and engage with us well after their vacation is over. We strive to create a spectacular experience both on and off the mountain,” says Emily Moench, communications director for Snowbird.

Category 3
24,999 to 10,000 fans

First Place
America First Credit Union

What started out as a way to talk to a younger demographic became a company-wide conversation when America First Credit Union started using social media. The credit union discovered people across a wide spectrum were using Facebook and Twitter, which let it start interacting with people where they were already at, says Nicole Cypers, PR and community outreach administrator.

Cypers says social media has allowed members to post questions or give feedback and get immediate responses. “We enjoy feedback, both good and bad, so America First can continue to improve the service our members receive. By carefully listening to what members are saying, responding promptly to concerns, offering proactive tips and inviting conversation, America First drives member engagement to gain new business and earn loyalty.”

The credit union also uses social media to talk to members about its community outreach, giveaways and events. Cypers says, “[E]ach and every ‘like’ on Facebook has the potential to help the members grow financially.” The company hopes to help all of its members, and potential members, with financial advice, information about services and product information. Though Cypers says she knows a lot of people come for contests and prizes, the credit union tries to keep them there with helpful information to make their lives better.

Second Place
Utah’s Hogle Zoo

Utah’s Hogle Zoo knows how much social media has helped the organization communicate and connect with guests. Community Relations Coordinator Erica Hansen says, “In this day and age, where so much of what people experience is automated, social media allows for a more personalized exchange. I’m able to answer all guest questions and complaints in an open forum. I think it’s also important to be where our audience is.” While she’s had to experiment to see what works, Hansen says she can always do something no other business can: “When in doubt, feature an animal!”

Category 4
9,999 to 3,000 fans

First Place
Burg Pediatric Dentistry

Building trust and relationships with patients is what pushed Burg Pediatric Dentistry onto Facebook. The company realized about a year ago that because so many people were using social media, it would be a great way to reach current customers as well as potential customers through its fan base. “Social media plays a huge role in getting our name out there. People see that their friends have liked us, or are friends with us. That instantly validates us and makes us more trustworthy to those people,” says James Childs, vice president of business development.

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