This post is part of our series where we talk to real companies (and other organizations) around the world to find out how they’re leveraging social media, how it has impacted their business, and what lessons they’ve learned. Today we’re talking with Greg Buford, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who has seen great success using social media to reach out to potential patients. Check out his work at beautybybuford.com or follow on Twitter here.
Tell me a little about your company, what you do, how long you’ve been in business, how many employees you have, etc.
I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and medical director/founder of BEAUTY by BUFORD. I have been in business for a little over nine years, have twelve employees, and am located just outside Denver, CO in the Denver Tech Center.
How much of your business comes from the web, either via social media or via traditional web?
The two main sources for new patients are direct referrals (from previous patients) and the internet. Over the last year, we have seen a tremendous rise in the influence of social media on organic positioning and overall reach to the community.
When did you start engaging in social media?
I began using social media about a year ago and recently hired a full-time director of marketing to lead these efforts. Because of the impact I have seen, I am now in the process of spinning off these efforts into a full-fledged business offering.
Who manages your social media efforts?
I originally managed all of my social media efforts and then realized that it was extremely time consuming and that I needed someone whose sole purpose was to drive forward these efforts.
What networks are you active on?
We are active on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. These are then carefully coordinated with content from our BLOGS.
Which have been the biggest drivers of business for you?
We find that Facebook has been tremendously effective in getting the message out.
Describe any customer interactions that stick out in your mind
We have had several patients remark that they came in based solely on blog content that we posted. They were impressed about the amount of educational information that we were providing and that we were not simply an elaborate commercial.
What software tools or web apps do you use in your social media efforts?
We don’t really use anything more than the free services available to us through these social media products.
For your business, what makes social media different from other channels?
Social media is instantaneous and more far-reaching than conventional print media. In addition, it can be updated in a matter of seconds.
What has been the most challenging part of dealing with social media?
It can be very time consuming but gets easier the more that you do it.
What are your social media plans for 2010?
My social media plans for 2010 include addition of video to YouTube and more interactivity with our consumers.
I appreciate Greg taking the time to talk to us, and I encourage you to check out beautybybuford.com and follow on Twitter here. We’re always looking for interesting companies and individuals to talk to, so if you know of anyone that would like to be profiled, please contact us.