Troy Bradshaw’s Facebook page is an essential part of his marketing strategy. His fiancé, Lindsey Nuckolls, suggested using it and maintains it for him.
Facebook is becoming an increasingly important part of Texas hay dealer Troy Bradshaw’s marketing program.
“It’s a great way for us to keep in touch with existing customers on a regular basis and get our name out to potential new customers,“ says Bradshaw, who operates under the Bradshaw Hay Exchange business name.
Along with putting up small square bales of Coastal bermudagrass hay on his family farm near Lipan, Bradshaw contracts several hundred acres of Coastal from local growers. His customers include retail stores, horse stables, animal-rescue organizations, recreational horse owners and others within 400 miles of the farm.
Bradshaw launched his Facebook page about six months ago. His fiancé, Lindsey Nuckolls, came up with the idea. “She spends a lot of time working with computers and has a great understanding of social networking. She does our posts and keeps close track of what other people are posting on our page,” the hay dealer says.
The posts keep the company’s Facebook friends regularly updated on what’s going on in the business. “If we get a load of nice hay in from another grower, we can immediately post about it on Facebook to let people know,” Bradshaw explains. “Or, if we have a big inventory of a certain kind of hay on hand, we might run a promotion offering a discount to people who stop by and tell us they saw a post on our Facebook page.”
He uses any opportunity to let people know he’s on Facebook, says Bradshaw. “If I’m in the grocery store and run into someone I haven’t seen for awhile, I tell them to look for us on Facebook. I’ll also do that if I’m at an equine event where a lot of potential customers are on hand.
“Building friend numbers is important because every time someone clicks ‘like’ on one of your posts, a message about that goes out to all of their friends. It’s pretty amazing when you think about what kind of reach that potentially gives your business.”
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The Facebook presence complements other web-based marketing platforms the hay dealer uses. “We place listings on Internet Hay Exchange to reach some of our large retail customers. As a group, they seem to go to that particular site more than anyone else. For local horse owners with just a few animals, placing ads on several area Craigslist sites seems to work well.”
Bradshaw isn’t ready to disregard traditional advertising vehicles. He occasionally places ads in local newspapers and is considering doing highway billboards in the future. “In this business, it’s not just about growing good hay,” he says. “You have to find ways to let people know what you have for sale and how they can get in touch with you.”
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