iPad proves popular draw

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

PROVO, Utah - They came for the iPad, but they stayed for the company.

That's what happened in June when Alpine Home Medical gave away an iPad 2 as a way to promote the grand opening of its new location. To register to win the iPad, people had to "like" Alpine on Facebook. The catch: Contest entrants had to be present at the grand opening to win.

"Most of the people who came that day came for the iPad, which at first may sound discouraging," said Briana Lake, marketing coordinator. "But the exposure we got was great. It was a lot of fun, people were able to walk around the showroom while they waited for us to announce the winner."

In all, the event drew about 200 people, mainly "moms in their 40s," who are the caregivers of Alpine's main demographic, said Lake. That number far exceeded what the provider expected: they ran out of food.

The promotion also boosted the number of fans Alpine has on its Facebook page, from about 50 to nearly 400 at the time of the contest. That number has since dropped to 325--the risk you take when you have people sign up for a promotion, says Lake.

Alpine, which also has a Twitter page, is no stranger to social media, but in the past year or so has really jumped into it. In addition to promoting the business, the provider posts links to industry and health-related articles.

"We try to educate our customers so they can stay informed on what's going on in the HME world," said Lake. "We want to make sure they know all they can and make informed decisions."

Before jumping in, Alpine held focus groups to gauge where the public is at when it comes to technology.

"We were surprised at how many elders used smart phones and how many were on Facebook and Twitter," said Lake. "But, we are mainly targeting their caregivers and trying to stay ahead of the curve, anticipating the next generation of customers that will be coming into our store."