Calling on Facebook

Cell phones have become big business and the competition in the market can be fierce. Not surprisingly, social media are finding a niche in this industry, too. One example is three young entrepreneurs in the Northeast who have found a way to use Facebook and other social media tools to give them a competitive edge.

Tamar Bundy, William Stout, and Jonah Engler operate eight Wireless Zone stores in New England. The progressive young businessmen are using social media to increase customer traffic and get the word out about everything from the latest store promotions and deals to hiring. Each of their stores has its own Facebook page and each store manager is empowered--and encouraged--to use the page.

"Social media has been a great for us because we can generate a lot of buzz for very little cost--and that's very important to operators," says Bundy. Indeed, that is a huge benefit to small businesses. Social media can provide a lot of bang for not a lot of buck.

Since creating their first Facebook page last February, Bundy says they have experienced "very positive" results. Last summer, for example, more than 100 "fans" signed up in just over a month on the Facebook page of their Southbury, Conn., location.

They've also begun using Facebook to recruit employees. "People can upload their resumes directly to our store managers," he says. "It's working better for us than Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com."

Twitter accounts have been the latest social media tool Bundy and his crew have begun experimenting with. He says they're using Twitter in similar ways to Facebook, but that the interaction time is a little more "instant."

Bundy and his partners are getting a little help from corporate. Wireless Zone has created a YouTube site where viewers can find out more about the latest phone-related products and follow links directly to their local Wireless Zone stores. "Anything we can do to push our stores and products is going to help drive business for us," says Bundy.

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