Get connected

Trost Irrigation uses social media to strengthen customer relationships and advertise services.

July 14, 2011
Lindsey Getz

Trost Irrigation posts pictures of its projects on its social media sites.



Social media sites seem to be the future of networking and communication. There are more than 750 million active users on Facebook alone. Chances are you may be one of them. But if you’re just using Facebook and other forms of social media for fun, and not to promote your business, than you may be missing out on a valuable opportunity. It’s an opportunity that Trost Irrigation has been capitalizing on.

Doug Trost, vice president of the company, says they started using Facebook as a means of communication about the jobs they were working on. The company shares pictures of all their different projects. But soon after getting started with a company page, Trost began seeing even more opportunities to promote the business there. “Since it’s a free service and didn’t cost us anything, we decided to add our monthly newsletter and monthly specials to the site,” he says, adding that the effort is already paying off. “We have gotten more than 1,000 fans in less than a year and are hoping to continue gaining fans and customers by using it.”

Besides posting information about jobs, the company also posts inspirational sayings and quotes. Trost says he sees it as a way to motivate people – especially in Michigan, where the economy is particularly harsh. “In Michigan, the economy is down and people are down, but if each morning they can wake up and take just a little bit of positive attitude from one of our posts and use that at their workplace, that attitude may continue to spread.”

Trost says that social media is easy to use and that in today’s economy it just doesn’t make sense not to be on board with it. Besides Facebook, the company also uses LinkedIn to connect with existing and potential customers. In fact, Trost says he’s had even more luck with LinkedIn since it’s primarily focused on businesses and professional connections. Facebook has been a great way to connect more personally with existing clients while LinkedIn has actually helped gain the company new clients. “I get hits from people who saw my LinkedIn page and decided to email me,” says Trost. “It’s actually helped us gain work.”

There’s no doubt that the use of social media is only going to continue to grow and Trost suggests that companies who haven’t already done so, should get connected. “My advice in the boom of the social media era is to take full advantage of it for the use of advertising rather than having to go out and spend a lot of money,” he says. “Today’s customers turn to the Internet to research the companies they’re interested in so it makes sense to have a strong presence online. As a company, we’ve never really had to pay for advertising before and social media has helped us to continue that trend.”