Seeing Social Media Success in Rural America

September 01, 2014

Increasing foot traffic to Medlin Chiropractic has been both a passion and a challenge for one small business in New Albany, Mississippi.  Since opening his office in 2012, educating the public on the many benefits of chiropractic care has been Dr. Greg Medlin’s main focus. Customers enjoy the easy access, central location and excellent customer service skills.  However, just locating a business on Main Street does not replace hard work, a well thought advertising plan, and a budget.   As he recently learned, most entrepreneurs underestimate the power of social media and advertising. As Medlin said, “It takes constant effort to keep people thinking about you.”

Medlin relocated his practice from Michigan to his hometown of New Albany.  He has specialized in increasing balance and mobility for patients for the past 18 years.  Small businesses such as Medlin can be anchors for their local community, as they often support many community efforts and institutions. For example, each year Medlin volunteers for the Baptist Memorial Health Fair, sponsors children’s t-ball, and supports the community’s bicycle riding groups.  

However, direct marketing efforts in small towns still can be a challenge for any business.  The mixture between social media and traditional advertising depends on the business.  It takes seven “NOs” to get to a “Yes” within marketing strategies. Emails, newsletters, text reminders, Facebook postings, and phone calls are all bootstrap marketing methods to gain interest from new customers.   Advertising can be expensive with websites, newspapers and TV commercials; however, all are essentials for owning a business.

Tupelo SBDC business counselor Dana Cawthon reminded Medlin to balance advertising methods with an affordable annual budget and to weigh the costs associated with gaining new customers and revenues generated from them.  No one method is good enough to attract clients at various age demographics. Marketing campaigns should be strategic, targeted, consistent, and measurable to be successful.

Medlin experienced first-hand how to use social media to boost patient traffic.  Since using social media, his business has increased 126% in the first quarter of 2014 versus the first quarter of 2013. Medlin’s personality and humor is a common thread that is communicated within his advertising choices which makes potential customers comfortable with him. 

“You either swear by your chiropractor or, you swear at them,” Medlin said. “Either way, you should experience the benefits of chiropractic care and begin your path to healing the body.”