Retail News Breaks Archives
Social media help Fruth Pharmacy get the word out
April 23rd, 2014
POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. – Fruth Pharmacy is a relatively small chain of 27 drug stores in West Virginia and Ohio. But it is a huge believer in the adoption of social media and other technology to use for the benefit of the front end and pharmacy.
Fruth uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, e-mail marketing, a mobile app and WordPress to keep its customers informed about new products, sales, health events and the company as a whole.
"Facebook has been our most used tool," Fruth Pharmacy's Lynne Fruth said of the chain's social media outlets.
"Facebook has currently been our most used tool," chairman and president Lynne Fruth said. "We have 1,740 fans and have garnered thousands of likes on posts. Facebook instantaneously gives us the ability to see customers' reaction to a product or service. Thanks to the statistical tools, we can also learn which geographical areas and age groups are interested in a product or service."
Through Facebook, Fruth has announced new over-the-counter products, immunizations, free health screenings and more for its pharmacies. For the retail side, products, services and prices are listed.
"We often run contests based on the pictures of our store displays," Fruth said. "Customers enjoy voting on which store has the best display.
"Facebook also allows us to share our community efforts. We remind students when to sign up for one of over 25 scholarships and share our scholarship winners' profiles. We communicate public events quickly. When the West Virginia water crisis happened, Fruth Pharmacy was able to report to customers the areas that were affected. We opened up stores to provide customers with safe drinking water and connected this information to customers in less than five minutes."
For Fruth, Twitter is similar to Facebook in that the retailer can update and reach its customers quickly and can see when it gets re-tweeted or when it is mentioned in a tweet.
"Pinterest is mostly used for our retail side," Fruth explained. "For example, our gift department is very creative. We post pictures of the different items they make on Pinterest and list a phone number that customers can contact if they would like to purchase that item or have something similar created."
Fruth said that YouTube is currently used to air its commercials online and that once a commercial is posted to YouTube it is shared across the chain's social media channels.
"E-mail marketing has been a great tool for sharing product- and store news-related information," Fruth noted. “We have noticed that the more informational the e-mails, the better the response. When we promoted flu shots, we sent out a list of flu symptoms. We also provided information on how to care for a family member with the flu. We got lots of positive feedback on this e-mail."
Use of the drug chain's mobile app also is increasing, according to Fruth. "This is a new function for us, and we are marketing it to reach more customers," she said. "The app has a store finder, and it can enable customers to track prescriptions.
"Customers can also refill prescriptions from their phone. There is a family prescription monitor built into the app once they complete signup and register their prescriptions," she added. "Mothers like this tool to keep their children's medications organized. We can update the ad space on the app with a new product or service as desired."
WordPress is used to share all company information in news story format on the Fruth blog. "“It is more of a branding tool and to keep customers informed," Fruth said.