BUSINESS: Retailers The Lead, Follow Or Get Out Of The Web Award By Staff Monday, September 19, 2011 12:03 AM RELATED CONTENT Announcing VM's Most Daring! The Shop It Like It’s Hot Award The Sphere Of Influence Of Award The Seeing Green Award The Resistance Is Futile Award The “We The People” Reader Vote Award The Judges (10 or fewer LOCATIONS) Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care Rockville, Md. www.youreyesite.com CEO: Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO Submission Essay… “In 2007, Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care boldly eliminated all forms of traditional marketing in favor of search engine optimization and social media. Dr. Alan Glazier took a daring risk to eliminate traditional marketing to grow his practice and now successfully uses social networking, websites, a wonderful blog and other types of viral marketing. He has seen so much success with social media in his practice, that he wrote a book: ‘Searchial Marketing, How Social Media Drives Search Optimization in the Web.’” Daring because… “Every day our antennae remain tuned on the ever changing online marketing landscape. My staff understands is imperative for our practice to stay one step ahead in our online marketing efforts. Staying ahead of the curve involves taking chances without truly knowing what the outcome will be. Sometimes we fail; more often than not we succeed and sometimes a totally unexpected favorable result springs out of our effort, leading us down a path we could have never envisioned,” said Alan Glazier, OD, CEO of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care. “In business, challenges pop up all the time. Businesses in all industries must be innovative to thrive and eyecare is no exception. One of my favorite quotes is ‘it’s the trees that bend with the wind that survive the storm.’ The practice of today looks much different than the practice of 1987; and the practice of 2020 will look different than the practice of today. If you plan on being around and practicing your profession, you must be daring and innovate! (11 TO 49 LOCATIONS) eyecarecenter Rocky Mount, N.C. www.eyecarecenter.com President: Allan Barker, OD Submission Essay… “In December 2010, eyecarecenter launched its first social media campaign to provide valuable vision health education and content to our patient base and to drive new patient traffic into the offices. In order to keep our communities engaged and interested, we create daily educational content that covers a variety of categories, including: children’s vision, visual fatigue, celebrity/pop culture and general vision research. We have extensively trained our office staff on our social media initiatives and have created in-office point-of-purchase signage and social media business cards so patients can connect with us after a visit. We have also experienced success by responding to customer questions and comments through Facebook. Additionally, we use social media to connect with our community through posting some of our local awards and charity involvements. With seven months under our belt, we have only just begun our social media outreach. Plans for new content and new local event synergies are coming up in the next couple of months. @eyecare2see #winning” Daring because… “We go out of our way to provide our patients with not only the best visual solutions, but provide them with insightful health statistics and tips that we integrate into our customer service. As our patient base changes, we strive to do the same. In order to reach the technologically advanced and informed consumer, we find it imperative to communicate with our patients both in the office and on digital platforms where they are already searching for answers,” said H. Russell Tolar, director of optical operations for eyecarecenter. (50+ LOCATIONS or online only) Coastal Contacts Inc. Vancouver, British Columbia www.CoastalContacts.com www.ClearlyContacts.ca CEO: Roger Hardy Submission Essay… “For over a year now, we have been giving away thousands of free glasses to new customers via our Facebook page. We wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to order glasses online. We also wanted to showcase the performance of our customer care team who exceed the expectations of our customers every day. Since we started regularly hosting 10,000 free glasses giveaways on our Facebook pages we have increased the number of fans of our CoastalContacts.com and ClearlyContacts.ca Facebook pages hugely. Just over a year ago, CoastalContacts.com and ClearlyContacts.ca had fewer than 10,000 Facebook fans each. Today, CoastalContacts.com has almost 350,000 fans and ClearlyContacts.ca has almost 152,000 fans to give us just over half a million fans of our U.S. and Canada brand Facebook pages! With the number of fans of Coastal Contacts Inc’s U.K., Australia and New Zealand fans on Facebook, Coastal Contacts Inc. has a fan count of almost 650,000, making Coastal Contacts Inc. the largest optical brand on Facebook.” Daring because… “We are by nature a very innovative and dynamic company. It forms our fabric and permeates our culture,” said Roger Hardy, CEO of Coastal Contact. “Our quest to innovate inspires us to take risks all in an attempt to find a better way to serve our customers. Innovation for innovation’s sake accomplishes nothing. Innovation which serves customers is what reshapes industries. We look at our category and think there are many ways to improve in our service to customers. Technology is changing so fast, those who don't innovate will be left behind as so many old world retailers have already discovered. The biggest room in our world is the room for improvement and we focus on it everyday."