How Bates Security Won the 2017 SAMMY Award for Best Social Media Campaign

Bates Security used social media marketing to generate 92% of its website visits last year.

How integral is social media to Bates Security’s overall marketing campaign? Though Marketing Coordinator Crystal Newton’s responsibilities include social media management, the Lexington, Ky., firm prioritizes the outreach so much it recently hired a part-time intern to assist.

The security firm is active on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and YouTube platforms, along with a blog area of its own company website. Bates also has an advertising budget for stock imagery, promoted posts and advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The company boosted Facebook following 36% from 2015 to 2016, and generated 92% of its website visits from the popular platform last year.

“By using Facebook’s Ad Manager, we’re able to upload our own customer lists and market upgrades and add-ons to them specifically. We’re also able to upload data lists from networking events, tradeshows and our CRM to remarket to prospects,” Newton explains.

“Facebook Insights and Ads Manager reporting tools help us determine our best audience for specific messages, what is working and not working and most importantly, why.”

Newton estimates 10-15 hours per week — which may not sound like much, but consider that’s a full 2-3 hours per day for a regular work week — are spent on content creation, post scheduling and social media management.

She says Bates employs an 80/20 rule: 20% of content is specific to products and services while 80% goes toward highlighting company photos, community service and promotional events. The company’s “Local Matters” marketing theme is central to its social strategy.

It shares posts from the Lexington Police Department and NFPA using the #ShareTheLex hashtag, and in 2016 even brought on Don Evans, a retired police officer and morning DJ on the top-rated radio station, to film its #SafetyTipTuesday video blogs.

Other elements include live-Tweeting when Bates is at events, and sharing educational “how-to” videos created by Honeywell as an authorized Honeywell dealer in which it can add its logo as a branded resource for customers and prospects.

YouTube is a key area to deliver security and safety tips, too. “Our social media campaign is used not only to gain new prospects, but as a customer retention tool, a recruitment tool, a community partnership platform and a resource for safety,” Newton says.

2017 SAMMY Winners: Read up on the rest of this year’s SAMMY winners here.

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About the Author


Arlen Schweiger is editor-in-chief of SSI's sister publication, CE Pro. He was SSI's managing editor from August 2018 to June 2023.

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