Fan votes propelled SmartPak into third place on Inc. 500’s 20 Awesome Facebook Fan Pages list. SmartPak, the popular online tack store, finished ahead of leading national retailers including Threadless and Zappos, even surpassing Old Spice, whose recent campaign has taken the social media world by storm.
The 20 companies, chosen from nominations by entrepreneurs, social media experts, Inc. editors, and Facebook itself, demonstrate “Facebook done right” according to the Inc. 500 post.
SmartPak’s approach to Facebook has struck a chord with riders across the country, as its Facebook page now has over 150,000 fans. That number exceeds the total fan count for all other equine retailers combined.
But for SmartPak, it is not about the numbers, but about the experience. “We never set out to reach a certain number of fans,” said Paal Gisholt, SmartPak’s CEO. “Instead, we focus on providing a great experience – an online community where customers can have fun, learn about better horse care and become a part of our brand and our family.”
The positive response to their Facebook page has encouraged SmartPak to find new ways to be social with customers. As Donnie Steele, a Senior Director at SmartPak and the keynote speaker at New England Mail Order Association’s (NEMOA) 2011 Spring Conference, noted, “Our customers and their horses are the inspiration for everything we do, so the more we can talk to them – and more importantly, the more we can listen – the better. Social media is a natural venue to listen and interact with customers. It levels the playing field so that the customer’s voice is louder than ours and that’s the way it should be.”
SmartPak’s commitment to customer interaction and engagement is visible across all channels. SmartPak employees post real-time photos, videos and results generating hundreds of comments daily. Whether the posts are from the 2010 World Equestrian Games, 2011 Rolex Three-Day Event, 2011 NRHA Derby or other events, customers get to see first hand the enthusiasm and passion SmartPak employees share with their customers. The company has also infused their own website with a social presence, enabling fans to “like” products and providing educational content to enhance the shopping experience. The popularity of SmartPak’s weekly Ask the Vet column inspired SmartPak’s Equine Health Team to develop monthly SmartPak webinars, which air live and are published on SmartPak’s website and Facebook page. Recordings of the popular webinars and can be found at SmartPak.com.
To join in the fun and stay up to date on the latest from SmartPak, visit Facebook.com/SmartPakEquine.
About SmartPak Equine
Founded in 1999, SmartPak Equine is the country’s largest online and catalog retailer serving the needs of the active and engaged horse owner. The patented SmartPak™ supplement feeding system has simplified the process of feeding horse supplements and medications, making it easier for thousands of riders to keep their horses healthier by ensuring their supplements are being fed correctly. SmartPak’s diverse and expansive product offering includes its own line of supplements, tack, and horse blankets as well as an extensive selection of leading brands of equine health, apparel, tack, and equipment. SmartPak is a seven-time Inc. 500/5000 honoree and is the only equine company ever named to the Inc 500 list. SmartPak is backed by Waltham, MA-based North Bridge Growth Equity.