Social Networking with Roto-Rooter


Chilling Tales from the Porcelain Seat

You know social networking is going mainstream when service companies like Roto-Rooter start using it. My sewer line backed up yesterday and I called Roto-Rooter to clean it. The guy came out like always, did the job, and I paid him. As he handed me the receipt he also gave me a flyer that asked me to go to either Google, Yahoo, Citysearch, or and write a review of the service. Once a week Roto-Rooter selects a name from the reviews submitted on any of these search engines and refunds the cost of the service. It doesn’t say whether the selection process is random or related to the sentiment of the review.

I was a little surprised that such an old-world service like plumbing would encourage customers to review their work. I guess that impression comes from a recent review I wrote on Yelp about another  plumbing company in St. Louis. My review was far from flattering. Anyway, I thought Roto-Rooter’s engagement of social networking interesting enough to check out their activity. Sure enough, they have a blog that Paul Abrams, the Public Relations Manager, updates regularly, and Roto-Rooter maintains a presence on a range of social network channels. From their blog,

Follow us at Twitter under @RotoRooter and here’s our main page on Facebook. You’ll even find a Roto-RooterTV channel on YouTube where you can see pet rescues, old commercials and instructional videos for DIYers. Then check out our photos on Flickr.

And, just in case you are wondering, the service was excellent though it isn’t one I like needing to buy.

Posted by Larry R. Irons

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7 Responses to Social Networking with Roto-Rooter

  1. Russ says:

    Great story, Larry. I love to hear about real-world examples of social media use, especially when it’s something simple but effective like this. It’s not just for the Fortune 500 with big marketing budgets and high-priced consultants.

    This just goes to show how relatively simple it can be to get started. No need to even create a branded online community of your own. There are tons out there already — leverage them(since people are already there). A simple flyer + an incentive. Wow.

    A smallish hardware company on the East Coast I bought from(through Amazon) sends a link to a few online review forums, in addition to their own Facebook page, and asks that customers leave feedback. AND — imagine this — they actually read and respond to it.

    Keep It Simple Service.

    Seattle, WA

  2. Larry Irons says:

    Hi Russ,

    Yep, Roto-Rooter responded via twitter as well. And you are right on target, it doesn’t take a lot to get started and succeed with the approach.

  3. Song Dave says:

    G’day, It is great to find a good website like this one. Would you mind if I used some of your information, and I’ll put a link back to your website?

  4. Larry Irons says:

    Song Dave, I’m glad you like the blog. As long as you give attribution and link back to the original content I’m fine with what you propose.


  5. Hrmm that was weird, my comment got eaten. Anyway I wanted to say that it’s nice to find the info here. I have looked everywhere. Thanks again!

    • Larry Irons says:

      Scrape guy, not sure about the comment getting “eaten” but you are welcome for the information.

  6. Facebook says:

    nice read, cheers!

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