LPG Spotlight: Wilson Oil & Propane

November 19, 2018 By    
 Wilson Oil & Propane uses a mix of digital and traditional marketing in its marketing strategy. Photo courtesy of Wilson Oil & Propane.

Wilson Oil & Propane uses a mix of digital and traditional marketing in its marketing strategy. Photo courtesy of Wilson Oil & Propane.

At Wilson Oil & Propane, a full-service home comfort company in southeastern Pennsylvania, a well-orchestrated social media presence positions the retailer at the forefront of propane industry marketing.

“We have a multi-pronged approach,” says David O’Connell, president of Wilson Oil & Propane. “The majority of the money is in internet marketing because that is where the action is, but we still do a fair amount of direct mailing.”

According to Betsy O’Connell, social media director for Wilson Oil & Propane, the company established a Facebook page (WilsonOilandPropane) about seven years ago. It started out of support for a few community events and developed into a major key to the company’s overall marketing strategy, including Betsy O’Connell’s position with the company. Today, Betsy O’Connell manages the social media presence of the company with the help of marketing company Warm Thoughts Communications.

“[The marketing company] helps me on various levels with all kinds of different ideas,” Betsy O’Connell explains. “We try to complement each other by talking about what we think or what should or shouldn’t be posted.”

Betsy O’Connell explains the company mixes a wide range of material – including contests, business updates, recipes, videos, photos and quotes – to create content for social media. Wilson Oil & Propane tries to avoid too many business-related posts, offsetting those posts with more easygoing content.

“We are always trying to find the right blend of both,” says David O’Connell. “It can’t be more of one or more of the other.”

However, the Facebook page has proven to be a business asset. According to David O’Connell, during a severe weather stretch last winter, the company put out a message on Facebook saying employees were working around-the-clock to deliver propane to customers. Betsy O’Connell says the social media platform also helps tell customers when Wilson Oil & Propane is open for business on severe weather days when schools and other businesses are closed.

Betsy O’Connell works mostly from home and uses her phone to keep up with customer activity on the company’s page. The company has a 100 percent response rate, averaging an answer to a question within 29 minutes of a post, she adds.

“I am not kidding when I say I regularly check my phone and I try to respond as quickly as I can,” she says. “When the phones are busy and [customers] can’t get through, they can always get ahold of us through Facebook.”

Additionally, the company works to increase customer feedback through reviews. According to Betsy O’Connell, the company incentivizes business reviews with contests and encourages organic reviews. When she notices a review on Facebook, she’ll quickly respond to thank the customer.

“I have made a conscious effort of following all of our social media on my phone,” Betsy O’Connell explains. “With trying to get back to those people that take the time to [review], I thank them pretty close to when they do that. ‘Thank you for taking the time to write a five-star review. We appreciate your business and thank you for letting our family take care of yours.’ All of those things that are important for us to have the customer’s trust.”

Company Profile

Founded // 1926
Headquarters // Wallingford, Pennsylvania
Owners // Betsy and David O’Connell
Founder // Marvel Wilson
Employees // 23
Bobtails // 2
Website // wilsonoilandpropane.com
Twitte handle // @WilsonOIL1926

This article is tagged with and posted in Current Issue, Featured
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About the Author:

Joe McCarthy was an associate editor at LP Gas Magazine.

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