APX Alarm to use social media for $250,000 giveaway

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

PROVO, Utah—Taking advantage of its social media prowess to extend its charitable giving to communities around North America, APX Alarm announced May 4 that it will give away $250,000 to six non-profit charities this summer using Facebook.

APX is asking customers, employees and the general public to nominate and vote for a favorite local charity at APX Alarm’s Facebook page.

Voting officially started May 4. “This allows us to spread our goodwill to a larger community,” said Josh Houser, APX VP of service and inside sales and president of APX Family Foundation. Houser noted that it makes sense to use social media as a platform for this project because it’s the “medium of choice for many APX customers and a growing number of the general public.”

The project, called the “APX Gives Back Project” will also extend APX’s social media network. APX currently has 4,700 “fans” on Facebook. “We expect to have 50,000 to 100,000 Facebook followers by the end of the project,” Houser said. He noted that Chase Bank undertook a similar project and went from “zero to two million Facebook fans.”

APX is giving away five $30,000 prizes, one for each of the four U.S. regions and one for Canada. APX will then donate $100,000 to the charity that receives the overall highest number of votes on Facebook.

Nominating and endorsing favorite local charities began May 4 and ends June 12. On June 14, 15 finalists will be announced from each region, and voting will begin for the regional winners. Awards will be announced August 23.

APX Alarm has a dedicated social media operation at it headquarters. Houser has three employees—security industry Twitter followers may be familiar with APXMatt, APXSeth and APXIan—who work full-time following and massaging the APX message on the Web.

The trio tweets on Twitter, blogs and uses Facebook to “carry on a conversation with customers” Houser said. They focus on search-engine optimization and their objective is to keep APX’s content updated and informative.

Whenever someone posts on Facebook, “we respond back to them, 24 hours a day,” Houser said. “And we leave up all of their comments, good and bad.”

The social media group is an important component of APX’s customer service efforts as well. A staff of seven “customer advocates” backs up the social media group, “helping take care of customers who have problems.”

The charitable give-away is one part of APX’s Family Foundation, which is also involved with efforts such a partnership with the Baltimore Orioles. APX is sponsoring contests during the game, where contestants win home security systems, autographed baseballs from Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, and more. “We’re trying something that’s new and different, and if it works, we’ll do it in 10 ballparks next year,” Houser said.