Valley businesses, organizations embrace social media

More businesses and organizations are embracing social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook to connect with customers and clients.

McAllen newest chain resturant did just that on Wednesday afternoon.

Smashburger off North 10th Street and Nolana Avenue used both Twitter and Facebook to draw in a crowd for a special preview lunch.

More than 150 people were treated to free hambugers, fries, shakes and drinks.

Franchise managers told Action 4 News that it's all part of new strategy to generate a buzz through social networks.

"I see them....a couple of them in the corner...typing away on their computers as they're eating their burgers," said Marketing Director Mike Griffith.

Griffith said that kind of social media marketing relies on people telling their friends about their impressions and experiences.

"So they're taking a bite, tasting it and seeing how it is and then tweeting that and putting on their Facebook," he said. "So, not only are we making customers of those people we have here in the store but hopefully they're putting that information out and making future customers for us."

Gene Carangal with the South Texas Pediatric Clinic was one of the people who attended the event.

He got an invite through the Rio Grande Valley's Social Media Club, whose members made up a large number those at the special preview lunch.

Carangal said using Facebook is also helping his business.

"We use the social media to learn more about other people, potenial customers and also potential vendors," Carangal said. "So for us, it's about establishing business relationships as well as social ones."

The Rio Grande Valley's non-profit organizations are also using social media networks to recruit members, organize events and more.

"We're using them to let our donors know where their funds are going and where their donations are going," said Ruby Martinez with the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley.