How can Social Media Help Grow Your Garden Business? According to a recent Garden Writers Association report: "More consumers are turning to social media sites and YouTube for gardening information, both showing an increase of 3-5% from last year."
For your company, the question is not, "should I use social media?' But "what is my social media plan?"
Check out this graph that compares social media use from this year to last.
Now, more than ever, it is important to have a positive social media presence where people can connect and interact with your business. If you don’t make your customers happy, they just might tell their friends through Facebook, Twitter or YouTube — or write a blog. Every business makes mistakes when it comes to serving their customers. What sets a business apart is how it deals with those mistakes.
Here are a few tips to creating a social media plan for business in the lawn and garden industry:
1. Plan your garden
Decide ONE social media platform to use and learn how to use it well. If its Facebook, do it. If it's Pinterest, pin those photos! It isn’t possible to have a strong presence across every social media platform so choose the ones you like and be the best at those.
TIP: If you are going to tweet, try the application HootSuite, you can create customized columns, schedule tweets and follow keywords and hashtags.
2. Spread your seeds
Once you choose a platform, spend a little time with it. Each platform has it’s own language, secrets and strengths. Again, don’t feel the pressure to be everywhere. Make choices that you are comfortable with and enjoy it!
A great place to meet new people are Twitter chats. Try #gardenchat or #landscapechat. There is practically a chat for every industry, so just do a little digging.
3. Water your garden
Of course the biggest factor is being successful with social media is, being social! Engage with people, say hello, say thank you, compliment a post, comment on blogs, be out there.
TIP: Go fishing. Find someone very influential in your industry, like @SuziMcCoyGMG, and check out who she is following. People like that have already curated a list for you, you just need to utilize it.
4. Weed your garden
Use tools such as Tweepi or Manage Flitter to help manage followers. Tweepi shows you comprehensive overviews of your Twitter account and stats of the people you are following and those following you. Manage Flitter has a great whitelist feature that you can select people that you would never want to unfollow.
5. Ignore the bugs
Ignore or block rude people. Why waste your time on them? Seeking attention, through negative actions, is the typical pest behavior. Everyone isn’t going to like everyone else, that is life. Focus on the positive people and the great interaction that you have with them.
6. Enjoy the flowers
Eventually, your garden will begin to flourish with the care and thought that you have given to it. Take time to smell the flowers and enjoy the network you are building. And dont worry, by the time you master one social network, a new one is sure to pop up! Just like weeds!
If you want to start with just one social media network, we recommend Facebook. It is where most people are members and the site most people visit daily. Download this free e-book for tips and tricks on growing your business.