Archive for the ‘NJNLA’ Category

Thumbs UpIn a last minute change of schedule I find myself presenting on Social Media Success less than a week from now.  The focus this NJNLA meeting, the audience for which is mostly landscape professionals, is a primer for the business owner that keeps getting told he needs to ‘do social media’ but doesn’t have the time or understanding.

Here are the five points I think are important to anyone starting out in social media for their business.

1: It doesn’t matter if you don’t get it

One of the things I hear most is “I don’t get it.”  Facebook and twitter is not just about seeing what your niece had for lunch or how many row crops your sister planted in Farmville.  If you don’t like it or don’t understand it, that’s fine.  But here is the question you should be asking: Do my customers get?  Are they using it?

2: New marketing tools don’t negate old marketing rules

I often get the impression from people that starting in social media marketing is a binary decision: keep doing what I am doing, or start doing social media.  You need to do both.  Social media channels give you new insight into clients and prospects you never had before, but marketing this way is still about gaining trust and building relationships, same as it has always been.  Which brings me to number three…

3: What is the number one point businesses get wrong when starting in socail media?

They forget the most important word: Social.  These new tools are about having conversations, listening, having some fun, and building relationships.  Setting up a Twitter account, only to post “Click Here to see great photos of my last job”, is too much yelling, not enough talking.  Ask questions, read what others have to say, and learn what it is your clients want.

4: Facebook is not for everyone

I include this because Facebook is the point where most beginners begin.  Mostly because there kids or spouse or friends are on it, so that is where the pressure comes from.  Facebook can be great for a small landscape business, but there are lots of social media channels, and it is good to know your options.

5: It’s harder than you think, but don’t worry, there is an app for that…

Like any component of your marketing plan, social media needs a plan, and that plan needs to be executed on.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress and Youtube are all free to join, but the investment comes in the time.  There are tools available that will help you schedule in advance and save you time, like Tweetdeck and Hoot Suite.

Anyone can get started in social media, but knowing some of the in’s and out’s will mean the difference between a fruitful marketing campaign and just getting frustrated and going to play Farmville.