Archive for the ‘social media’ tag
Lawn Doctor and Scott Frith get a shout-out in this Entrepreneur article about how franchises are using social media.
The nature of franchising — systems, consistency and control — can run counter to the spontaneous spirit of social media. “A franchisor wants to closely manage the brand, but that takes away the point of social media, which is the personal interaction,” says Rich Stark, CEO of Stark Logic, an online marketing agency in Oceanside, Calif.
That attitude is changing, however. Franchise companies are “starting to pay attention because they now realize that social media does impact sales,” Powills says.
It’s got some solid tips for any company considering a jump into social, especially when it comes to letting your employees post and interact on these platforms. You can read the full piece here.
Here’s our weekly update on cool stuff from the web. Enjoy!
- A farm replaces golf as in the suburbs. (Via @turfhugger)
- Monkshood making a comeback in the Midwest.
- A visual representation of what Americans spend their money on.
- Top 5 social media branding mistakes.
- ASLA publishes report how much cash green roofs and similar infrastructure can save.
- Make your designers’ lives easier with Pinterest. (via @uphelpsr)
- Flower subscription service H.Bloom raises $10 million. (via @getsocialshow)
- Above: Landscape lighting series by Barry Underwood, an artist and professor of photography at the Cleveland Art Institute. (via The Dirt)
The best session at PLANET’s Green Industry Great Escape was the discussion on social media and how businesses operate online. Led by Roger, Phelps, Stihl, Bruce Robert, Red Letter Corp., and Pat Schunk, PowerCloud, the talk touched on how consumers find companies online, the impact of mobile devices and how social media can improve not only your firm’s visibility but its reputation as well.
Here’s a quick re-cap of the talk. Look for more in an upcoming issue of Lawn & Landscape.
- Allow negative comments live on your site, blog or Facebook page. It shows that you’re a real company. The key is that you respond to it, and diffuse any bad situations.
- Good content pushes out bad. The more you publish about your company, whether it’s blog posts, Facebook updates or other content, the more you show up in search results (not rogue negative commenters).
- Use online tools to monitor what people say about you and your industry. Roger uses Kurrently to keep tabs on Stihl.
- Think about how social media can be used to highlight your employees, and how that attention can improve morale.
- Consider how your employees use social networks on (and off) the clock. The same goes for your family members – whether they work in the business or not.
- Social media takes time. If you’ve already got a packed schedule, you honestly might not have enough attention left to focus on updating these platforms. If that’s the case, don’t do it.
Here’s our weekly digest of cool internet stuff. Enjoy!
- Chris Heiler launches an online radio show.
- Ikea granite.
- Five tips on improving your local search results. (via @canyoncomm)
- Interview with Nike’s VP of sustainability. (via @waterguru2)
- Too much work is bad. Except when it’s good.
- Green construction is booming.
- A round-up of water rebates from across the country.
- Above: The concept of doughnut marketing, illustrated.
Here’s the latest cool stuff we found online this week. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!
- A good national round-up of water headlines from @EwingIrrigation
- The difference between PR and advertising.
- The secret formula for great customer service.
- Jeff Korhan on personal vs. business social media accounts.
- Design inspiration from Burle Marx.
- Richard Restuccia will speak on how to green your grounds program next week.
- Stewcare has a pretty robust YouTube channel.
- Above: How Bill Murray, tuxedos and a network of chubby rodents made Groundhog Day a national holiday.
You can read the full list on his site. They’re great points for anyone writing online, whether they’re just starting out or have been blogging for years.
Here are my two favorites:
6. Be critical, but don’t be unfair. You’re not a jerk in person. Don’t be one on the Internet. (Unless it’s funny, of course.)
7. Care about your writing. Spell things correctly. Write clearly. Avoid jargon or meaningless business-speak. Learn how to use apostrophes. It really is a reflection of quality.
And if you’ve got a blog (for your company or otherwise) that you think L&L readers should know about, let me know.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project last week released a report on how consumers use the web to find information on local businesses.
Key findings from the report include:
- 47% say they rely most on the internet to learn more about local businesses
- 36% rely most on search engines
- 30% rely most on newspapers
- 22% rely on word of mouth from family and friends
- 1% rely on social network sites or Twitter
One thing that surprised me from the report was how low social media ranks. While customers might not seek out or use your Twitter feed or Facebook page to learn more about you all the time, using those platforms to create original content will improve your search engine rankings.
I asked some of our regular social media contributors to weigh in on the report, and here’s what they had to say:
This is interesting. Seems a lot of folks trust search engines and media more than their friends (social media)!
One more reason for creating great online content – and getting it shared on sites outside of Facebook where it can provide search benefits.
Very interesting. I’m not surprised though. Most “casual” social media followers don’t use the medium to the extent that it could be used. For example, I recently tweeted (last weekend to be exact) “What is a great Sunday brunch location in downtown KC?” Since I have a lot of followers from the KC area, and have some SM influence here, I got some replied and ended up going to one of the places that was tweeted to me – and it was more than awesome!
SM requires dedication and time to build followers and influence and is an ACTIVE discussion online. Without that activity, there is no reply. Most don’t have any activity in their SM world – including Facebook. That said, internet browser information is static. You can instantly type something into a search engine and get a reply, so most people go to what they know best.
Unfortunately, those results are often biased by geographic location, number of reviews on Yelp, Google, and well as blog entries, reviews, etc. It’s not nearly as organic as going to your “friends” for a referral, which in the landscape world, we all know is the best kind of business development tool.
Also, the cohort searching for you online, according to the Pew study, is likely female, college-educated and has a household income of $75,000 or more. Sounds like the target demo for most landscape companies I’ve talked to recently.
And, no surprise, nearly a quarter of respondents said they rely on friends and family.
So, it makes sense to continue to invest in online marketing and social media to promote yourself. But, at the end of the say, a happy customer is still one of your best marketing tools, however you reach them in the first place.
Merlin is killing it, as always.
Any bias against NPR notwithstanding, he’s absolutely right. The beauty of sites like Twitter, Facebook and a blog are that they allow you to speak directly to your audience without formality or unnecessary structure. You can speak to your customers online the same way you speak to them in person.
A recent study from the Pew Research Center showed 93% of links in mainstream media tweets link back to those organizations’ own sites. We at L&L are sometimes guilty of this, too.
But the lesson is that you should use your social media platforms not to (just) push your content out into the ether. You should use them to give your followers, friends and customers something useful, interesting or kind of funny.
To post, not to post, where to post – with the different social media avenues, all of which offer unique networking and content sharing abilities – those can be difficult questions. We found this handy graphic that may help answer some of your questions.
Clearly this may be more meaningful for personal use than business. It would probably look bad if we were always checking in at bars. And we don’t necessarily agree with the LinkedIn as being “boring” – we get great insight and traction in our Lawn & Landscape group. You should join us.
Even if you don’t live in Southern California, water is a big deal. Ever try growing grass without it?
ValleyCrest recently launched a blog on water management. It’s (naturally) well-designed and has a list of contributors that any contractor would be wise to follow: Richard Restuccia, Kelly Duke and Eric Santos, just to name a few.
Ostensibly, the blog is for property managers and other folks ValleyCrest courts for work, but it’s also a great resource for landscape contractors and designers who want to learn more about water use and how it impacts not only their business, but the business of their own customers.
They’ve arranged their content into four areas: innovation, trends, technology and resources, so there’s something for everyone – from the very technical to the less so. So even if it’s raining today – or maybe if it’s raining today – where you are, take a minute and check it out.