To wrap up our series on social media marketing for landscapers, we’re going to go over what you should be doing. As we head into the off season, now is a great time to plan for next year. Here’s what you can do to ensure your social media efforts pay off.
First, define your primary business objective
Every year, you should have a primary goal – revenue growth, margin expansion, customer count – and a strategy on how to get there.
Let’s assume you want to grow your revenue by 20 percent. There are a number of ways you can accomplish this:
- Bring in brand new customers
- Upsell existing customers
- Re-engage customers you’ve worked with in the past
- Raise your prices (be careful here)
- Increase your customer retention
While you may choose many of these activities, you should decide which is going to be most impactful. To help decide this, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have the capacity to bring in new customers?
- What percent of my revenue is coming from maintenance versus upsells?
- How many happy past customers do I have contact info for?
- How long has it been since I raised prices?
Once you’ve decided on your strategy to grow revenue for the year, it’s time to see how social media fits in with that.
Determining how social can support your objective
Social media marketing can help all of these objectives, but before you start posting, ask yourself if you have exhausted other forms of marketing?
If you do decide to do social media marketing, decide how it can fit your goals.
Let’s say you’re hoping to increase upsells to existing customers. You might put together a calendar of posts related to the benefits of seasonal services. You can share other people’s content as well as content you produce. Mix in a few posts offering discounts on these services.
In this case, you cannot expect to just see a whole lot of upsells come out of thin air. You will still need to push upsells via other mechanisms – email, phone, in-person – but the social media will help you stay top of mind.
Even trickier is the case of increasing customer retention. For starters, responding to complaints and inquiries promptly will help here. But after that, you have to understand why customers are canceling. Perhaps they are going to competitors for a slightly lower price? In this case, you can try using social media to help them get to know you, your crew and your family as humans. That way they feel like they have a relationship with you and aren’t just another lawn.
Set goals and measure
Once you’ve decided how social media can help your business objective, you need to set goals and measure your progress towards them.
First, you should set activity goals for the following:
- Post at least N times per week/month
- Respond to comments/reviews within N minutes
Remember, if you don’t commit to social media (and it’s okay to not commit), it’s a big old waste of your time.
Next, set goals related to the performance of your social media activities. Going back to the case of increasing upsells, you will not be able to directly tie increased upsells to your social media activities. However, you can track leading indicators.
You might set goals for how many followers you get, and how many people see or engage with your posts. There are no hard and fast rules, but here are some guidelines:
- For follower count, try and get this as high as the number of records in your customer database.
- For engagement and reach, try and get 30 percent of your audience to see it.
- In the case of upsells, decide how many customers you need to upsell to reach your goal, and work towards that amount of people seeing your posts.
Again, no hard and fast rules, but at least a starting point.
Make sure you stick to your strategy for at least a year and measure your progress. If done right, the business goals will follow.
Read part one (How landscaping businesses need to be thinking about social media), part two (How to choose the right social media platform for your business) and part three (What type of content should landscapers be sharing on social media?) for more information.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Ryan Farley is the co-founder of LawnStarter Lawn Care, a stress-free online platform that connects homeowners with lawn care professionals for convenient services.