Landscaping is a very visual art. While your landscape designs may cater to the other senses as well, what is seen tends to make the first impression on people.
Instagram is a social media platform that is all about visuals, too. It encourages users to share photos and videos of their life or their brand.
According to sproutsocial, Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users and users typically spend 53 minutes a day on the platform.
Jack Jostes, president and CEO of Ramblin Jackson, led a webinar on how professional landscapers can get new clients on Instagram without wasting time. Below are his three tips on how landscapers can get more out of this social media platform.
Ramblin Jackson is a landscaping and home service marketing company for local businesses. Jostes first went over the modern sales process for a consumer.
Whether they are referred to your landscaping company by a neighbor or Google nearby landscaping companies, Jostes explained the next step for the customer is to conduct online research, including checking out your website, reading reviews and considering competitors.
“If we lose (the customer) on the online research, we’re going to lose that sale,” Jostes said during the webinar.
Because of the nature of digital marketing, it is crucial you have your branding in order before you start trying to reach customers through social media outlets. Jostes broke down what needs to come first in digital marketing with a pyramid.
Your company’s brand, or its core values and what sets it apart, serves as the base for marketing. This is communicated through a solid website, which is made findable with local SEO. After creating a successful email marketing campaign, you can move on to social media accounts and then online ads.
A notable stat for Instagram is the fact that 80 percent of accounts follow a business on Instagram, which is just one of the reasons why landscapers should consider using it as part of their digital marketing.
“Instagram is a powerful social network that many affluent homeowners use when they’re planning landscaping and home improvement projects,” Jostes said during the webinar.
Jostes’ first tip for getting more customers through Instagram is to leverage employees to share your business experience. He explained that people enjoy storytelling and by having your employees simply document what is happening on the jobsite throughout the day can make your business more relatable.
He stressed that not all pictures have to be professionally staged before they can be posted. Jostes encourages landscapers to take advantage of Instagram Stories, which last for 24 hours and can keep followers up to date on what you’re doing.
Before and after photos are also great imagery to use when inspiring potential customers to reach out to your business.
Jostes suggests posting frequently. If this seems too overwhelming, he advises taking advantage of the slower winter months to create content that can be scheduled and shared throughout the rest of the year. The app Later allows users to schedule Instagram posts.
The second tip Jostes covered during his webinar is to use geographic and branded hashtags.
Because you want to attract people who are actually able to purchase your services, think about your ideal cities, counties and neighborhoods you serve so it will be more likely people in these areas will find you.
Using industry specific hashtags can help you find both new customers and employees, Jostes said during the webinar.
He encourages landscapers to research their hashtags before using them, as certain initials or phrases could have other less appropriate meanings. Landscapers can interact with others using the same hashtag to like or comment on their posts as well.
To save time, Jostes advises keeping a note on your phone with all your go-to hashtags already saved so you can simply copy and paste instead of having to type out #greenindustry #landscaping #landscapedesign #landscapearcitecture #plants #horticulture and so on every time you want to make a post.
Jostes’ third tip is to connect with existing prospects, customers, vendors and relationships. He admits that while you do want to land new business, your existing customers are going to be the people who care the most about your Instagram posts.
When it comes to posting, Jostes explained that done is better than perfect. While you can fret over something not being perfect, it is far better to have sent out an image that is unedited but is getting exposure rather than not posting at all.
He advises posting on a weekly basis and to not worry about people unfollowing your account from overposting.
If you’re looking for inspiration, following local and national brands can help get your creative juices flowing. Yet all of this savvy Instagram posting will be all for naught if you don’t have the strong foundation of a good brand.