Social media is an effective way for many businesses to improve brand awareness and brand affinity — which leads to new customers and greater retention of current customers. Landscaping companies in particular have several built-in advantages for using social media platforms to their greatest brand-building potential.
Here are a few of the most important:
- Social media users love consuming and sharing visual content, and landscapers can produce all sorts of photos and videos to showcase their work.
- Social media users love to learn about new products and services. Landscapers can share videos and photos of plantings that become available, horticultural tips and insights and news alerts about weather conditions and diseases that are harmful to local plants, flowers, lawns and trees.
- Social media users love to learn about promotions and special deals. Landscapers can easily create platform-specific discounts and promotions that get followers excited and feeling as though they have the inside track.
- Social media users love to engage with brands, and landscapers can really boost their brands by inviting users to share comments and photos centered on landscaping challenges, successful DIY landscaping work and other related issues. This gets customers talking and helps establish the landscaper as an expert eager to share ideas and solutions.
Tips for getting the full benefits of social media
With these ideas in mind, read on for specific actions and strategies landscapers can use to put social media to work.
Choose your platforms wisely
It’s important to know where your customers like to connect, and if you’re not sure, ask them. Facebook and Instagram are likely to be popular with customers since they are both platforms where visual content thrives. In terms of demographics, 77 percent of Gen-Xers are likely to engage brands on Facebook, whereas 41 percent of Gen Z prefer Instagram.
Set a budget for videos and photography to showcase your work
Ideally, photos and videos will be professional or near-professional quality, because poor, hard-to-understand content could actually harm your brand. Nevertheless, for a landscaping business, slick videos that cost five figures to produce are far beyond customer expectations. In addition, short videos — 30 seconds to 2 minutes — are preferred for most social media platforms.
Post regularly, but not too regularly
Consistent communication is a big plus since most social users follow a lot of people and brands. If you are out of sight, you’ll definitely be out of mind. At the other extreme, if you are posting six times a day, you may be inviting followers to tune out because the content is cluttering their feeds.
One to two posts a day should be a good starting point for most landscaping businesses. Keep in mind a post could be simply a photo with a brief description or just text that communicates a short but valuable message.
Market your social media presence
Building an audience is a big challenge for any small or midsize company. Advertise your social media account widely and link to it wherever possible. The logo of a social media platform — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. — is usually enough for people to understand that they can find your company page there. Add the logo to your email signature, letterhead, invoices, trucks, uniforms, customer swag, advertising and anywhere else you can.
Establish some measurements of success
Engaging with customers on social media can be a lot of fun, but there should always be a clear business purpose. Good metrics for evaluating performance in brand awareness and brand affinity campaigns include growth in followers, comments, number of times the content is shared and number of new customers who can be traced to social media engagement.
Don’t be discouraged if these statistics are modest in the early stages of a campaign. What matters most is whether key measurements are growing over a 6-to-12-month period. Also keep in mind that if your business is seasonal, activity on social media is sure to decrease during the winter and revive as spring approaches.
Social media platforms are free to use, making them extremely budget-friendly for landscaping businesses with resources spread thin on advertising and other paid marketing campaigns. Social media marketing takes a little time to achieve success, but with a sustained effort, it can be a powerful and cost-effective way to improve your brand.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Rebecca Purrington is a promotional products expert with Crestline Custom Promotional Products. She has more than five years of consultative sales experience in the industry and holds degrees in both social/behavioral sciences and business management.