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How to Create a Social Media Strategic Plan for Your Green Industry Business (Handout)
How to Create a Social Media Strategic Plan for Your Green Industry Business (Handout)
How to Create a Social Media Strategic Plan for Your Green Industry Business (Handout)
How to Create a Social Media Strategic Plan for Your Green Industry Business (Handout)
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How to Create a Social Media Strategic Plan for Your Green Industry Business (Handout)

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Your kids are on Facebook. That bully who beat you up in first grade is now a LinkedIn connection. Great. But...why are you and your business on Facebook? In this presentation we'll dive into the "why" and discuss how to develop an actual social media marketing strategy for your green industry business. We'll discuss how to determine objectives and goals, how to develop a theme, and how to measure your results.

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  • 1. How to Create a Social Media Strategy for Your Green Industry BusinessChris Heiler | (616) 953-0774 | www.LandscapeLeadership.comTo view this presentation’s slide deck, visit http://goo.gl/XbMWlWe’re living in a time when we’ve never been more connected to people. Your kids—maybe yourparents—are on Facebook. That schoolyard bully who beat you up in first grade is now an insurancesalesman you’re connected to on LinkedIn.But why does this even matter? It matters because this connectedness presents numerous opportunitiesfor businesses who understand how to leverage it to connect with current customers as well as potentialcustomers.The biggest challenge for most companies is where to begin. How do you know what is most importantto your business? Should you be on Facebook? On Twitter? Should you have a YouTube channel?Many companies begin by putting the cart before the horse: Tools before strategy. This is the wrongapproach. Begin with strategy first, then the “tools and tactics” you need to implement will fall intoplace.Strategy before tools.Creating the social media marketing strategy for your business begins with having a keen understandingof what you are trying to achieve—your objectives.Determine your objectiveThe single best piece of advice I can give you is this: Find your "one thing".In other words, clearly define your single objective as it relates to social media and marketing yourbusiness.Do you see social media as a pointless, giant time-suck? If so, its probably because you dont have aclear objective in mind.Have you ever asked yourself, "What the hell am I doing this for?"As with anything in life, your chance for success with social media is much greater when you have aclearly defined, concrete objective. Otherwise youre just wandering aimlessly. Heres why: A concrete objective clarifies your purpose and can unite and empower your employees so youre all shooting at the same target. With a clear objective established, you can then craft a well thought out social media strategy and plan to enable you to reach your objective.
  • 2. An objective and well thought out strategy allows you to focus only on whats important and ignore what is not.There are three broad objectives related to social media marketing: 1. Brand awareness, which includes… a. Introducing your company to consumers who previously did not know you existed b. Building your reputation and expertise locally and industry-wide c. Meeting new people and expanding your sphere of influence 2. Customer loyalty, which includes… a. Decreasing customer churn b. Generating more referrals c. Keeping in touch with customers d. Increasing repeat purchases or up-selling product/services 3. Direct sales, which includes… a. New customer sales b. Generate new leadsKeep in mind, we wont all have the same objective--a lot depends on our type of business. For instance,a landscape designer may have more interest in building his/her reputation while a lawn care companymay be focused on generating leads. A garden center may focus on keeping in touch with currentcustomers.I was asked recently, "How do I build more connections on LinkedIn?" and "How do I get more followerson Twitter?"My answer to both was the same: Why? Why do you need more connections or followers? What is yourobjective?This is the question you need to start with. Dont put the cart before the horse. An effective social mediastrategy and plan can then be developed around your single objective.Identify your themeWhat one thing sets you apart from your competition? What makes you unique? This uniqueness--thisdifferentiator--is what should shape your social media efforts. Lets call this your "theme".Along with a realistic, pragmatic, and measurable objective, your theme is the first step in developing aneffective social media marketing strategy for your business.Your theme will resonate in everything you do online from the unique content you create to theinteresting content you curate and share with your followers and friends. Your customers and prospectswill pick up on your theme over time.
  • 3. Zappos.com- remarkable customer serviceNeave Group- we care!The Gardening Angel- fine gardeningSometimes it takes an outsider to find your theme. Face it, sometimes youre too immersed in your ownbusiness and it takes someone from the outside to point out the obvious.Do you want to know what makes you unique? Then ask your customers! Listen to what your customerssay about you and your business, because like it or not, this is how you are perceived.What are you passionate about? What excites you? What differentiates you from your competition?What makes you unique? Use the answers to these questions to discover the theme that will shape andguide your social media efforts.Outline concrete, measurable goalsAs it relates to this discussion, goals are very much different than objectives. Concrete, measurable goalsspring forth from your objective. The key word is measurable.If your broad objective is to increase direct sales from new customers, then some of your goals mayinclude: Increasing the number of unique visitors each month to your website Increasing the number of newsletter sign-ups, blog subscribers or number of times a coupon on your website has been downloaded. Increasing the number of times a special offer is redeemed Increasing foot traffic (for retailers)Direct sales starts with generating leads. Of course "leads" means different things to differentbusinesses. Perhaps a lawn care company focuses efforts on building their newsletter list. A gardencenter may focus on increasing foot traffic. A landscape architect may focus on building his/her blogreadership.My personal social media objective is to increase brand awareness. I use social media to build myexpertise, influence and credibility within the green industry. One of my goals is to increase the numberof media mentions each year. Another goal is to increase my e-newsletter subscriber list.When you have a goal, you have something to measure. And you can create benchmarks along the way.Companies frequently ask, “What’s the return on investment of social media?” If you have outlinedthree to five concrete, measurable goals specific to your objective then you should be able to quantifyyour ROI to a certain extent.
  • 4. Key Point: Not all goals, or metrics, are equally relevant. “Behaviors” are more important than“accumulations”. I’ll use a garden center as an example. Data that shows 20% more people comparedto the previous month downloaded a coupon from the garden center’s website is much more importantthan the number of new Facebook fans or Twitter followers.Once you understand what your social media objective is and understand clearly what metrics areimportant to you, then you can create a step-by-step plan to reach your goals and maximize yourefforts.To view this presentation’s slide deck, visit http://goo.gl/XbMWlChris HeilerGreen Industry social media consultant(616) 953-0774www.LandscapeLeadership.com

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