Using Social Media As Marketing Tools

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New web-based technologies can spread the word about your business, grow customer support, and drive traffic to your products. See how these tools can help your green-industry business.

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  • WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? THIS IS WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE, AND WHERE THEY ARE INTERACTING
    More than 400 million active Facebook users
    More than 3 billion photos uploaded to the site each month
    More than 5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each week
    More than 3 million active Pages on Facebook
    More than 1.5 million local businesses have active Pages on Facebook
    More than 20 million people become fans of Pages each day
    Pages have created more than 5.3 billion fans
    More than 140 million YouTube videos
    THIS IS WHERE PEOPLE – AND CONSUMERS – ARE SPENDING TIME
  • Let’s Drill Down a Bit More
    Courtesy of Jean Ann Van Krevelen of White Willow Media
    More than four in five (80%) US online adults use social media at least once a month, and half participate in social networks like Facebook.
     
    90% of consumers trust peer recommendations…Only 14% trust advertisements
     
    The most rapid growth in social media adoption occurred among consumers 35 and older.
  • Become the “local garden hero” beyond the bricks & mortar store, the go-to source not just to drive to. You can literally be in the palm of their hands 24 hours a day to be a gardening resource
    Turn current customers into avid digital advocates – through reposting and “retweeting” and even through contests, your customers will spread the word
    Exposure to boarder audience and this can happen is several different ways –
    1) through your “followers” exposing their friends/family to you and
    2) your general presence in the social media world and by people finding you through common interests
  • Helps give you a reputation of being “with it” and up with the latest trends
    Helps you stay abreast of consumer trends and what the “socialsphere” is needing/demanding etc
    The next two are the most important
    Building “personal” connections beyond the register, in the greater digital “community” – you’re on your customers’ turf and on equal footing
    These connections create customers, create loyalty and create the sale – the current sale and loyalty for future sales.
    The main thing to keep in mind is it’s “social” – not about the sale.
  • Social media marketing is about relationships and engagement vs. loud, repetitive “push” marketing messages.
    Traditional – scattershot approach w/broad appeal
    Social media – specialized messages for targeted audiences
    Think of it as yelling into a bullhorn to the masses compared to having a conversation with a group of folks with similar interests
  • Social media marketing is about relationships and engagement vs. loud, repetitive “push” marketing messages.
    Traditional Marketing
    Reach thousands and thousands of people with the hope that a small percentage responds
    Create generalized messages that will appeal to as many people as possible
    Use traditional ad content with slick copy and professional photos
    Produce professional video commercials and purchase time on television
    Produce professional audio commercials and purchase ad time on radio
    Repeat this same general message on every available medium
    Wait for people to respond
  • Social Media Marketing
    Reach hundreds, maybe thousands of people who are actually looking for said products and services
    Create targeted messages with personalized appeal
    Use a friendly, conversational (though still professional) tone with little artifice
    Create informal short photos and videos to keep your customers up to date
    Reach out to people who host podcasts or online radio shows in order to guest or sponsor their show
    Change messages regularly, have talking points that can be generalized into conversations
    Build relationships, respond to questions, have conversations
  • Blogs are a powerful marketing tool you can use to attract leads and new customers,
    They also increase visibility in your marketplace.
    There are typically four important elements: content, outreach, design, and action (CODA).
    You’re thinking “How is a blog any different from the stuff on my website?” They’re different in two big and important ways:
    #1 The content -- posts and comments -- is changed or updated more often and usually is more interestingand timely
    #2, your content posting and commenting tools are way easier to use. You may have an IT or web tech person doing your website and design, but logging in and updating a blog is made very simple with the user interfaces that the popular blog template providers have come up with
  • Blogs are all about the information – and we have so much information to share.
    And our customers want that information, and they want access to it at their fingertips.
    There are usually two excuses for not doing a blog
    #1 :"I'm not a good writer.” – actually, customers would rather hear the advice on lawn maintenance or disease ID straight from the horse’s mouth. And this room is filled with horses.
    The #2 excuse is time – or lack of it. Seriously, the easy to use interfaces for some of these blogs make it so easy it really does take very little or your time.
    Click on photo to go to web site
    Ton of garden blogs from garden writers. But the thing you have that they don’t have is the ability to provide them with these products.
  • A blog is incredibly quick and easy to set up.
    Remember, it should be visually appealing – and we have plenty of stuff in our industry that helps us be beautiful – so use it!
    Doesn’t have to have all the fancy bells and whistles. Clean and simple is just fine, can beautify with photos etc.
    Update frequently to keep it timely, relevant, and in front of your subscribers eyes
    Frequent updates also build up your archives. Customers/visitors see this as you being the “expert” and the right place to go to find the information they’re looking for.
    blog
  • E-newsletters
    Direct to subscribers inboxes, rather than into something such as Google Reader -
    -Buzz goes directly into your inbox
  • -Some people learn by seeing, so YouTube videos are a way to help those customers
    brings your expertise and your methods straight to the people on their time, even in the palm of their hands
    Doesn’t constrain your customer to a workshop at one given time on the weekend
    Maybe tape your workshop and post to YouTube
    Topics can complement your how-to blogs
  • Create channels your customers can subscribe to
    Repository for video links from website, blogs, etc.
    -saves room on your website hosting server because the videos “live” somewhere else.
  • Coast of Maine
    -Helping garden centers with their video content.
    -Help a person at the garden center do a how-to using CoM products.
    This gives the garden center something to make their website, Facebook, enewsletter and blog come alive while giving CoM an endorsement.
    -Also helping them build and maintain their YouTube channels.-About to launch a “how-to” tutorial video for YouTube channel set up and uploading. It will be out in a couple of weeks.   
  • With 400 million users, that’s quite a community you can create!
    And it is all about creating community
    Facebook allows you to share information about you – the person – not just the business owner
    You can also use Facebook as a place to highlight your staff, their expertise as well as your business and what’s going on
  • Facebook pages also allow interactions between you and the customer or client
    Your customers can even interact with each other
    You’ll see that once this discussion happens, you as the “owner” of the page should see and need to see what people are talking about
    get involved, join in the interaction
  • While you’re interacting with customers, showing them how to prune or plant or whatever, let them know what’s going on, what new shipments just came in.
    New products/shipments: “Just received a fresh delivery of poinsettias, and boy do they put me in the holiday mood!”
    Events/contests you’re holding. Where you’ll be speaking, what workshops you’re offering, photo contests and so on
    For example, North Haven Gardens in Dallas gives away a $15 gift card every day on their FB page, and customers respond with what they bought, how they enjoyed their shopping experience.
    Public relations – FB is a tool, just like a newspaper, for broadcasting your community involvement and your good works to your community. If you’re involved with any sort of community outreach, use FB as another platform to get the word out.
    Promotions/sales – I know I said Social Media is NOT about selling. It’s not the main point of sharing on social media, but it does have it’s place among all the other information you’re providing
  • New shipments, plants, gifts
    Landscape installs
    Garden & decorating suggestions
    Events & involvement
  • Short news, tips, information
    Share “shareable” news followers will “retweet” or repeat
    Be timely: “Frost expected tonite, good time to bring in houseplants.” “3rd wk in May is ok to plant tomatoes.”
    Promotions ok, but don’t over do it: “New shipment coming in tomorrow. Geraniums ½ off today.”
    “Mention secret word Eupatorium for a 20% discount this Saturday.” That is 64 characters, by the way.
    Be real, be yourself, be sociable!
  • These tools let you post your message to multiple social media accounts from one application. So, you can tweet from here, or update your FB status, or your LinkedIn account or a number of other accounts, or you could even do them all at once.
    And, you can use these to schedule future messages and posts. Write up your messages for various accounts and schedule in advance to hit your followers at times you may not be available.
    Another thing to keep in mind is when your twitter followers are most active. 10am is a good “break time” – and also 2-3pm, and in the early evening. WhenToTweet.com can analyze your followers most active tweet times and can suggest the best times for you to post tweets.
    These two have desktop apps as well as apps for your smartphone
  • Well, how do you know you’re getting anywhere with your social media efforts?
    Keep an eye out for changes
    What are your customers saying?
    Do you notice new people in your store? Orders coming in online? New folks reading/commenting on your blog?
    Notice changes? Then set benchmarks or goals to steadily increase these metrics
    Keep in mind, with “likes” and “followers” on FB and Twitter, it’s the quality, not the quantity. Numbers do mean something, but unless there is interaction, engagement, it doesn’t mean a whole lot.
  • Using Social Media As Marketing Tools

    1. 1. Using Social Media as Marketing Tools Ellen C. Wells Editor at Large, Green Profit Magazine www.greenprofit.com
    2. 2. www.greenprofit.com Agenda •Reasons to participate •Blogs •Online photos & video •Facebook •Twitter
    3. 3. www.greenprofit.com Social Media What’s the big deal anyway?  >80 million Twitter accounts  >400 million active Facebook users  >5 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook  >3 million active Facebook Pages, 1.5 million are local businesses  >5.3 billion fans on Facebook  >140 million YouTube videos
    4. 4. www.greenprofit.com Social Media What’s the big deal anyway?  >80% of US online adults use social media at least once a month, and half participate in social networks like Facebook  90% of consumers trust peer recommendations … Only 14% trust advertisements  Adoption of social media technology highest in those 35+
    5. 5. www.greenprofit.com Social Media What it can do for you:  Become the “local garden hero”  Turn current customers into digital advocates  Gain exposure to larger, broader audience
    6. 6. www.greenprofit.com Social Media What it can do for you:  Helps you stay current and “cutting edge”  Builds personal connections with customers  Connections, loyalty and sales
    7. 7. www.greenprofit.com Social Media Marketing Differs from traditional marketing methods in both the system of delivery and the content of the message. Traditional marketing is scatter-shot approach and a message with broad appeal Social media marketing creates specialized messages for targeted audiences. -Jean Ann Van Krevelen, White Willow Media
    8. 8. www.greenprofit.com Traditional Marketing Reach thousands hoping some respond Create generalized messages that will appeal to many people Use traditional ad content with slick copy and professional photos Produce professional video/audio commercials and purchase time on television/radio Repeat this same general message on every available medium Wait for people to respond
    9. 9. www.greenprofit.com Social Media Marketing Reach hundreds, maybe thousands looking for said products and services Create targeted messages with personalized appeal Use a friendly, conversational tone Create informal short photos/videos to keep your customers up to date Change messages regularly, have talking points that can be generalized into conversations Build relationships, respond to questions, have conversations
    10. 10. www.greenprofit.com Blogs Powerful marketing tools Attract new customers Increase your visibility
    11. 11. www.greenprofit.com Blogs It’s all about the information  new plants  new products  how tos  inspiration and new ideas  recommendations  gardening advice
    12. 12. www.greenprofit.com Blogs Be the expert  quick & easy  update frequently  archives
    13. 13. www.greenprofit.com E-newsletters  Similar to a blog  Warm, conversational tone  Direct to subscribers inboxes  Link to website/online content
    14. 14. www.greenprofit.com YouTube Broadcast your expertise  For the visual learner  YouTube your workshops  Complements your blog
    15. 15. www.greenprofit.com YouTube Broadcast your expertise  Create channels  Repository for other links
    16. 16. www.greenprofit.com YouTube Broadcast your expertise  Create channels  Repository for other links
    17. 17. www.greenprofit.com Facebook Create community  400 million users  Share information about yourself, staff and your business
    18. 18. www.greenprofit.com Facebook Create community  Question & answer  Gardening discussions
    19. 19. www.greenprofit.com Facebook Inform  New products or shipments  New landscape projects  Events & contests  Public relations  Promotions & sales
    20. 20. www.greenprofit.com Facebook Share photos  New shipments, plants, gifts  Landscape installs  Garden & decorating suggestions  Events & involvement
    21. 21. www.greenprofit.com Twitter The 1-4-0  140 characters  Short news, tips, info  Re-tweets spread the word  Timely & relevant  Quick “secret” sales & promos  Be real, not just a “relinker”
    22. 22. www.greenprofit.com Putting It All Together  Post content multiple times across accounts  Spread it out during course of the day  Write a blog post and pull key sentences out to be used as Facebook/Twitter updates.  Remember to link back to your original post or site
    23. 23. www.greenprofit.com Pulling It Together Hootsuite & TweetDeck  Tools to manage multiple social media accounts
    24. 24. www.greenprofit.com Goal Setting
    25. 25. www.greenprofit.com Resources  SmartBrief on Social Media: www.smartbrief.com/socialmedia/  Mashable: mashable.com/  White Willow Media: www.facebook.com/whitewillowmedia
    26. 26. Using Social Media as Marketing Tools Thank you! Ellen C. Wells Editor at Large, Green Profit Magazine www.greenprofit.com

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