In our second monthly instalment of how to grow your gardening business, we’re focusing on the importance of building a strong social media presence.
As the owner of Jackson Garden Services, a Plymouth-based gardening and landscaping company, I have successfully grown my gardening business and gained a strong client base in the process using a combination of direct and indirect marketing (both online and offline). Since I started the company in 2018, we’ve gone from being a small, fledgeling business to a successful and popular company with a small team and strong client base, due to a combined approach of working hard, being great at what we do and having a successful and useful approach to marketing the business.
Social media has really helped me to establish my business in my local area and reach out to potential clients and is a tool that many businesses neglect to utilise. This month, I’m sharing some tips on what’s worked for me, so you can adapt the advice and use it to benefit your business.
Building a Strong Social Media Presence
In today’s business environment, you can’t just rely on having a good website and a regular customer base, you also need to have a social media presence. Whether you’re a sole trader or a big national company, social media should play a huge role in your online business marketing strategy.
Channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram will help you to connect with potential customers, increase sales, generate leads, build trust in your brand and raise your businesses profile online. Whilst building and maintaining a strong social media presence obviously requires some time investment, it’s ultimately a very cost-effective marketing strategy, as virtually all social networks are free to use, with optional paid advertising functions.
Each of the popular social media platforms has something different to offer your business and naturally attracts a different kind of audience, so it’s important to tailor your content accordingly. For example, Instagram is a much more visual platform than Facebook (making it perfect for gardeners to demonstrate their skill and show off their work), so you should ensure that the images you post on Instagram are attention-grabbing to hook the user. Twitter has a character count limit, so your content needs to be short and punchy, whereas Facebook can support longer-form content.
It’s also a great idea to post on Facebook groups regularly, to increase the reach of your content and improve brand awareness. Local classified ad pages, neighbourhood groups and community pages are a great place to do some low-level direct marketing.
I have had great success in using Facebook and LinkedIn to build my audience and business network, by tailoring my content to suit the different audience types. By regularly sharing images of my work (before, during and after images), tailoring my content to suit the weather (i.e. promoting fencing installation and repair in the aftermath of storms) and sharing related content (such as updates to green waste collections by the local authority in my core business area), I have built a strong community on Facebook, whom I engage with on a daily basis.
Similarly, I have invested time in building my LinkedIn network; connecting with local businesses, sharing industry news and promoting my work and business to a carefully built audience of interested persons to great effect.
Check back next month for our next instalment, focusing on ways that reviews, testimonials and case studies can help build consumer trust. In the meantime, you can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linked In; I’m always happy to chat!