10.) Use a calendar to keep your posting timely and consistent. You might end up posting when things are slow… and then later not posting when you are busy and gardening is a hot topic.
9.) Own a nice camera and take beautiful photos. Doesn’t gardening give us the most beautiful things to post? Why not take advantage of that! Fill you friends’ feeds with beautiful photos.
8.) Add depth to your relationships. When people find your website, encourage them to like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. Once people are following you, encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter. You can begin with acquaintances and make them your friends.
7.) Avoid self-centered communications. In the age of permission communications it is important to provide communications that your readers value. You should help them be more successful in the garden. Educate, inspire and ask. The day of the flyer with just prices on it is a relic of “interruption marketing”.
6.) Be an “Asker”. Use your website and your social media to learn more about how you can serve your customers. What problems are they having in the garden? What class would they like you to offer? How come they choose your store over the others? Who is your most helpful employee?
5.) Don’t have a ‘single point of failure’? Many Garden Centers rely on a single person to be their connection to their marketing. This can end up with a sporadic or interrupted campaign. Imagine if you had a store where only one person had the keys, or knew how to operate the register.
4.) Meet your customers where they are: 74% of all website visits now take place with a mobile device. The average Facebook user checks their feed 9 times a day. Your marketing plan should consider who your customers are, who you would like to add, and then write for those in particular.
3.) Embrace change. Changes in our industry have been wonderful for the folks who listened for it and responded. Were you an early adapter for trends like container gardening? Services? Organics? Xeriscaping? Edibles? “Make and take events”? Try to avoid saying “We do it this way because it worked in the past”.
2.) Give your marketing the priority it deserves. Marketing is so important but it is rarely urgent. It is something you do today that will pay dividends deep into the future. For this reason people who work in crisis mode and are responding to immediate needs miss the boat. You have to make a plan and a budget and give your marketing the same attention you would give to soil preparation if you were planting.
1). Consider your marketing like hygiene. It is a commitment to start relationships and then continue to support and feed them Your relationships will not be developed because of a single profound article or photo. It is consistent teaching and listening that will allow you to build the wide and deep following that the Internet affords you.