Show Off Your Garden Center’s Personality
I’ve been reading Social Media Examiner’s top 10 marketing trends like its a bible. At each review, I find another passage that our industry needs to practice. Along the same lines as my previous article pleading for our garden centers be more social on social media, now we’re going to get more specific. Real specific.
Brands Get Personal
And it’s about damn time.
Do you remember the days when business was done on a handshake? When a face-to-face agreement instantly gave you a level of confidence in a company?
I have a fond memory of my grandfather fostering such relationships. I grew up watching how he respected business owners and how he was respected as an owner of a Christmas tree farm. We need to get back to the mentality when social media wasn’t a blip on anyone’s radar and common courtesies and mutual respect were ingrained in our culture. Facebook has given us an opportunity to hide behind a cyber wall. Let’s embrace our naturally social selves and convey that personality online.
Mark Schaefer said it so perfectly in his contribution to Social Media Examiner’s post that I’d like to take some of his key points and highlight how plant-loving people naturally take this advice to heart.
Provide relevant human connections
One of the best connecting human beings I know is Shawna Coronado. This woman is a sassy, determined ball of fire – hellbent on pounding the pavement and spreading the word on wellness as it relates to the garden and more. Her inspiring words and nomadic ways are traveling through the United States on a Garden Lady Wellness Tour.
How can your business connect with people outside the garden center walls? How can you reach out to customers who, right now, are strolling through your garden center – and ensure they’ll come back again?
Form reliable and trustworthy communication channels
QVC has been gaining popularity for a plant-buying platform where industry leaders can share their love for plants with a greater audience. Mr. Plant Geek from the UK has been introducing new and tried-and-true plants for over 20 years, sometimes with some strong, botanical humor. Recently here in the states, plant fanatics Kelly Norris and Katie Debow have shone the spotlight on Cottage Farms on QVC. Their presence is mesmerizing while their passion for the industry takes center stage.
Here's a sneak peak of what you can enjoy during the regular shows of Michael Perry's Garden World on QVC UK, where I'll be showing you the latest in plants and gardening innovations!You can find all shows dates here: https://mrplantgeek.com/2018/08/01/michael-perrys-garden-world-qvc-show-dates/
Posted by Mr Plant Geek – Michael Perry on Friday, August 3, 2018
Take cues from the mega-brand of QVC and host your own plant show weekly or monthly! Go Instagram Live and take your audience on a tour through the greenhouse. You can try writing a Facebook post convincing your customers they need a Split-Leaf monstera because their leaves are so ginormous, but they can’t really see that value until someone shows their hand next to the plant.
Express shared values
This should come easy to us. We love plants. Our followers love plants.
Done. Shared values.
BUT. The values we shouldn’t share on social media are the ones charged with controversy. Leave those comments for Thanksgiving dinner.
Display human emotions like compassion, understanding, and empathy
This can take many forms. For example, Amanda Thomsen with Kiss My Aster! certainly shares what we’re all thinking, but don’t have the guts or social platform to shout it from.
When you’re out watering the Hydrangea macrophylla for the third time on a hot day in August, go Facebook live and share your love/hate for this magnificent shrub with larger-than-life blooms. People will share your angst while also learning how best to water the thirsty fellas.
Create unique and entertaining experiences
The authentic and real-life personality Jessi Jacobson from Tonkadale allures you from beyond the screen as she educates customers in her entertaining ways. Her mannerisms are just as true on-screen as off. Watching one of her videos makes me curious enough to watch the next one.
If you’re not the “on-camera” type, find out which of your teammates or family members love the spotlight and coach them to articulate the knowledge your customers crave in a manner they’ll enjoy.
What this means for Garden Centers: Your customers want to connect with you. With the real you. They don’t want some polished, branded facade – they can get that at Lowe’s. Today’s customers gravitate towards real interactions, real handshakes, and real inspirations that will help them parent their plants better. As I’ve said before: You. Be. You.
How DIG can help: While some of what I’ve suggested needs to happen spontaneously, there are aspects we can help guide the process and cheer you on from afar. Let’s discuss how going Facebook or Instagram Live really works and how to get the best value from it. If you need guidelines for successful how-to videos — or need an expert to film, we can do that. And if you just need to vent to a peer or peers from the industry that’s tried all this and more, give us a call. Or join our Facebook group. We’re all friends here, anxious to spread the plant-loving knowledge around.
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