Social media and user-generated content have been playing a huge role in the way that businesses are marketing their goods and services. This also applies to your garden center.

Social media has moved beyond just status updates and photos and there are actually a lot of advantages to using social media. However, this requires doing more than just registering for an account and instead requires you to be proactive and professional.

Taking advantage of trends
Like many other retail stores, at your garden center your customers’ wants are typically influenced by trends. Recently planting eco-friendly plants has become far more popular as well as indoor plants. These trends have largely been been influenced by social media. This is the perfect time to take advantage of the power that social media has and to then reflect that to your business.

If you are in an area with an aging population then this requires your business to reach out to a new generation of gardeners. This is done best through your garden centre’s online presence (website and social media) and shifting your strategy to make room for what it is they are after. Now an older generation of gardeners should can typically still be counted on to keep entering your garden centre because they usually loyal customers that have been shopping with you for years. On the other hand, the younger generation is more likely to go to the business that can offer them the best experience. This requires an integrated off and online experience.

Baby boomers will be looking to you for your expert opinion, however, millennials are more likely to look to the internet for information. Consider how you could write up your opinion in a blog form if you want to make it more millennial accessible.

Have a strategy
Despite the ease of putting your business on social media, you will need to have a clear strategy before you begin to market your garden centre well.

One great thing about a garden centre is that this business is very visually appealing and can easily play a role in your marketing. So it is suggested that you choose a social media platforms that is more visually based Instagram or even the newer platform, Tik Tok. Consider what your business’s brand is and how you will get this through to your customers using social media. For example, one approach is to promote your plants as part of a ‘lifestyle aesthetic’ with images of interiors that reflect their brand.

Gaining a following on social media can be made easier if you have properly identified who your target audience is. The more you are able to define this, the more you will be able to produce content that they will be interested in.

Here is an interesting tactic: Consider targeting an audience that might be more inexperienced, time-poor millennials that are willing to pay more in order to not have to spend hours researching what to buy and where to buy it. Then market this though social media to consistently reflect the aspirational spaces for this particular audience.

Keep in mind that if you find yourself trying to reach too many people then that could mean you end up not reaching anyone.

Encourage conversation
Social media users love being involved in the conversation and this is known as ‘engagement’. The better engaged your audience is, then the more effective your posts will be. You should encourage your users to post their own images and videos of their gardens and their plants.

Using platforms such as Instagram will be a lot more successful if you hashtags and geotagging. Instagram allows its users to search for and then follow certain tags. By using a hashtag like #plants in the image description, then users will be able to find your content and account. An Instagram post with at least one hashtag, on average, generates a third more user engagement.

Geotagging is an important feature because it allows local users to be aware of your location. If you tag your location to an image that you post, anyone who searches that location will have your post appear in their search results. You can also get your customers involved by asking them to geotag or just tagging your business in their posts. You can always repost the best ones!

You can also make your garden centre a place where shoppers will snap their shopping experience because of the aesthetics. Creating selfie-worthy areas throughout your garden centre is a great way to get users to geo-tag your business.

Focusing on the customer experience in this way and others will help draw customers to your business. The younger market is increasingly won over by the customer experience that they are given when visiting a business.

Use professionals
It may be tempting to snap or type away and hope for the best, however, it can be extremely beneficial to use the skills of a professional social media specialist. If you do not have the budget to hire someone, spend some time learning the ropes and brushing up your own social media skills.

The blog posts or images that you create for your social media accounts need to be high quality if you want them to engage your users. You need to stand out from the expansive competition of content that exists on the internet.

Your dream business
Buying and running a garden centre is, to many, an ideal business. You will, however, need to consider how it is that you will use social media to market it.

Having a knowledge of and a passion for plants is only one part of running a successful garden center. Attracting customers is the other and social media is a great way to do this.