There was a time when social media was an optional tactic for marketing your green industry business — but that time is not now. If you’re not using social media to spread the word about your business in addition to traditional marketing tactics, you’re missing out.
A huge population of prospective customers is spending time online, using social media to make purchasing decisions…and if they aren’t getting information from you, they’re getting it from your competitors.
If you’ve taken our advice (okay, it’s not just our advice) to go digital, congratulations! Chances are, you started with a basic Facebook page. Now it’s time to make your business really shine on social.
With that in mind, here are 12 tools to use for taking your social media presence to the next level.
Amp Up Your Facebook Page
Facebook now offers lots of ways to integrate more content into your Facebook page through third-party apps. These are just a few of our favorites.
Stand out from the crowd with a customized welcome tab for your Facebook page.
Pricing: After a 30-day free trial of the service, Pagemodo’s lowest-tier plan is $6.25 per month (billed annually) and includes three custom tables, a built-in cover image designer, post suggestions, and more.
There’s nothing Facebook fans like more than a chance at a freebie! Boost your page’s engagement by creating a sweepstakes on your page. You can also use sweepstakes as a way to compile user-generated photography and other content to use on your page later.
Pricing: Woobox offers a “forever free” version of its tool with limited functionality, as well as a $30/month plan that offers access to 19 different tools to promote your business in fun ways.
If you’re already sending newsletters to your customers with MailChimp, don’t miss out on an opportunity to get more signups for your list on Facebook. Their integration lets you build a signup form right into your Facebook page.
Pricing: MailChimp’s Facebook integration is free, but you will incur the cost of a MailChimp premium account if you’re using it regularly.
According to a recent HubSpot report, 64 percent of users are more likely to make a purchase online after watching a video. If you aren’t already thinking about creating videos for your business — they don’t have to be fancy — maybe it’s time to think again! YouTube’s Facebook app lets you embed your videos right on Facebook for a seamless viewing experience.
You know what they say…the social proof is in the pudding. You can tell prospective customers how great your services are until you’re blue in the face, but save your breath — testimonials are always more compelling coming from a real customer.
Boast lets you compile video testimonials from multiple sources and display them beautifully on your website, YouTube or Facebook page, or in your MailChimp campaigns.
Pricing: For $16 per month, you can add 10 testimonials each month. It’s definitely not a tool for beginners, but if customer testimonials are important to you, this is worth a look.
Create Beautiful Images
The photos you and your team take of beautiful green lawns and other services you offer are lovely on their own, but sometimes it’s fun to add a little extra punch — or add a watermark or logo to brand your work.
Canva is the ultimate tool to make a novice marketer look like a pro. Our favorite feature: pre-sized image templates that let you create perfectly proportioned Facebook cover images, Twitter headers, email newsletter images and more.
Pricing: You can use a lot of Canva’s features for free, but like most other tools, you can do more with a paid plan. Canva for Work is $9.95 per month (billed annually) and gives you access to a library of free images, the ability to save your logo and custom brand colors, multi-person team access, and a “magic resizer” to create coordinating image campaigns for different social platforms.
PicMonkey describes itself as an online photo tool to add “oomph” to your images, from filters and text overlays to textures and borders. If you’re editing on the go, PicMonkey also offers iOS and Android apps
Pricing: PicMonkey offers a free plan with basic touchup and editing capabilities. Their Premium plan is $3.99 per month (billed annually), which includes advanced touch-up tools, overlays and fonts, and templates to create polished finished images.
We love this super-basic photo editing site. If you want to tweak your photos but don’t have software like Adobe Photoshop at your disposal, this bare-bones site can do a lot, including resizing, cropping, adding effects and filters, and even making your image backgrounds transparent.
Who doesn’t love inspirational quotes on Facebook? They bring a smile to everyone’s face, and they’re super shareable. Recite is a free site that lets you create lovely stylized quote images with just a few clicks. Choose from a number of backgrounds and layouts to add your personality, then share away!
Streamline Your Social Media Posting
If you’re creating content for multiple social media platforms, you know how time consuming it can be to create and schedule each post individually. Social media management and scheduling platforms streamline that process to let you focus on strategy — and the rest of your business.
This social media management tool has been around since 2008 — just a few years less than Facebook itself! In addition to scheduling posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, you can also monitor select pages for mentions, reviews, and more. This powerful tool has staying power for a reason.
Pricing: Hootsuite’s free plan lets you add three social profiles and schedule content to them, and offers basic analytics to track your results.
If scheduling is your biggest need, meet Buffer. Simply choose the content you’d like to publish to your pages, and Buffer will pick the best times for you and post them automatically! The app supports Facebook profiles and pages, Twitter profiles, LinkedIn profiles and pages, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Pricing: Like most tools, Buffer offers a limited free version: three connected accounts and a 10-post buffer. Need a bit more? Buffer’s $10 monthly “Awesome” plan lets you connect up to 10 social accounts, and increases the size of your buffer to 100 posts.
12. Sprout Social
Sprout does many of the same things as Hootsuite, with a slick interface and some of the best analytics we’ve seen. Plus, a unified social inbox lets you see what’s happening on each platform — all in one place.
Pricing: Sprout Social’s standard plan is $59 per month, which makes it the priciest tool on our monitoring and management list. But if you’re serious about social, it might be a good investment.
Yes, social media — and marketing in general — is hard work, and there are a lot of moving parts. That’s why Spring-Green works with all of our franchise owners to build a marketing program tailored specifically to their business. The strategies we help our franchise owners implement every year influence the buying decisions of more than 70 percent of new customers each spring!
Spring-Green can help you grow and diversify with our 40 years of experience and proven expertise in marketing and technology. Adding a Spring-Green location is an excellent diversification strategy to grow your business. Call 1-800-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmygreenindustrybusiness.com to learn more.