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Overcoming the Fear of Social Media

Overcoming the Fear of Social Media

Did you know that 71% of Americans now get their news content via social platforms? According to Social Media Today, this data shows that the influence of social platforms on peoples’ lives cannot be denied. Many tree care companies across the country have indicated to me that they understand the importance of social media but either don’t have the time to dedicate to it or do not understand it enough to get involved on it.

 If you find yourself nodding in agreement to my above statement, your 2021 marketing goal should be to overcome your fear of social media. 

Social media can be intimidating and it can be difficult to know where to start. It is important to realize, however, that if 71% of Americans are now using social media platforms for news content, then you need to figure out how your tree care company can take advantage of that as well.

 Start small. Facebook continues to hold the top spot for social platforms. Begin by posting once or twice a week on Facebook only. Try creating a content calendar – this helps you plan out your weeks and eliminates the paralysis of “What am I going to talk about?” (And if you’re still having trouble, our Thrive membership includes access to a monthly content calendar of posts!)

 Try to be creative. Your followers don’t want to see a litany of what services you offer and how you are the best priced company – they want to see who you really are! Offer “behind the scenes” glimpses of your crew and company. While on the job site, ask one of your employees to take a :30 video of what they are doing (as long as they can do so safely!). 

 Insert your company’s values and personality into your posts. If you love celebrating birthdays, post about that! If you do a weekly “crew/employee breakfast,” post about that! Highlight your employees and any talents they may have that are unique or interesting. The more you can make that personal connection, the more your followers will feel like they really know you and, when it comes time to hire someone for their tree work, they’ll think of you first.

 It is also important to have a messaging strategy when it comes to social media. With COVID-19, many consumers want to know that your company has put safety measures in place. Make sure your messaging aligns with their concerns. Create short videos discussing how you will protect your client’s investment and keep their health and safety as a top priority. Social media is also a great way to hit clients with short training videos on how to keep trees healthy, video tutorials on how to care for a newly planted tree, or a way to present new products or services that you offer. If you need assistance outlining your brand and goals for the year, Twitter recently released a planning guide for 2021 that may also be useful.

 Social media is not going away; in fact, it is only becoming more prominent. Figuring out how your tree care company can take advantage of it will help your business in the long run. 

For more help with social media reach out to an ArboRisk team member and get started in the Thrive program.

 

Written by: Katie Petersen

E-Commerce for Tree Services

E-commerce for tree services

Raise your hand if you bought something online this year. Raise your hand if you have a love/hate relationship with how easy it is to make an online purchase. If I’m being honest, my hand was up for both – trust me, my husband tells me that he’s pretty sure I single handedly keep Amazon in business. 

 The e-commerce industry has been growing for years – and I think it’s safe to say we saw an exponential increase in the year 2020. With more people at home, it became the “new normal” for making purchases. How does this apply to a tree care company? Obviously not all tree care companies have tangible products to sell – but how could they effectively bridge that gap and jump into the world of e-commerce? 

To start, I recommend analyzing how you could effectively sell your services online. Without offering tangible products, you still can promote what you offer in other ways. Take before and after photos on a job site and post those to your social media channel. Create a blog post outlining the benefits of pruning certain trees at specific times of the year – and then promote your services within that. Request a testimonial from a satisfied client and ask them to talk specifically about what service you provided. 

 Another great way to alert clients to your services is to dedicate a post a week to a service you provide. Let followers know that each week on X day you will be posting about a service you offer. Be sure to tie this into how this will benefit them; ex. “Keep your trees healthy for longer,” “Don’t let X happen to your trees!” Creating weekly posts also gives followers an opportunity to see “behind the scenes” of your business – something that potential customers love to see!

 If you do happen to sell tangible products (think urban wood lumber, firewood, mulch), I recommend creating a “shop” on Facebook and Instagram. These shops are a great way to directly connect with potential customers and you can promote them through your social media posts quite easily. For more information on getting started setting up a shop, click here

You could also use an e-commerce platform to begin the customer journey by having them buy consulting time with one of your sales reps or to start the project estimating process. Being creative in this manner will definitely help you stand apart from other tree services in your area. 

 Social media e-commerce is here to stay. Figuring out how your tree care company can utilize e-commerce will put you ahead of your competition.

 Want help implementing an e-commerce strategy for your tree care company? Contact an ArboRisk team member to get enrolled into our Thrive program. 

Source: WebFX, Social Media 2Day

Written by: Katie Petersen

Social Media Ads and Posts: How to Maximize Your Lead Generation

Social Media Ads and Posts: How to Maximize Your Lead Generation

2020 was a weird year. People were home more than they ever had been, which allowed them to take time to actually look at their trees and think about what they wanted to do with them. Being home more also allotted people more time to spend on social media platforms and gave companies running ads more reach – especially on Facebook and Instagram. Did your tree service capitalize on this? If not, it’s not too late. Maximizing your lead generation on social media can increase your reach and boost your sales if you do it correctly. 

 

Lead Capture

When creating your ad or post, you have incredibly limited time to capture your audience’s attention. Be as blunt and outright as possible within your messaging. What makes your business unique? What makes your service worthy of their time and money? Why should they invest in your company over their competition? Clearly communicating your value proposition will help ensure that you are connecting with the right people.

 

Lead Magnet

What incentive are you giving your audience to share their information with you? It is important to adopt a “give and you shall receive” mentality with social media ads. By offering a one-pager with information on tree care, a discount code for a service, a free estimate, etc., you are providing a value that is already tangible to the consumer. This in turn helps to establish a connection and, eventually, trust with a potential future client. Individuals that can see value upfront are more likely to reciprocate with their information.

 

Landing Page

If you create an ad, it is incredibly important to maintain a specific landing page that potential clients can be redirected to for more information. You should not redirect them to the homepage of your website – there should be a page dedicated too and matching what you explained in your post. Ideally, companies should create and test out 2-3 different landing pages to see which ones have the highest click-through and conversion rates. These pages should also be designed to collect relevant details from a consumer (Name, Email Address, etc.). Landing pages can then be used to set up retargeting of ads for individuals that have clicked through to your website.

 

Lead Scoring

Does your company prioritize leads? If not, how do you know which leads are valuable and which will not lead to a conversion for you? If you are wasting time on leads that do not provide value, perhaps creating a lead scoring matrix would be beneficial. For example, assign a certain number of points to those that click on your ad, another number to those that fill out your lead form, another to those that download your lead magnet; obviously those with the highest points are the leads that should be prioritized. Establishing this matrix will depend on your goals and offers – so make sure that you consider this step strategically!

 

If you’d like help developing your social media advertisement strategy, reach out to an ArboRisk team member and get started in our Thrive Program. 

 

Source: Social Media 2Day

Written by: Katie Petersen

2021 Marketing Trends

2021 Marketing Trends

I think it is safe to assume that many of us wanted to leave 2020 behind. Even though 2020 was filled with ups and downs and twists and turns, it did bring us some interesting changes in marketing, most notably the sky rocketing of e-commerce, more time spent on social media, and video conferences becoming the “new normal.” 

So how will all these changes impact 2021? Here are a few trends to keep in mind:

Rise in Direct Mail

It should come as no surprise that more people stayed home in 2020. Because more people stayed home, they actually took the time to look at and open their mail. Did your tree care company pivot and include direct mailings in their marketing last year? If not, try to consider testing it out in 2021. Creating an eye-catching, to the point piece will certainly catch the eye of clients that are still working remotely and have the time to inspect their trees daily.

NextDoor

Is your business on NextDoor? If not (or you need a rundown of what NextDoor is) it might be worth looking into for 2021. In March of 2020, NextDoor reported a rise of 80% in use; and that number has only increased as the pandemic has progressed. NextDoor allows you to directly connect with potential clients right in your area of service. It is also a unique way to stay connected to your community – especially during a time when community events are low.

Easy to Consume Content

How easy is it for your followers to access and consume your content? Do you post regularly? Is your content readily available in a number of ways? More so than ever in 2020, easily accessible content became a must for brands looking to increase their exposure. With more individuals at home and consuming an unbelievable amount of content, your business needs to ensure that they are capitalizing on this. For 2021, perhaps consider sending an e-newsletter, something that can be directly sent to a user’s inbox. If you have the time or resources, starting a podcast related to tree care is another great way to easily stay in front of your clients. 

Facebook Ads as a Referral Source

Simply put, Facebook ads, and social ads in general, saw a rise in 2020. Consumers were home more, looking at their social media more, and thus were more likely to view ads online. Marketers expect this trend to continue in 2021. The more targeted, lead oriented ads you can develop, the more likely you are to see a return on investment. Before you jump into creating an entirely new ad, try boosting a previous post that performed well for you. You can be confident that this post tested well with engagement and can have more confidence investing your money.

 These are just a few of the emerging trends that are expected in 2021. The more you are able to look forward and plan content accordingly, the better positioned you will be with your marketing now and into the future.

Need help creating a marketing strategy for 2021? Contact an ArboRisk team member to get started in our Thrive Program.

Written by: Katie Petersen

Easily Increase Your Social Media Engagement

Easily Increase Your Social Media Engagement

The number one question I am asked when consulting with different tree care companies is, “How do I increase engagement across our social media platforms?” It can be incredibly frustrating to work so hard to produce quality content and have your followers scroll past without taking the time to even LIKE your post. Fortunately, there are some quick and fairly simple ways to help your engagement increase across your platforms.

Tip #1: Earn engagement

The top piece of advice I can give to help increase your engagement is to earn it. What do you do on a daily basis to encourage your audience to engage with you? Are you commenting and engaging on their posts? Are you posting content beyond sales pitches? Are people seeing #BTS (Behind the Scenes) of your life and business?

In order to see your engagement increase, you need to be an ACTIVE participant on your social media.

Tip #2: Create a trackable strategy

First and foremost, you should have a strategy when it comes to your social media accounts. Second of all, you should be able to track it in a way that makes sense to you. Take the time each month to analyze what you are doing. Which posts received the most likes? Which posts were saved the most? How many people viewed a particular story? How many DMs did you receive regarding your content? Which hashtags increased your exposure?

In order to up your engagement, use these numbers and create new content around what has already worked for you.

Tip #3: Likes does not equal reach

You never know who you are influencing. Just because someone doesn’t take the time to hit that “LIKE” button (even though it is literally the easiest thing on the planet to do), doesn’t mean they are not watching you. Something you post may trigger a sale or outreach 2, 4, or 6 months down the line. Do not give up simply because you are not seeing the “Likes” come in like you want. By continuing to show up with quality content, you are positioning yourself as the expert in your industry.

Even when you think you are not, you are making connections that will someday positively impact your business.

All in all, increasing your engagement does not need to be frustrating or defeating. Take the time to look at your strategy and Keep. Showing. Up. The more times you show up authentically, the better your engagement will continue to be.

Written by: Katie Petersen

Marketing During a Pandemic

Marketing During a PAndemic

One of the great American business stories came from a time of widespread uncertainty like we are facing right now. During the Great Depression, Kellog’s, the famous cereal company, doubled their marketing efforts despite the grave financial situation they found themselves in. Most companies at the time were drastically shrinking their marketing budgets to stay afloat, but Kellog’s took the risk to be different and stand out. This strategic move propelled them to record profit increases and positioned themselves at the top of the pre-packaged cereal world where they remain today.

There is no doubt, we are in uncharted territory and in the thick of something that will forever be talked about in history books with today’s pandemic. The reach of the COVID-19 touches every corner of the Earth, and no industry has been spared from its impact, however, now is the time to adjust your messaging to position the company as the go-to tree service in your community.

Here are 3 tips for marketing your business during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Update Customers and Prospects on Your Change in Operations: Share with customers and potential customers that you are still open for business and how you are taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of your employees. Email everyone directly, as well as making this message known across your social media platforms and on your website. Inform your current customers how you will be handling proposals and customer contacts going forward. Communicate these safety precautions across other platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.

PRO TIP: Making sure your team is sharing the same messaging regarding your updated policies and procedures is essential. Appoint a communications director to relay your message to your crew to ensure they are on the same page. Have this communications director relay exact images and text to be shared.

Don’t Forget Your Social Media: With all that is happening in the world right now, it is understandable if social media is not your company’s top priority. While it may be easy to push it off to the side, remain consistent with your posts. If you have scheduled content for social media, take time to re-evaluate and create content that is relevant to the situation. Make this content easily shareable so your message can be spread. Be aware of heightened emotions and consider the images and language you are using. For example, be cautious when posting photos with large groups and other acts that defy the current regulations. If you are sharing a photo from the past that does display this, such as from a conference you attended or a kid’s climb, make it known in your caption. Remember, if you are sharing any information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensure all of your sources are credible. The last thing you want to do during this time is spread misinformation.

Here are 5 quick and easy posts you can share on your social media accounts.
a. Share how your company is adjusting its policies and procedures as discussed earlier in the article.
b. Take a photo of the essential service your team is providing during this time
c. Highlight a team member with a short video! Introduce them, ask their role at the company and touch on some of the reasons why they became an arborist.
d. Provide quick video updates of behind the scenes fun, creative things that your business and team are doing in quarantine.
e. Keep it light and share the good things happening this month. Good examples of this include Earth Day and Arbor Day.

In this together – Focus on Your Community: The impact the pandemic has is taking tolls on the pillars of our communities. Make a strong effort to help your local restaurants, charitable foundations and other small businesses within your community. Consider hosting a giveaway on social media by teaming up with a local restaurant and purchasing gift cards for the winners. Grabbing take-out from your favorite local restaurant? Highlight them by sharing on your social media platforms. Reach out to the small businesses in your area, what are their immediate concerns and how can your company alleviate some of those fears? Food banks and other local charities are in desperate need of our support. Now more than ever is a great time to make a charitable donation or host a food drive for your local food bank or Feeding America (Of course, make sure that you comply with your current regulations if hosting a food drive). The demand for blood donors is also at an all time high. If you are in a situation where you are able to make a blood donation, check The Red Cross for local blood drives to donate.

Now is not the time to cut back on your marketing efforts. If people do not know that you are still open to do business, will they be calling you for tree work that they need? Of course not. Be like Kellog’s and get creative with more marketing during this time.

If you want specific help with marketing ideas for your company, reach out to an ArboRisk team member today. Together, we can get through this!

Written by: Amanda Eicher