Garden Centers, Garden Clubs, and New Media

Had a great talk yesterday in Carmichael for the district meeting of the California Garden Clubs. We had people from Lake Tahoe, Truckee, the Sacramento Area, and Foothills.  Talking to this group, and others over the years one theme I have reiterated is to get a web page up. A lot of younger people might join a club, but often the meetings are during the day when people are at work. With a web page people can still stay involved without having to attend the meeting. This group has done a great job with their web page! They even have a page where you can type in your zip code and find a club near you. Entering our zip I see our local club, The Divide Garden Club still has no web page. We are a mountain area that still has areas where there are no cell signals, or high speed Internet.  Never the less they should have web page since it cost nothing to put up a Wordpress, or Blogger hosted site.  They will come around eventually. I am convinced that the way for any small business or group to keep people informed is via a web site. You can supplement it with a Facebook Page, Twitter account, or e-news. The e-news is the most effective way for us to reach out to our customers, who have signed up to receive the news. I use Constant Contact, where we currently send out over 1000 e-news every week or so.

We have talked in the past how conversations are taking place about you, and your business.  You may not even know it! I use Twitter the least. We live in a rural area where the constant give and take of Twitter makes less sense (to me) than in a urban setting. Still, I do check in now and then. For the first time I searched the word nurseryman to see what comes up. I thought my account name was nurseryman, but it's actually goldengecko. Wow, was I surprised! Up came all sorts of tweets concerning my last post on, What is a Garden Center and What is a Garden Center, Part 2. The other interesting thing about these people is they follow, and are followed by thousands of people. Unlike my self, who is a casual user, these are "Sneezers" Sneezers are the people who are much more likely to spread an idea. They are the ones who will spread the word (good or bad)because people follow, and believe what they have to say.

I had no idea that people we're referencing my post in their tweets.  Just realized a few months ago that your suppose to check the @goldengecko page, to see if anyone wants to get my attention. So now I check that daily, but had no idea the other conversations we're going on. Head over to Twitter and search the name of your business, your name, your occupation, etc. What do you find?

Doug Green wrote a good post on why he finds Twitter less than useful for his purpose. Not even sure it's a good media vehicle for our rural garden center. An urban garden center on the other hand should definitely be involved. Of course, by now you know I blog for other reasons than just promoting the nursery. Still don't plan on using Twitter any more than I do currently, but think I am going to go back after this post and type in a few more key words and see what comes up. Being involved in the conversation doesn't mean you have to do all the talking. Sometimes just listening will open your eyes.