It’s kind of difficult to figure out just how online social media fits into an overall communications plan. I was noodling this over the other day, and how best to put social media into a context landscapers, landscape architects and nursery owners would appreciate. I was invited to give a social media 101 presentation during Arizona Nursery Association’s annual SHADE Conference.
So I gave them a fish story.
I started with this slide, explaining that the wharf is your business where you process your catch. The pier is your website; the doorstep to your business. And the sea is full of potential customers just waiting to be lured into your enterprise.
The trouble is, most businesses are stuck on the shore, while their prospects swim in an ocean of opportunity to buy from the competition. Advertising is still a powerful way to sell to the masses, but it’s expensive. So why not go trolling after your customers with the use of social media? Think of advertising as a gigantic net, and social media as delightful chum (Ever see Jaws?)
If the wharf is your business, and the pier is your website, then the fishing trawler is your blog. Think about it: You don’t want to catch every fish in the ocean.
You want to hook the ones that make the best customers, and are after your bait. Your blog trolls the ocean gunnel-to-gunnel with millions of other virtual trawlers. But that’s okay, because your boat has a niched perspective, distinctive voice, and lures unique to your business. Plus, you know which fishing grounds produce your best catches, so that’s where you troll.
The fishing poles you cast from your blog represent the various social media channels available to you. These are lines of communication that let you converse with your prospects and entice them on board your product or offering.
Once you’ve captivated your audience, you invite them into your website and convert them into satisfied and returning customers by over-delivering on every promise you made to them on your fishing excursion. Most reputable companies aren’t interested in one-time catches. They want that ebb and flow of customers like the tide that swells around their pier.
You can see the entire presentation, “Sustainable Social Media for the Green Marketer” on SlideShare. And a big thanks goes out to Tarah Eland, Park&Co’s production manager and resident artist, who humored me with her fantastic illustrations. This project really doesn’t do her talent justice.
Sustainable Social Media For The Green Marketer
at 7:32 pm
A picture is worth a thousand words. Thanks for such a vivid illustration of social media for new business. Excellent.
at 8:04 pm
[…] Park’s entire post, “Sustainable Social Media for the Green Marketer” on Park’s blog, Park Howell.com: A Brighter Side of Green […]
at 9:49 am
Thanks Michael. I had a lot of fun with this presentation, and it seemed to take away the fear factor from the crowd.
at 5:04 pm
Great post, and great communication tool. You should give Tarah a big, fat raise for her talent and commitment to your cause.
The analogy is spot on. I (depending on who I’m talking to) often use the bait-the-hook and go fishin’ metaphor. Some clients arrive to that “Ah-Ha” moment much quicker that way (others just chew back their lunch a second time). But in it’s simplest terms, social media allows you to get into the bloody waters… (did I just say that?)… and make easier connections to those clients that otherwise wouldn’t see/hear/smell what you’re cooking.
Okay a lot of missed metaphorical references there, but I congratulate you on a great SM introduction. It will be of great value to newcomers and a great reminder for the the others (’cause sometimes they forget).
Andrew B. Clark
The Brand Chef
at 5:23 pm
Thanks Andrew. Are you Tarah’s brother-in-law?
I appreciate you taking the time to weigh in. I’ve hesitated to publish another “social media 101” post, because there are so many out there that have been doing it better and longer than me. But, I received a great response on the fishing story from the landscape folks, so I figured what the heck.
Glad you liked it too.
at 8:11 am
Interesting post and very nice fishing analogy. I may have to use it at some time!
at 7:14 am
Thanks Niall. Feel free to use anytime you like!
at 7:03 pm
You have a good website. Looks like you have put in a huge amount of work on it. Here is one of my favorite fishing sites.Fishing East Texas
at 3:10 am
[…] your best catches, so that’s where you troll,” Park Howell. Read Park’s entire post, “Sustainable Social Media for the Green Marketer” on Park’s blog, Park Howell.com: A Brighter Side of Green Marketing. Do you have a unique […]