Monthly Archives: November 2017

7 Facebook Marketing Strategies Your Business Should Be Doing

Published / by Julie Stanton / Leave a Comment

Having a presence on Facebook for your business is essential these days.  With that being said, it is becoming more and more difficult to stand apart from every other business.  With over a billion users on the platform everyday, businesses need to know how to properly use Facebook to grow their business and audience.

Below are seven Facebook marketing strategies you should be doing for your business

1. Video

When it comes to marketing on Facebook, video has taken center stage.  Over a 100 million hours of video is watched everyday making it one of the most used marketing strategies for businesses.   The key to successfully using video is to keep it native, short and engaging.  You also want to think about adding captions as many people are viewing video without sound.  

2. Live video

We just mentioned the popularity of video.  Now we move onto live video which is one of the most effective forms of video right now. They estimate that live videos on Facebook are watched up to 3 times longer than normal videos.  This presents a great opportunity for brands to embrace those spontaneous moments via live streaming which in turn really boosts engagement. 

3. Pages for customer service

Communication between brands and their consumers has been facilitated greatly by Facebook Pages. They offer some great options like automated responses when a message is received by a brand as well as an option to set up ‘away messages’ if you are not available.  Pages can really function as the shopfront for your business, providing all the details that a customer would need to know.  This is just another example how using Facebook can really enhance the customer experience. 

4. Cross-Promote on Facebook and Instagram

It has been found that images that are posted to Facebook via Instagram experience a higher organic reach than those posted directly from Facebook.  They are really pushing cross promotion between the two platforms and they are rewarding the pages that do it.  Instagram’s 600 mill users does not compare to Facebook’s 1.4 billion so they will be trying to ramp up Instagram’s numbers over the next few years and cross promotion will be an essential part of the strategy.

5. Mix up your content

Facebook is always changing its algorithm.  They make sure they are adapting and adjusting to the types of content the majority of people want to see.  When it comes to putting together content to post, you want to make sure to experiment in order to figure out what your audience responds to best.  One thing is for sure, do not post the same type of content over and over.  It is also a good idea to pay attention to your competitors’ strategy for tips and information.  With that being said, coming up with the best content on a consistent basis can prove challenging.  I know for me, it was eating up too much of my time.  I ended up finding this company that can create custom social media content for you.  Just provide them with basic details about your company and your target audience and they will create unique content for your brand. They can do this not only for Facebook but also Twitter and LinkedIn.  Once you approve the content, you are able to schedule the day and time you want it to go out.   This service has really been a lifesaver for my business and I highly recommend looking into it.

7. Run a contest to boost engagement

Facebook contests are all over the platform and you have probably entered a few yourself.  Running a contest is a great way to boost engagement with your audience.  It does not need to be complicated and there are plenty of simple of ideas out there.  Like to win, comment to win, caption contest, fill in the blank contest, the list can go on.  Get creative, the sky’s the limit.

 

 

5 Elements For A Successful Workplace Safety Program

Published / by Julie Stanton / Leave a Comment

In the landscaping industry, Insurance is by far one of the largest expenses for a company. Finding a way to cut down the cost will go a long way in helping the company turn a profit.  One of the best ways to get insurance premiums lowered is by coming up with a properly documented safety program.  It will prove to be beneficial for both your employees and your business.

Below are five elements needed for a successful workplace safety  program.

Commitment to safety

In order for a workplace safety program to be successful, there has to be a commitment to safety starting from the top.  Everyone from the owner down to the management teams needs to be on board. Workplace safety is not something that just trickles down from the higher ups, you will not see success with the program that way.

To this end, there has to be someone designated within the company that will be in charge of leading the safety training efforts. For a larger company, it may make sense to hire a safety and training director.  With a smaller company, it may make more financial sense to go with a crew manager.  Once you have come up with who will be overseeing the program, a formal policy statement should be made that way all employees see that the commitment level to safety starts from the top.

Refine your safety training

As you begin putting together your safety program, it is important to look at all the facets of the business.  Everything from services offered, climate issues, added equipment to the fleet, properties the crew works on, have to be considered in order to properly refine the training.

As an example, if you expand your lawn care services to include tree cutting, you now have new equipment like chainsaws  and other hazards to think about.  You have to constantly keep reworking your safety program to make sure it stays up to date as the company grows.

How you respond is key

The landscaping industry is dangerous and with that come the accidents.  This is something that cannot be completely avoided but it is how you react that can make all the difference.  You also need to determine how do you keep this from happening again.

You want to start by identifying the issue and what caused the accident.  Often times the employees want to save on time by cutting corners.  Check to make certain that all the right measures were taken.  Knowing these potential issues before an accident occurs is key.  Only then can you come up with the right training that will help avoid these issues in the future. 

Training is essential

As you are getting started putting together your training materials, it is key to begin with looking at the unique characteristics of your company like we mentioned above.  The training program you put together should be tailored to the hazards employees face at their specific worksites.

There are also many resources available to help you put together the necessary training materials.  OSHA’s website, osha.gov, is a great starting point. Insurance companies are also a good source of information as well as schools that have horticulture programs.

The use of videos is also really popular as a training tool.  With smartphones and tablets it makes it simple to deliver content.

Constantly evaluate your program

It is key to circle back with employees after every safety training session.  Their feedback is essential to your program’s success.  They should be answering questions and letting you know what they thought of the program, if they understood everything and if there are any changes they think need to be made. This critical information will help you better your program and provide retraining if necessary.  In addition, if you are not already using a landscaping business management software, you should think about implementing one.  It will provide you with the necessary project and internal management functions you need to run your business successfully and your safety program will benefit as well.