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  • #16
    I think this is part of what makes all this so confusing. We do see the importance of networking and referrals, and with that said, why do you feel that just does not translate to online social networking sites? Why does it seem to work in person but not through sites like facebook/twitter etc?
    I think it's because the social networking sites online is mostly just pleasure. Something to look at...eye candy.
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    • #17
      I tend to disagree I think Social Media when used right is a major help.
      Its just its all so new and we are really just starting to learn what it can do for us.
      Just some quick stats from my offering online:
      I have 37 Likes on my company facebook page.
      out of the 37 28 visit on a daily basis.
      27% are male 45-54 years of age
      12 of them are from my home town 2 more from the UK (they are friends of the family) 8 are from USA.
      I know 5 out of the 12 hometown are friends.
      So that leaves 6 that are following me here in town that are now or could be customers.
      I have gone through my sales for last year 74 quotes in all.
      31 said they got my info off the internet,7 said my Kijiji ad 9 said my Web Site.
      So that leaves 15 that just said internet which leaves open any of the ways I use the internet.
      For me it works great. I believe its all got to do on how you use it and how your area use the internet. We have a lot of high tech businesses here RIM has an office here Microsoft has an office here and several software developers etc. so this all inflorescence how you sell and how people buy.
      The above numbers may not be large but it is only my first year. I plan on tracking this again in 2012 so we will have to wait till next January for that info.

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      • #18
        How do you get the stats showing where they come from for the facebook page visits?


        I tend to disagree I think Social Media when used right is a major help.
        Its just its all so new and we are really just starting to learn what it can do for us.
        Just some quick stats from my offering online:
        I have 37 Likes on my company facebook page.
        out of the 37 28 visit on a daily basis.
        27% are male 45-54 years of age
        12 of them are from my home town 2 more from the UK (they are friends of the family) 8 are from USA.
        I know 5 out of the 12 hometown are friends.
        So that leaves 6 that are following me here in town that are now or could be customers.
        I have gone through my sales for last year 74 quotes in all.
        31 said they got my info off the internet,7 said my Kijiji ad 9 said my Web Site.
        So that leaves 15 that just said internet which leaves open any of the ways I use the internet.
        For me it works great. I believe its all got to do on how you use it and how your area use the internet. We have a lot of high tech businesses here RIM has an office here Microsoft has an office here and several software developers etc. so this all inflorescence how you sell and how people buy.
        The above numbers may not be large but it is only my first year. I plan on tracking this again in 2012 so we will have to wait till next January for that info.
        http://www.lunchesruslawncare.com

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        • #19
          Social networking works for certain business's, I know I follow various resturants for example, it also works well for malls however lawncare is probably not the best.
          Andy
          Halifax, Nova Scotia

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          • #20
            Social networking works for certain business's, I know I follow various resturants for example, it also works well for malls however lawncare is probably not the best.
            Suggestion for everyone:

            If you want social networking to work for your lawn care business, hold a contest. We held a Face Book contest for "one FREE service" for three lucky winners and my FAN-BASE grew in a crazy fashion...We told our clients who have emails, and the ones who don't use email, had no idea of this contest.

            NOTE:While honoring one lucky winner with a core aeration, a lady was walking by and asked if I could aerate her yard. So basically I got paid for one of my customers that one the contest.

            OK we currently 400 have some fans. At the time we we're under 350, I have new fans that actually participated in this and I don't have a clue who they are. They may live out of our service area, I don't know. They apparently were Face Book members already and that was how they found us. I had friends tell relatives, friends signing up for relatives and so forth!

            If it is not working for you, there may be a reason for that. Are you on a regular basis chatting with your FB (not fans) Friends? Why do I ask this? We've heard this somewhere on the internet, "Build Your Brand", in other words...BUILD TRUST with your friends.

            Steve could back me up on this, any opportunity you have to plug your biz, do it! Just try to make it 60 seconds or less, and if it's via the internet, try not to over do it. We all got the "Tips" form Steve via email, what if he did that everyday? We would be sick of it, right?

            I mean if you just make a Fan Page and than tell the world and it's not everything you hoped for, you must've missed a step, like BUILDING the TRUST first.
            08 F250 Ext Cab/04 Chevy 3500
            05 F350/04 F350 Diesel/12 Ram 4500 Dump
            4 -60 Toro Zmaster/Lesco 48
            3 -8'2" Boss V-Plows
            1- Hiniker 9'6" V-Plow
            20' Enclosed trailer
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            2012 - S185 Bobcat


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            • #21
              If you want social networking to work for your lawn care business, hold a contest. We held a Face Book contest for "one FREE service" for three lucky winners and my FAN-BASE grew in a crazy fashion.
              What kind of contests do you think would work best? Maybe having something like best holiday decorations? Or would something else work better?
              - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
              Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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              • #22
                How do you get the stats showing where they come from for the facebook page visits?
                On the left hand side of my company page is a link called Insights
                It gives me graphs and stuff.with all the stats.

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                • #23
                  Suggestion for everyone:

                  If you want social networking to work for your lawn care business, hold a contest. We held a Face Book contest for "one FREE service" for three lucky winners and my FAN-BASE grew in a crazy fashion...We told our clients who have emails, and the ones who don't use email, had no idea of this contest.

                  NOTE:While honoring one lucky winner with a core aeration, a lady was walking by and asked if I could aerate her yard. So basically I got paid for one of my customers that one the contest.

                  OK we currently 400 have some fans. At the time we we're under 350, I have new fans that actually participated in this and I don't have a clue who they are. They may live out of our service area, I don't know. They apparently were Face Book members already and that was how they found us. I had friends tell relatives, friends signing up for relatives and so forth!

                  If it is not working for you, there may be a reason for that. Are you on a regular basis chatting with your FB (not fans) Friends? Why do I ask this? We've heard this somewhere on the internet, "Build Your Brand", in other words...BUILD TRUST with your friends.

                  Steve could back me up on this, any opportunity you have to plug your biz, do it! Just try to make it 60 seconds or less, and if it's via the internet, try not to over do it. We all got the "Tips" form Steve via email, what if he did that everyday? We would be sick of it, right?

                  I mean if you just make a Fan Page and than tell the world and it's not everything you hoped for, you must've missed a step, like BUILDING the TRUST first.
                  Here is my problem with the above plan.
                  Why do you have 350-400 fans ???...................... FREE stuff
                  Giving away stuff only attracts people that are looking for FREE stuff. 99% of them will never buy anything their to cheap they only surf FB and the Web looking for FREE stuff.
                  I really hate to give anything away especially my services, I find if you do it for one they all expect it contest or not.
                  When I worked for a lawn care company they had a contest every year. Quote went up through the ceiling we could hardly keep up , The contest just called for you to get a free quote to be entered, out of a 1000 plus entrants we maybe got 2 or 3 new customers, they stopped it it cost 10 more in staff wages then what they made out of it.
                  but if it works for you great but keep an eye on your bottom line and don't let it get out of hand.

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                  • #24
                    When I worked for a lawn care company they had a contest every year.
                    How did they work it? Were they offering to give away a tv or something if you called in for a free quote?
                    - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                    Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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                    • #25
                      To follow up some information regarding us and our Facebook.

                      We always checked the insights too, and we found out that almost all of our fans were under the age of 25-34 (which is not what our ideal client is). Only 8% of our "likes" or "fans" fall into our ideal client range.

                      Now in regards to contests and such, first of all we never ran contests (due to all of the legal matters regarding it and we never like to give away stuff for free). But what we tried to do, which all of the industry experts suggested, was make exclusive offers for only those that "liked" us. We found out that it was a total bomb. We tried different type of exclusive offers; emailing mailing lists, "like" on facebook gets a certain discount, etc. And nothing worked.

                      That is why I still stand by the conclusion that it's just a waste. Will I stop doing it, probably not. But I won't be spending as much energy in it as I did in the past.
                      Twitter
                      Facebook
                      LinkedIn
                      Website

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                      • #26
                        How did they work it? Were they offering to give away a tv or something if you called in for a free quote?
                        What they offered was your lawn care for a year FREE. Some condition do apply.offer is nontransferable, must book for at least one year past free year etc etc...

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                        • #27
                          Wow! All I can say that I was shocked with some of your answers, especially about the social sites. I thought that I would be coming back on here to say my side of the story and a lot of you would disagree with me. With that said this is my story and opinion in regards to an online presence (with an emphasize on social sites)

                          About three years ago we invested a lot of time and energy setting up an online presence in social media sites and other online sites. Facebook, twitter, linkedin, ebay classifieds, craigslist, google +, merchant circle, yelp, manta, yahoo business...the list goes on.

                          We spend at least 2 hrs a day updating an status, uploading a photo, or trying to add or network as many people as possible. We promoted our presence especially with facebook and twitter on every single piece of our marketing material, invoices, inserts, and emails. We did this for three years.

                          No matter what we did we couldn't get the response that we thought we should get. We never got new clients, if we were lucky maybe one a year, and the ROI based on the amount of time we spent developing these sites was horrible.

                          This past November was a very eye opening experience (that is why my opinion has changed in the last two months), when I sent out surveys to my clients. One of the important questions in surveyed ask about websites and social sites in general. Basically whether they used them to look at new businesses or even look at our business. The big shocker that came back was that less than 3% of those responded used social sites to hire a business for work or even worse yet once they were a client hardly any of them participated as a "fan" or "follower".

                          So in a nutshell the demographics of my clients told me that they don't use social sites at all. After I invested three years into these sites, how could that be, there must be something wrong I thought. Then I really started to look at it differently, and totally had a change of heart about social media and having an online presense. It took me three years, but I came to a hard conclusion and some important thoughts (now keep in mind these may not apply to you and your market, but they applied to me)

                          1. Social media sites are worthless, especially Facebook. Think about it, who really follows your sites. It's your friends. And how often do your friends on facebook actually buy a service from something on your facebook page.

                          2. Twitter is nothing more than an ego site. You stroke your ego by talking about something cool or mentioning something that you think is cool. Now don't get me wrong, this may work if you are big name celebrity endorsing a new product. But when it comes to a local service company, nobody cares. The people that follow you on twitter are nothing more than your colleagues. You are both hoping for the same end result, but you're just going around in circles.

                          3. Ask yourself this question, how do you know what company to hire? I bet you that 99% of the time you hire a company based on what your friends, family, or co-workers have experienced or said about them.

                          4. You can get just as much response from a listing on yahoo business (which is free) compared to having a website.

                          5. When clients search the web looking for a company, what are they really looking for? A lot of times it's just the contact information, or where they are located at. They have already have it set in their mind they are going to contact you as an result from an offline reference, not an online.

                          6. So what are social sites good for then? Social sites are nothing more than entertainment. You go to youtube to watch funny videos or learn about something, you like someone on facebook because you think what they are doing is funny or want to see a new photo, or you follow someone on twitter because you are hoping they will show an enriching link. But, ask yourself, how many of you have actually hired a company based on their social presence? I know that I haven't.


                          I know that a lot of you are not going to agree, and like I stated, it doesn't apply to all of you. I just know what applies to me.

                          i feel pretty much the same way. i have a web site and that is used as another way people can get more information about my business and with the search engine my name comes up with the chosen key words.
                          to me the internet for a service business such as ours is just a few clicks up from the phone book.
                          most of my work comes from the management co's that i work with and i don't have to rely on too much advertiseing.
                          most of my advertiseing is for the sole purpose of keeping my name out there and staying within the local loop then it is about drumming up business.

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                          • #28
                            WOW this discussion really has become an eye opening reality check. It really should give you pause if you were thinking of jumping into all this online marketing and spending some big bucks to do it.
                            - Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
                            Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.

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