I recently trolled around Facebook looking for gardening companies who were using Facebook well.
Gardener’s Supply caught my attention because of the relatively large number of people who were their “fans” (the company version of a Facebook “friend”). At 2,175 fans, it’s ten times greater than any other gardening site I found. Granted, 2,175 isn’t a huge number, but it’s enough to indicate they’re doing something right.
The most noticeable difference between Gardener’s fan page and those of other companies was the amount of interaction. Every one of their 19 May posts generated comments and questions. Here’s the post with the most response:
“It’s the time of year when we’re pulling out the remaining packages of frozen blueberries from last July’s crop. As we savor the berries over pancakes and desserts, we look forward to this year’s pick. The blueberry bushes along the fence are in full flower, with bees hard at work, ensuring they’ll be plenty of fruit. Do you grow backyard berries?” This was followed by a photo and photo caption linking to an article on Perennial Fruits and Vegetables for the Edible Landscape.
In a few short sentences, Gardener’s accomplished several things:
• Painted a word picture that anyone can relate to
• Emphasized the end benefit of growing berries
• Reinforced the fact that Gardener’s Supply employees are gardeners themselves
• Offered useful information with the link to the article
• Invited discussion among readers
And discussion indeed ensued. The responses that followed ranged from suggestions for sources of plants to questions about growing blueberries in Idaho. Gardener’s monitored the responses and answered all questions with helpful advice and subtle suggestions for their products.
By the way, in the last half hour while I’ve been writing this post, Gardener’s has 5 new fans. In my book, anything that’s growing 0.25% in half an hour is worth paying attention to!