Social Media and the Garden Center. Do you get it?

If your involved in some type of social media it's easy to assume that everyone else is too. Yes, the use of social media is growing rapidly. There are still plenty of people who want to be involved, but don't know where to start. In the garden center world it's the same way. Lot's of people in  the garden center business seem to know it would be a good thing, but still ask what the benefit will be. There are plenty of benefit's for the store and the customers, and we will discuss those in later posts. Today I would like to discuss the benefits for the person doing the social media for the company. Maybe it's the owner, manager, or someone else, but who ever it is, once they dive into social media they will be changed. We started a secret Facebook page for Independent Garden Centers and Nurseries a week ago. As of right now we have 102 of the most forward thinking people in the garden center businesses.  They know there is something to this and are already reaping the benefits.  They get it. They understand that to progress we need to step out of our self imposed boundaries, and see the world.

Traveling to new and unusual places is always exciting and eye opening. While we may not be physically traveling, virtually we are being exposed to new way's of doing things, as well as people who are changing the face of garden center retail. It's about having your eyes wide open and taking in all there is out there. Many of us are stuck at our work, and are unable to travel to far off places. Gardeners will tell you some of their favorite places to visit are famous and not so famous gardens around the world. As a nurseryman one of my favorite things when traveling is visiting cool and unusual garden center's. I love to see what they are doing that makes them so special. Take in the atmosphere and check out the vibe.

Suddenly we have 100 plus nursery people interacting in way's I would never have imagined. It's like we have been holding in questions and the answers for years. Who else could we talk too? Our life partners sometime get into it, but often get tired of listening to us talk about "work".  Now there is a place for nursery geeks to meet and share ideas. We can visit that cool miniature nursery, and see someone who has carved a niche out for themselves. The best part of all the owner of that business can share with us, and visit other cool garden centers along with us.

Author Doug Green asked today how his blog fit's into his business model. Those of us who have been blogging for awhile have those thoughts. Sometimes the blog is no longer useful, and other means of communications take over. Certainly, I have had those thought from time to time. My blog does little for the day to day operations of my garden center, as Doug would be the first to tell me. Facebook,  e-news, and the web page do that now. I write my blog out of passion for the business of gardening. Now after five years of writing I am starting to see where it is all leading. It may not be a money maker, but it excites me, which in  the end benefits my business .

After just one week of our new group the changes are obvious. It's not just me but the other members who are speaking up. A new or renewed sense of pride in who we are, nursery men and women. Our profession is really very cool. It's just that in the past we have been beaten down by the box store mentality, or the nursery industry mentality. Let's face it, our industry was, and still is mired in old world thinking. We are just now cracking through, and seeing a different way forward. Best part of all it doesn't take a lot money or time. Just the willingness to step out and "see what's up."

If you are a independent garden center owner, manager, or that employee that keeps harping on management to "get with it" concerning social media, join us. I have a box on the side bar of this blog that tells you how to get involved. Once you dive in nothing will be the same after. You are not alone! We get it, too.