Social media and the garden center

When I started this blog over 5 years ago there we're not many garden bloggers out there.  People would ask why I was taking the time to post about my nursery, when the only people who we're reading it often lived hundreds or thousands of miles away. I knew that over time, more and more people that lived closer to my nursery would be on the internet, and reading blogs. So it's with great joy that I see all the years of patiently typing away starting to really pay off. Having been on the Internet, with my own blog over these years, I have carved out a niche for myself. Now local people who Google garden center in El Dorado County, or northern California, or even California, see my blog pop up on the first page. The point is that even on the internet, things do take time. Sometimes years for results to bear fruit. We have a local garden expert, Farmer Fred Hoffman, who  is a lifetime Master Gardener, and host of the KFBK Garden Show on NewsTalk 1530 KFBK in Sacramento, California each Sunday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. He also hosts "Get Growing" on Talk 650 KSTE in Sacramento, 10 a.m. to Noon. Fred recently started his own blog, The Farmer Fred Rant. His latest post is titled, "A nursery's biggest competitor my be a warehouse in Nevada."It is based on my post titled, "What a Spring", where I casual mention that our price for Sluggo Plus (an organic snail and earwig bait) is the same as Our price is 11.99, and there's was $11.99 (I see they have lowred to $11.11 as of today). 

Like Fred say's, when you factor in the freight and time it takes to get the product, we are still less expensive or real close, even with our 8.25% sales tax! Everyone assumes that Amazon has the lowest prices for everything, and it's just not true. Fred and another commenter at my blog both say I should post the fact that we are the same price right by the product. Why not show folks that even our little rural garden center just down the road is on top of what the mega competition is doing. The timing is right for local owned business to point out these areas where we compete with the big boys, on price, or convenience, or even just "feel good" atmosphere.

What I have seen over time is garden blogging growing to the point that it's impossible to keep up with what's going on. So many blogs from all parts of the world. This is of course fun, but for the smaller locally owned garden center it's the local garden bloggers like Fred, who will be the champions of their favorite stores, and make the biggest impact for those stores. Make no doubt about it, social media is the wave of the future when it comes to "advertising". Fred is respected all around the Sacramento region, and is most likely the most widely listened to gardening expert on the radio in the Sacramento region. So for Fred to mention our little garden center, 40 miles east of Sacramento makes an impact. "Gee honey, why not take a trip to Gold Country and visit that little nursery Fred talks about".

What I like most about social media is how a business with a great reputation can enhance that reputation. We don't have to come up with expensive ad campaigns that more and more just don't pay off. Social media puts like minded people together, where the word of good business or bad, can spread throughout the group that most benefits by this information. Fred, as well as all the the people who have participated in my blog over the years, are now our best form of advertising. People love it when friends recommend a place to shop. You are more likely to trust a friends recommendation. Farmer Fred, and most all of the people who participate in my blog are friends. Some I have never met in person, but they know me and I know them, and I trust their advice.