Tending your Social Media Garden

Container gardening

Summer gardening on my patio

As an avid gardener I’m able to draw many parallels between tending a garden and nurturing and growing a social media community. As we plan for our vegetable and flower gardens, let’s put some thought into tending our social landscapes as well.

Plan what you’re going to plant

Just as with a garden, to be successful you must plan the type of content and the reason for planting it.  Who’s going to see this content? How is it important to them?  What do you plan to do with the results? When planning your campaigns get in the habit of using a social media content calendar as your outline, just as you might draw out the layout of your garden.

Weed out what doesn’t work

After years of trying to grow primroses (because I love those bright, spring colors) I had to admit to myself that they won’t grow in my yard. It might be the soil, the colder winters, or the amount of water we get here in Ohio versus England. Regardless, they won’t thrive, so I had to give up. This is true for your social media content. No matter how much you might be attached to that idea of yours, if your audience doesn’t respond to it, weed it out. Try something else more suited to the social media climate you’re trying to engage.

Cultivate what does work

Daffodills

Daffodils grow well in my Southern Ohio garden

Your audience will tell you what works. In my yard, daffodils, daylillies, shrub roses, sedums and hostas do well. Those plants have become the base for my perennial bed. So, if  you notice that your audience responds well to humor about your brand, try to cultivate more posts around poking fun at yourself. If they share helpful information, create a content calendar of white papers and blog posts, maybe even putting up an email wall to gather leads for your email lists. If they like your company culture photos, share those more often. Cultivate what works and build around it.

Don’t be afraid to try new varieties

Every year there are new varieties in your local greenhouses.  Some may be plants you haven’t seen before, but they catch your eye and you want to try them in your landscape. Just as with these new plants, as a social media manager you’ll need to stay on top of new platforms and trends and be ready to experiment.  While it’s important to be steady and strong, it’s also important to take the occasional risk and try something new. Remember, if it doesn’t work you can weed it out.

Old fashioned lilac

Old fashioned lilac

Social media communities take care and feeding. Tend them and you’ll reap the rewards. What parallels can you draw between nurturing a community and tending a garden? Let me know in the comments.

To see more photos of my garden and gardens I love follow me on Tumbler too!

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About Sue Reynolds
Sue Reynolds is the founder and owner of Carmine Media, a web and social media consultancy. She is the manager of social media and web design at R+L Carriers, where she works with businesses and non profits to build their web presence and nurture brand loyalty.

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