With more than a dozen social media platforms, which platform should you choose to market your lawn care maintenance business?
With more than a dozen social media platforms out there, which platform should you choose to market your lawn care maintenance business? When I started my lawn care and landscaping business, I found almost all of my first customers through the platform Nextdoor. Should you be using Nextdoor, like I did, or instead focus on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter? Unless you have a whole social media marketing team, you don’t have time to be everywhere. We’re going to break down the nuances of each social media platform in this blog, so by the time you finish reading, you will be able to make an educated decision on which platform to use.
If you want to know what to post once you’ve selected a social media platform to promote your yard maintenance business, please read Part One of the 2022 Guide to Free Social Media Marketing for Your Lawn Care Business. Also, for some ideas on what to post, download our free 28-Day Social Media Posting Plan at the top of this page.
We’re going to start with Facebook because they have the largest audience of any platform. I did some casual asking around/research with some real estate professionals, and anecdotally, most homeowners are on Facebook. If you remember Part One of this guide, we need to spend time on social media where our target client pays the most attention. Many GenZ-ers have stayed away from Facebook since that’s where their parents are, so unless you are trying to sell lawn maintenance services to Gen-Z, you’re okay to focus on Facebook.
Facebook used to be a place where you could make a social media post, and the Facebook algorithm would show it to people who are strangers to you. Now if you want your posts to be shown to strangers, you need to pay in the form of a Facebook Ad. This post is about using the free part of Facebook, though. To be seen, you need to get your existing clients to share your posts on their Facebook newsfeeds. How do you do that? Well, if you are Facebook friends with them or they like your business page, you can post pictures of their house and “tag” them using the @ symbol and typing their name. If they like how their house looks in the picture, the customer is likely to share this post on their newsfeed. Facebook will then show that post to their friends. Facebook is also an excellent platform for contests and encouraging people to share posts and get their friends and family to vote. The more you can get people to interact with your content, the more you introduce your business to new potential customers.
Instagram is useful for more than just food pictures and influencers. Instagram is a crucial piece of a solid social media strategy. There is a stereotype that Instagram is the platform for the Millennial Generation. The stereotype is partially true, and they are also the largest group of people buying homes right now, which means there are new clients who do not already have a connection to a yard maintenance service or business.
If you didn’t already know, Facebook and Instagram are the same company, which recently changed its name to Meta. Let’s collectively roll our eyes at the “Meta-verse” branding they are trying to go for and move on to how we can use Instagram to market our businesses. The best thing about using Instagram and Facebook is that you can use Meta apps to post on Facebook and Instagram simultaneously. There are a few ways to do this. 1st you need to link your Facebook Business profile and your Instagram account. Then whenever you post on Instagram, you can tell the app to post it on Facebook as well. You can also log into your Meta Business Profile via the website or the mobile app to link your accounts. From the app, you can post to both platforms. Finally, Meta has released an app called Meta Creator Studio. This app connects to your photo library on your phone to make it super easy to post pictures from your phone to both Facebook and Instagram at the same time.
The strategy for posting on Instagram is similar to Facebook, but you need to be aware of some essential differences. The main difference is that while you can post clickable links to something like your website on Facebook, those same links on Instagram will not be clickable. You are allowed one clickable link on your Instagram bio page. The traditional call to action, used on Instagram, is to invite people to head to your profile and click the “link in bio”. It’s not ideal, but only Instagram ads allow links in the post. Fortunately, regular Instagram users are used to this and will know how to follow these instructions.
Another key strategy to understand when posting on Instagram is the hashtag concept. Putting a pound symbol (“#”) in front of a word will put your post in the picture feed with all the other posts using the same hashtag. Instagram users can choose to follow specific hashtags, so if you use a hashtag that they are following, your post has a better chance of showing up in their personal feed. Using local hashtags is a great way to ensure your content is seen locally in your service area. Spend some time researching what other local businesses are using for their hashtags. For example, every post should at least contain the hashtag with your city name (#cityname).
If you could only focus on one social media platform, I recommend using the Meta business posting tools and apps to get the two for one Facebook and Instagram posting feature. Yet as we’ll see next section, there are other social media platforms that you can use to find customers with frequency.
Nextdoor is, for lack of a better term, “the Facebook” for your neighborhood. It’s taken the news feed style posting you get with Facebook, but it localizes it to your specific community and your areas. First, you must prove to Nextdoor that you live in that neighborhood to be allowed on the platform. Usually, Nextdoor will mail you a postcard with a unique code to verify your physical presence at your address when you enter it on the website.
In my area, most of the posts are people complaining about their neighbor’s dogs pooping in their yard or sharing doorbell video footage of “suspicious” people walking through the neighborhood. You can post on the newsfeed and market your business, but technically this is against the Nextdoor user agreements, and a strict moderator will remove you (You can pay them to advertise). Nevertheless, when I first started my lawn care and landscaping business in 2013, I found most of my first customers through Nextdoor. So how did I do it without posting marketing material on the neighborhood newsfeed?
My primary tactic was to watch the neighborhood news feed and reply when someone asked for lawn care or landscaper referrals. I would say something like this,
“Hey, name. I’m here in the neighborhood, and I’d love to swing by sometime and give you a quote. You can reach me at 555-5555 or email me at matt@myemail. Also, if you’d like to see some of my work, check it out at www.facebook.com/mybusinessname.”
I don’t think I ever got a call back from the person posting this request. So why did this work then? For each post, I would get 2-3 calls from people who had seen the post. The initial poster was usually looking for the cheapest option, and from the high-quality pictures on my Facebook business page, it was clear that I was not the $20 guy. Yet the other neighbors would tell me they loved my photos and were interested in getting a price.
The second thing I did was a post on any question remotely related to outdoor living. I would write something like this,
“Hi, name. I’m not an expert in this, but I have some experience as a lawn care and landscape business owner here in the neighborhood. I think (insert some advice here). Hopefully, this points you in the right direction. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.
Again I rarely got a call back from the original poster. Nonetheless, I just displayed excellent customer service and a helpful attitude to anyone in the neighborhood reading the comments, and I gave them a way to contact me and check out pictures of my work.
Hopefully, this points you in the right direction for how you can use Nextdoor to grow your lawn care service business. Eventually, I had enough happy clients in the general area who were also regular Nextdoor users, and they would often recommend me. I like to think that it was because of my excellent customer service and quality work, but the free flat of flowers I gave them for the referral probably helped.
While I have used Facebook, Instagram, and Nextdoor extensively to market my own lawn care business, there might be a good reason for you to use Twitter for yours. The first reason would be if a large group of your current customers already use Twitter. If they are active, then most likely their friends are as well.
The second reason to use Twitter will be if you think that your ideal client is using it regularly. Anecdotally Twitter is the platform for journalists, politicians, movie stars, artists, musicians, and university professors. What these groups all have in common is that they are influential. Posting pictures of smooth lines and crisp edges on lawns will get plenty of likes on Instagram, but I doubt it would do well on Twitter. Twitter is a place to engage, comment, and reply, similarly to the method outlined above in the Nextdoor section. To see relevant posts from people in your community/service area, you need to start following people in your area. Start with the influential folks like politicians and business owners and branch out from there. The point isn’t to be posting a lot of content right away. The point is to watch your feed and find out who’s talking about lawn care and landscaping. Then you can jump into the conversation and connect with them.
Similar to Instagram, Twitter uses hashtags heavily. You’ll need to research what hashtags people use locally in your service area. By following these hashtags, you can stay connected with what is happening in your community and engage with local leaders.
If you’re reading this blog, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen our content on TikTok. We’ve decided to start by focusing the majority of our social media presence on blogging and posting on Tiktok. It’s working, too! We’ve even gone viral a couple of times. But does that mean it's a great platform to promote your local business? My answer is: not yet. Tiktok is a fantastic platform, and right now, there is no other platform for a small or new business to get national recognition quickly. But, unfortunately, for a company entirely tied to a location, it would be difficult to gain customers through TikTok.
True story: One of Matthew’s clients found out how big we were on TikTok after seeing footage of their yard on their For You Page!
The last social media platform we are covering here is Linkedin. Linkedin is the central spot online for business networking. Primarily it is a place where a lot of business-to-business sales happen. There are two main things you can do to get leads through Linkedin. It may seem obvious, but you can’t get leads if people don’t know you exist. It is easy to let residential customers know you exist. You can put signs on your truck and put out flyers. Business owners also need to know about your company if you want to land commercial lawn maintenance contracts. There is where Linkedin comes in. On Linkedin, you can connect with business owners in your community, and the more people you connect with, you can find which events are going on that you can attend to meet some other local business owners.
Social media marketing can feel overwhelming, but our advice is to pick one platform (or two if you do FB/IG) to focus on. As you build your social media presence, remember to have fun, be helpful, courteous, and generous to your audience.
As always, if you have any questions or ideas for articles we should write, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org