5 social media lessons gleaned from the garden

Ripping open a bag of manure and spreading it across the garden is rarely a wise move; similarly, this approach hardly ever works in social media.

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At some point in the ordeal, I started to think about the similarities between garden upkeep and social media. Fact is, many of the tenets of good gardening also apply to cultivating a solid social presence for your brand.

1. Don’t use a lawnmower when a hand trimmer will do.

Different problems require different tools. I get better results pulling out weeds and trimming plants by hand. Sure, it takes more time, but I get a better return on investment (as measured by total flower output) when I use the right tools for the job.

The social media corollary relates to targeting. Taking the time to pluck the right influencers out of the vast social meadow can make your campaigns and messages take off. Look for socially-connected bloggers and social network denizens who care about the topic.

2. Root out unwelcome invasives.

Poison ivy, buckthorn, and garlic mustard are the bane of my gardening existence. I learned early to keep an eye out for these insidious species, and to literally nip them in the bud. Left unattended, their spread will be rampant. Bad reviews, snarky blog comments, and Facebook wall trolls are the social media equivalents. Look for the negativity and respond appropriately. Often the best offense is simply paying attention.

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