What Have We Learned?
Posted by nextgenhorticulture
Happy Holidays! I hope this post finds everyone well: recovering from holiday parties, taking a break from arguing with the family, and anxiously awaiting the New Year! After about a month of absence I am finally back to writing and posting. It has been crazy here with moving around through three states, getting ready for Christmas and preparing to start my new job in January. I hope that you have not fallen in to the same no-posting rut that I have. If you have though, it’s ok! Just pick back up as soon as you can to keep your followers interested and engaged.
In light of 2013 approaching at high speeds, I wanted to take this post to point out some of the big things that we learned in 2012 that we must not forget coming into the New Year. I have a list of three big concepts but I assure you these are not the only ones, but are merely three of the biggest and most obvious.
Perhaps the biggest lesson that we should have learned this year from a marketing standpoint in the Green Industry is that social media is not a fad. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are not going away nor are they really dying out. From the beginning many business owners were skeptical as to whether social sites would become anything more than a way for people to chat with their friends. This has been proven wrong. Every day we see social media grow in impact. There isn’t a news program out there that doesn’t utilize social media in some way whether they put up a hashtag for Twitter users or talk about how you can learn more about something in one of their anchor’s blogs. Facebook has become one of the best ways to organize charity events and raise awareness of certain movements. Even though the “Kony 2012” movement might have imploded somewhat due to its organizer, it gave us the chance to see how things can become viral and really take over social feeds all over the internet. Social media isn’t simply a space to find old friends anymore. It’s a community designed to cater to billions of different people with a trillion different needs. If our businesses are to be successful in the future we have to become more involved in how this community operates.
The second lesson that we should take out of 2012 is that when we look to judge our “performance” on social media, we cannot just simply judge how many followers or likes we have. We have to dig deeper and really judge ourselves. Are we engaging users? Are we providing a valuable service? Are we making the online community a more convenient place by being a part of it? These are the questions we must ask. This year we saw political controversy because presidential candidates acknowledged that many of their supposed “followers” weren’t real people. We can’t fall victim to this way of thinking. Having more likers or followers is great, but only if they truly care for what you have to say. Sure it’s nice to think you have a large audience out there, but if it isn’t comprised of real people who are you really talking to but yourself?
The last major lesson that our industry can take out of 2012 is that it doesn’t take long for things to change, and we have to be ready. Next year we are going to see a change in one large sector of the horticulture industry. Impatiens walleriana have become a disaster. It will go from being one of the top crops to being one of the riskiest. Over the past couple of weeks I have talked to many growers. All but one of those growers has decided to stop production completely. The one that decided to still grow Impatiens plans to grow one tenth of the crop they grew last year. We have to look at this situation and realize that we cannot always be so set in our roots – see what I did there? We have to be more comfortable with change, at all levels in this industry. It’s time for use to realize that we cannot always do business the way we have for the last thirty years.
Again I hope everyone had/is having a great holiday season. I promise to be posting more regularly now, especially since I am finally a graduate of Cornell University and will no longer be cramming for final exams or studying flash cards late into the night.
You can find me at any one of these links and addresses or look for Mason Day on LinkedIn and Google+.