Turf Industry Basic Blogging Tips

Blogging about your experiences in the turf industry is a great way to spread the word about your business and become a respected online resource. Once your blog is live, take advantage of these blogging tips and you’ll soon be on your way to dominating the turf blogosphere. Because there’s no point in writing a blog that no one will see, our first blogging tip has to do with writing your blog so that it is easily found on search engines. Search-engine optimization or, as it is commonly called, SEO, is the science of writing in such a way that search engines like Bing or Google will select your blog when a specific keyword is searched. Though SEO can get complex, a basic blogging tip involves carefully selecting a keyword and tailoring your text to it. Use the Google Keyword planner to select a keyword that best describes the theme of your blog post and incorporate it into the title and body as early, and often, as possible. If you’re unsure what you’re doing at first, there are plenty of SEO guides online. Another way to improve SEO is to increase the amount of organic traffic your blog gets. Writing well-researched, quality content and promoting it actively on your social media channels is a great way to beef up your blog’s search-engine visibility. Facebook and Twitter are useful in our second blogging tip on how to properly promote your blog using social media. When you post a blog, try to write at least five social posts encouraging people to view your latest blog. Concisely state the topic of your...

Social Media Tips for Turf Pros on Facebook

Facebook, like Twitter, is an effective way for the turf industry to reach out to promote brand awareness, become a turf industry resource and connect directly with customers. Like on Twitter, your brand can either flourish or fizzle on Facebook based on how seriously you take your social media presence. These tips will help you get started on enhancing your turf industry Facebook efforts. Post SchedulingAs busy as turf industry professionals get, there’s not always time to push out social media posts in real-time. This is where scheduling posts ahead of time comes into play. If you use Hootsuite, a third-party social media management software, you can schedule posts within the posting palette section of the software. If you don’t use a third-party social media tool for your turf industry Facebook page, you can always use the built-in Facebook posting scheduler. Simply follow the steps as if you were planning on posting a status, but instead of clicking post, click the clock icon and select a time you wish your post to go live. Image Sizing Tips Your turf industry Facebook page provides free real estate for images that should be taken advantage of to promote your company or course’s brand. Though it’s easy to upload a picture, the most effective pages pay close attention to space constraints and tailor their images to fit them. This Facebook image dimensions website contains a comprehensive guide to the different image sizes that are ideal for Facebook timelines as well as how to upload them. Spending time on sizing images indicates to potential customers that you take your brand seriously and this...

Social Media Tip: How to Use Hashtags Effectively

Our latest social media tip for turf professionals emphasizes the value of hashtags in the world of social media. A hashtag is Twitter’s, and now Facebook’s, way of indicating the overarching topic of a tweet. Hashtags are words within a tweet or post prefixed with a hash sign (#) which embeds the word as a hyperlink. Hashtags were created to categorize messages in a way that makes it easier for people to communicate about a specific topic. You can monitor activity on hashtags related to the turf industry by typing them into your Twitter discovery bar to see what others are posting. Once you’ve established a few hashtags that you wish to continue tracking, you can save your hashtag search by selecting the “save search” option located in the gear icon. If you are using Hootsuite, you can save your favorite searches as stacks, for easy access and continuous updates. For example, #turfgrass is a popular hashtag used by those in the turf industry. By searching #turfgrass, you can see a list of recent tweets featuring that hashtag.At their most basic function, hashtags are easy ways to get more people to view your content. Without using hashtags, the odds of your post quickly fading into obscurity without reaching an audience increase dramatically. Another helpful social media tip is to prudently select the hashtags you use; it is essential to research the types of people using, and content associated with, a specific hashtag before you use it. Words have different connotations and different applications, so it’s important to choose a hashtag that is as relevant to the message you’re trying...

An Analytics Tool for Turf Industry Social Media

At its most basic definition, link-shortening is using a social media analytics tool to create a URL that uses fewer characters to go to the same website. Link-shortening also provides a way to determine whether a link is being clicked on by users as noted above. Though there are many different social media analytics tools used to shorten links, a commonly used service is the ow.ly domain, generated by Hootsuite. An ow.ly link is formed once a link is copied and pasted into its “Add a link” feature. Besides ow.ly, you can use bit.ly, goo.gl and tinyurl to shorten URLs. Twitter also has a built-in link shortening system called “t.co” that automatically shortens any URL that is over 22 characters to a http://t.co link. Not only is a shortened link more aesthetically pleasing than an endless string of characters, it also allows you to analyze the link when created through a trackable URL shortener to see how users are interacting with it. You can determine which time of the day and what types of content perform best, thus more likely to lead to user interaction. To learn more about social media analytics tools, read our post related to using Google keywords and UTM codes. With only 140 characters to convey a message on Twitter, using a shortened link cleans up the valuable space you have and makes for a more effective tweet. Though Facebook’s character limit is higher, a shortened link simply looks more professional. Here is an example of link shortening: Before: http://fmcturfwire.com//2013/06/five-free-online-marketing-and-search-tools-for-turf-professionals-2/ After: http://ow.ly/nG3iv If you click both links, you’ll notice that they both go to the...

Turf Professionals, Simplify Twitter with Social Media Management Software

As a turf industry professional, your time is at a premium. A common and easily debunked myth is that adopting social media takes too much time and effort to be worth it. Though using social media for your business is a commitment, it doesn’t have to take an inordinate amount of time. Another handy social media tip is to adopt a social media management software tool such as Hootsuite, Tweet Deck or Sprout Social to help streamline your social media activity. Social media management software tools allow you to manage all your social media platforms from one convenient dashboard. For example, Hootsuite is compatible with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. It’s a useful and very easy-to-use tool for any turf pro as it conveniently lets you schedule posts for the future. Rather than manually sending each tweet at a desired time, you can schedule all your social media posts throughout the day, week or month. If you manage multiple Twitter accounts, for instance a personal account and a business account, you can link both to your Hootsuite account. This eliminates the need to switch between Twitter accounts constantly. Another great reason to use Hootsuite or any other social media management tool is that most offer the basic version for free!Besides the convenience of scheduling tweets, another useful Hootsuite feature is the ability to track clicks on your content. After posting a Tweet with an ow.ly link, you can use Hootsuite’s analytics feature to find out how many times your unique ow.ly link was clicked. What’s an ow.ly link? An ow.ly link is a shortened version of a hyperlink that...

Turf Professionals, Get Organized with Twitter Lists

When used correctly, Twitter can be an invaluable marketing and branding tool for any business and the turf industry is no exception. With social media platforms like Twitter, turf pros have the ability to talk to peers and reach out to their customers directly to become an active part of the conversation. Twitter allows turf pros to comment on and share timely turf industry news, spread product awareness and provide customer service. In our four-part blog series, we will introduce several simple social media tips for Twitter that will enable turf pros to enhance their online presence. Get Organized With Twitter Lists As in every business, the turf industry is composed of many individuals that play different yet essential roles. From customers to competitors to turf industry publications, there will be distinct groups of turf industry focused people that a turf pro may want to follow on Twitter. For example, if you are researching how other turf pros are dealing with crabgrass on Twitter, you probably would not be interested in what your favorite publication has tweeted. A helpful social media tip is to create and update lists in order to organize and sort your followers and their updates. For example you can create separate lists to designate groups of followers based on interest; one for turf industry professionals, one for turf publications and one for turfgrass researchers and maybe even one for your family and friends so that you can look at the tweets from each group separately and easily navigate updates from turf industry thought leaders vs. your friends. To create a list, simply click on the...