The company I have chosen to study is Lakeridge Contracting, a landscape construction company in Whitby, Ontario. In an industry that traditionally has not had a strong social media presence, but is currently experiencing exponential growth, Lakeridge stands out from the rest. With Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Youtube accounts, this company has a large social media presence, compared to other landscaping companies in Ontario.
While most B2C social media marketing campaigns are sales-driven, focus on the buying/selling process, and are quite short, Lakeridge’s approach is more akin to a B2B style. They seek to build long-lasting relationships, build brand identity, and educate customers about the company and industry. By drawing attention to themselves and the landscaping industry, they end up attracting customers who wish to hire them. This approach supports Simon Sinek‘s theory that customers “don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” In this case, the “why” that customers are attracted to is how much fun Lakeridge has, and how much they enjoy what they do. This is evident from their Twitter interactions and Youtube videos. The company has coined the hashtags #Hardscape4Life and #HardscapeBrotherhood to bring recognition, credibility and a sense of honour and camaraderie to the profession. Their Youtube videos are humourous and entertaining, as evidenced by their “Friday Dance” segments where they dance on the job-site.
Even though they are quite successful at social media marketing in an industry that is behind others, Lakeridge’s approach is not without weaknesses. They are currently leaders, but eventually the market will become saturated with other landscaping companies who wish to market online. Lakeridge will need to monitor their competition, and possibly change their approach. Right now their goal appears to be to build brand and industry awareness through entertaining and fun content, but this may not be enough soon. Perhaps a B2C approach that is product/services-driven would be more effective. An example would be Youtube videos that introduce their services, explain proper installation techniques and industry standards, etc. If they wish to continue to use viral campaigns to attract clientele, they may need to up their game with more professionally-produced and edited content as well.
Also, their direct interaction with customers and followers is quite minimal. While they do engage in conversations and discussions on Twitter, these are mainly with B2B business allies such as suppliers, sales reps and other contractors. They need to better engage their customers and followers. The majority of their social media messages and videos are one-sided, in which content is posted, it is viewed/read, and that is the end of the interaction. Lakeridge should focus on longer-lasting and more active interactions with customers. This kind of relationship will better inform the company of what their clientele’s needs and concerns are, as well as increase brand loyalty. Blogs, Reddit AMA’s (Ask Me Anything) would be excellent additions to their current marketing, and would only enrich their approach.