The Poll Position
How much interest do you have in Pinterest?
There’s a new social player in town, and it’s taking the country by storm. It’s called Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/), and if you haven’t heard of it, you won’t be in the dark for long.
New visitors are in for a visual treat: It’s an online pinboard, a place for users—mostly women—to categorize, bookmark, store and share photos of clothes they’re wearing, food they’re eating and other lifestyle-centric items that just plain inspire them. Users have pinboards to help prep for their weddings, redecorate their homes and, yes, even plan their spring gardens and dream landscapes.
In early February, comScore reported that Pinterest had hit 11.7 million unique monthly visitors in the United States alone, less than three years after its initial launch in March 2010. It hit that mark faster than any other stand-alone site in history.
And now that it’s reached critical mass with consumers, marketing professionals and brands are beginning to pick up on its potential, too. According to a January Shareholic report, Pinterest is driving more traffic to company websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined.
“The green industry is highly visual, and Pinterest is a visual medium —it’s a perfect match,” said Chris Heiler, green industry speaker, social media consultant and principal of Landscape Leadership (www.landscapeleadership.com).
And because each photo posted to Pinterest links directly back to its source, users are exactly two clicks away from the businesses’ website or, better yet, a place to purchase products online.
Translation, per Heiler: “The potential for green industry growers and retailers, especially those with e-commerce capabilities, is truly astounding.”
Over the years, service strategies at garden centers have evolved and grown to meet customer needs, but they’ve generally focused on plant-related activities.
At Botanica Gardens (www.botanicagardens.com), the thinking has veered way wide of the box, as the Little Rock, Ark., retailer has added “Party Planner” to its portfolio—with favorable results.
Whether a customer wants to throw a big event for 300-plus people or just wants to entertain a few close friends, Botanica Gardens owner Chris Olsen can craft an event to remember. Olson works with customers to find unique venues and to create the ideal atmosphere, whether it is a sophisticated, elegant or slightly off-beat gathering.
Event services include party planning and development, fresh floral accents (there’s the plant hook), catering management, lighting, sound, party decorations, and set up and take down.
The goal is for everyone to have a good time—and to ensure that party goers remember who helped create that good time. There’s certainly profit potential with the event proper. But the residual goodwill pays big “Cha-ching!” for Botanica Gardens down the road.