Clandon Wood – branching out into digital marketing
Clandon Wood is a 31 acre area of new native woodland, wildflower meadows, lake and wetland in Surrey due to open in May 2012. It will be planted and landscaped to attract wildlife, accommodate natural burials and provide new habitats for people to explore. They aim to appeal to nature lovers, school groups, people looking for natural burials and people who just want to enjoy the beautiful woodland.
As a relatively new project, Clandon Wood are keen to learn how they could use social media to attract and involve people. With lots of planning and action required to develop the site and their services, they are after some quick, easy and effective solutions that won’t take any more than 30 minutes per day.
These are some of my suggestions for them to consider. They’re super brief at the moment to give them some ideas about what they want to focus on…
Their temporary website is online now at clandonwood.com and a new one is on the way.
It’ll need to contain relevant keywords to help people find it via search engines. These should cover all of the aspects of the project – burials, nature, woodland – as well as local keywords such as Clandon, Guildford and Surrey.
They should follow basic SEO principles such as getting links from relevant, quality sites and producing regular effective content. They might want to use a blog format to update visitors on the development of the site and day to day activities once it is up and running.
They can integrate Facebook & Twitter to their site, either through clickable icons or with embedded content featuring their latest posts.
They could make use of a free Adwords voucher which are available from time to time. This would allow them to experiment with Google’s paid search to see if they should continue to use it in the future to drive visitors to their website.
If they’re looking to build a community of like-minded and/or local people, Clandon Wood should consider setting up an email newsletter. This could be segmented to allow people to subscribe to different aspects of the business or follow the development of the site.
Clandon Wood are already on Twitter – @clandonwood – and chatting to people but a quick look over some Twitter basics might be useful to get to grips with how mentions work (where you put someone else’s username first in a message mostly to them to avoid clogging up people’s feed with conversations). They could also change the name on the profile from an individual staff member to the organisation’s name.
They can search for relevant people to follow based on the different areas of what they do. This could include local organisations, nature organisations and those related to death and burials. This will also help by finding useful and interesting information to retweet from others to add variety to their Twitter output.
They could set up searches for keywords on Twitter to find people talking about relevant topics and local issues. This can be easily done using software such as Tweetdeck. There are plenty of apps for smartphones too which allow you to keep an eye on things on the go and easily respond.
I’d suggest Clandon Wood set up a Facebook page which is the best format for businesses (rather than Facebook groups or personal profiles). This can be used to post updates and photos and gather people interested in what they’re doing.
I always recommend not auto-posting between Facebook and Twitter if possible as posting separately allows you to make the most of each format, e.g. posting photos directly to Facebook and keeping within Twitter’s character limit.
Clandon Wood could think about using Pinterest to share beautiful images of the woodland and collate images that are relevant to what they do. More and more brands are experimenting with Pinterest (and I personally spend faaaaar too much time looking at beautiful images there)
They can set up Google Alerts to keep an eye on people talking about them (with a [Clandon Woods] search) and other relevant search terms if they want to stay updated on other relevant topics too.
They should set up a Google Places entry to help people find them via location-based searching.
It sounds like video and photos could be used to showcase the location and services on offer.
In terms of a routine for Clandon Wood, this is what I’d suggest initially;
- Check Facebook & Twitter for people requiring a response (and respond!)
A few times per week
- Post interesting, relevant information to Facebook & Twitter
- Keep an eye on Google Alerts and saved Twitter searches for mentions of Clandon Wood/related topics
- Post a blog update
Clandon Wood’s plan will depend on their objectives and the amount of time they have available to sustain their digital marketing activities.
Once their activities are more developed they can branch out (no woodland pun intended!) and measure the impact of their activities to test what is working best and where to focus their efforts.