GG: Why should growers engage in social media?
MMG: The relationships we have with our retail partners–with all of them it’s a partnership, and we need to collaborate with them and help them to get the message out there. We’ve discovered the garden center is looking for us to help them. If we grow a particular variety that we love, we’re the experts at growing it. So why isn’t it our responsibility to educate the retailer to get it to the end consumers? And why not reach to the end consumers? We’re all in this together; we all need to work together.
GG: What are some of the benefits and drawbacks of social media?
MMG: Now we have a voice. Before, we struggled with only being able to reach people via a website. The other way we promoted our websites was on tags, but retailers limit information on those. We have a lot of content and information that we want to share and social gave us that opportunity. We’re here on Facebook and Twitter, but come and see us on our website. It’s another experience; the website is more robust.
The drawback is time; you need to dedicate a lot of time and have the commitment to do it. We’re talking about growers here, many who don’t even have a marketing department. The ownership here is very supportive and they have great vision. This is long term. There are some short-term results, but a lot of marketing is long term.
GG: What can you share about your experience with social media?
MMG: It goes beyond social, and it will be in the future. Web 3.0: it’s what’s coming, and it’s going to expand beyond social. Social will have a big part of it, but it’s going to happen. There’s an app called FlipBoard, and it has gained a lot of momentum. It’s like an RSS feed–you select the topic you want to read up on, and it curates the information. It’s a one-stop shop for consumers; it streamlines your (content), and the layout makes the info reader friendly. At night when I’m done with the day, instead of a book I grab my iPad and go. Web 3.0 is about making it easy for the consumer. Web 3.0 is to facilitate the information for the consumer.