One of the biggest complaints about social media marketing and advertising is lackluster ROI, or at least difficulty in accurately measuring or attributing social ROI.  While intelligently architected multi-channel digital campaigns have gotten much better at uncovering and reporting value and clear return – it often requires expert knowledge in multiple specialty areas such as design, search, re-targeting display, and social to demonstrate that value.  Those skills often require hiring an agency, or internal marketing specialists, which in turn increase campaign expense and mute ROI value.

So, how can small businesses benefit from effective social media revenue lift without the luxury of being able to afford a full-time agency or dedicated marketing staff?  One business in owner in New Jersey may have established the model for doing so.  Here is his story.

I met Kris Holland, owner of Black River Landscape Management, in late 2018, through a colleague in local marketing, and was immediately intrigued by his story.  Since opening the doors in 2011, Kris has grown his business from six-figures in revenue to  more 2 million-dollars annually.  He currently has 30 employees, has worked with celebrity/notable personalities, and is leading the industry with the latest trends. In fact, he’s one of the few companies that has the reputation among both residential and commercial projects in his area. Kris and his team are known as the leading provider in commercial snow removal, landscape construction, tree and shrub care, maintenance, irrigation, gutter cleaning, and lawn care services.  He attributes the over-whelming success and growth to his own home-grown social media campaigns.  In fact, he does virtually no other marketing for the company.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kris last month and I’ve captured his key insights here.  I was surprised to see how simple his approach was and wondered how many businesses could be impacted simply by following Kris’s plan… instead of merely dabbling with social media in the way they currently do.

Social Media


Here is Kris’s basic social media ‘playbook’ for effective social media marketing:

  • Self-Educate
    • Like in any area of business, there are countless forms of free education available to you. If you are serious about your business and its growth, shouldn’t you be able to make the time?  Consider the following:
      • Read Books and Articles Weekly
      • Attend Local Social Media Education Events
      • Regularly Attend Webinars
  • Allocate Time Weekly for Trial and Error
    • Post Regularly
    • Try small budgets for boosting posts
    • Learn about various ad units and try them all a few times
    • Learn how to measure using insights, analytics
    • Experiment posting at different times of day
    • Use photos or videos in posts whenever possible
    • Showcase all aspects of your business, philosophy, dedication to customers, work product
    • Note what works best and do more of that
    • Be cognizant of what you post, recognize others are allowed to have different feelings and views and stay from controversial/sensitive/divisive issues on both your business AND your personal social media accounts.
  • Encourage reviews. Don’t wait to ask your clients for a review, instead, capitalize on the moment that they express satisfaction in your work, and ask that they sing your praises online. However, don’t beg for them, and don’t feel the need for long winded replies to an occasional dissatisfied customer review, but rather let other people come to your defense in the comments.
  • Grow organically. Don’t stress about growing your followers quickly. Growing over time is always more powerful and will pay off in the long run.
  • Be Relatable. Showcase your personal life too. I love sharing my life that’s filled with my gorgeous two daughters and my French Bull Dog.
  • Experiment with the different ad types that are offered. Some work better than others depending on the business (i.e. Coupons, post boosting, slideshow, video, etc.)
  • Don’t overspend on ads simply for likes and clicks
    • Learn the tools, Use Business Manager and Insights
  • Post Owner involved/inspired messaging…
    • Share your best work, be selective
    • Don’t Over-saturate

Despite his significant success on Facebook and other social channels, Kris only spends about 2-3 hours a week nurturing the campaign.  Admittedly, he spent significantly more time than that early on, during his self-education, trial and error periods.  However, once he had a basic working model in place, the rest was easy.

So, are you ready to analyze your current social results,  and raise the bar?

Following the blueprint that Kris has used, I am confident you will see increase ROI from your social efforts, and you’ll likely enjoy the process.

If you have success as a result of the tips in this article please feel free to reach out and let me know.

You just may be featured in my next article.


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