7 Ways Florists Can Attract Local Customers Online

In Flower Marketing by Seamus5 Comments

A few years ago most florists and other bricks and mortar businesses did not need to think about online marketing all that much.

After all – what was the point? If a potential customer in your area typed “flowers” into Google five years ago they would probably have just seen the big online florists and a bunch of other non-local results. To get your business to the top of this highly competitive bun-fight was virtually impossible.

This has all changed – the Internet is now becoming increasingly hyper-local and this is leading to the rise of “location marketing”.

The Internet – Coming to a Florist Near You!

Location marketing means targeting people using computer technology within a certain area. The fact that all internet-connected computer devices report their whereabouts to any site they visit is becoming very useful to location driven businesses of all sizes. So, that in mind, here are 7 reasons why florists should be thinking local when they think about the Internet:

Online Marketing

1. Google Now Strongly Favours Local Results.

This means that the same customer who a few years ago would not have seen any local results when he typed in “flowers” into the search box, will now see any number of local results for the same search. These results could either be from your florist website (assuming it has been set up correctly so that Google will find it), or it will be on Google’s map results. You can make sure your florist shop shows up in relevant map results by claiming your Google business listing here.

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2. Google Advertising Can Be Geo-Targeted

Geo-what? This simply means that If you pay for Google advertising (Adwords) you can set them to only show up for searchers who are based in your local geographic area. This can mean that for a relatively small investment, much smaller than print advertising, you can really make sure that you are front and centre anytime somebody local searches for flowers.

Beware: Adwords can be tricky and so can some so-called Adwords experts offering to manage them for you. Email me (link) if you’d like some advice on what to ask a potential Adwords manager to make sure he or she knows their stuff.

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3. Facebook Advertising Can Be Geo-Targeted

You can advertise on Facebook only to people who live in your own city. You can’t currently get more specific than that but you can lessen the amount of clicks (which are what you pay for) by mentioning your suburb name in the ad.

4. Facebook Check-ins

Speaking of Facebook – why not offer a small discount or some other enticement (a nice cuppa?) for anybody who used Facebook Place’s “check in” function when they visit your shop. That way, all they need to do is pull out their iPhone or similar and make a couple of clicks while they’re there – meanwhile they are advertising your business to their friends, many of whom are likely to live nearby.

5. Mobile Internet Usage Is Skyrocketing

The incidence of people using their mobile phones to access the Net is going through the roof – just look around next time you are out and about on the street – every second person is head down eyeballing their screen and the majority of these people are either already connected or will soon enough be (if they don’t first walk in front of a bus while merrily texting up a storm).

So what does this mean for florists? Well, the busy man on the go suddenly remembers it’s his wedding anniversary so he Googles “flowers” on the fly. Google will dutifully serve up any local website that is set up properly just like it would on a desktop computer and local business listings as well. So again, claim your local business listing and also it’s a great idea to make sure your website is configured to look readable on a mobile. If yours isn’t and your competitor’s is – guess who gets the sale?


6. Foursquare Marketing

If you haven’t heard of Foursquare yet there’s a good chance you soon will as it is on the way up and fast. It’s a location based social networking site that involves broadcasting your location to your online friends. If you think that sounds like a great way to get your house burgled while you’re out, I agree, but nonetheless it is hugely popular in the US and growing rapidly here too.

The reason you may end up caring about this is because it has a very clever marketing device built in – as a business owner you are encouraged to attract local foursquare users by broadcasting invitations to come and check in to your shop in order to get a discount or whatever. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is, Facebook unashamedly copied it.

7. Twitter Marketing

Loads of small businesses already use Twitter to engage with customers in their local area. It is common to read about things like a baker who “tweets” every time they pull a fresh batch out of the oven. Why not encourage locals to follow your business twitter account and then tweet every time you send a beautiful bouquet on its way? You can even tweet photos out these days too – not to mention coupons and offers.

Well, seven is my lucky number, so I will stop there. Well, almost…

There is another form of location sensitive online marketing that is very popular (at least with consumers) right now, but we here in the Tesselaar’s marketing department are not so sure it’s much cop. I am talking about Group Buying sites like Spreets, Cudo, Stardeals, etc.

While they can be very effective in drawing in locals looking for a bargain (I scored a super cheap car-service the other day) there is an increasing backlash against these deals from business operators themselves and we reckon with good reason too. I will write about that in detail very soon – but meanwhile be very cautious about entering into one of these arrangements. Do some Googling on the subject before you say yes to the salesman.

Ok the information above is enough to keep you up till midnight for the next 3 months in a location-based online florist marketing frenzy – and speaking of midnight, it’s 20 past that right now – so good night and good luck!

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Seamus is Tesselaar Flowers' digital marketing manager. He's a creative marketing geek, writer, musician & accidental flower lover. He helps small businesses with websites and web marketing. If you need any help regarding the Tesselaars website you can contact him on seamuse@tesselaars.com

Comments

  1. Seamus … your email link is not active in the article … being of the more mature age, I am having trouble getting my head around some of these social media applications, how do you suggest I find someone who can help at not too much cost … Wayne.

  2. oops – was in a mighty big hurry yesterday! email is webadmin@tesselaars.com – shoot me an email and we can discuss this further. I should also point out that this is a very broad view of the situation and one should try not to feel overwhelmed but rather
    choose one or two strategies and focus on getting these right. For example we here at Tesselaars have focussed on our mailing list and Facebook, and haven’t yet tackled mobile, but this is coming soon 🙂

  3. Thanks Gordon – yes, beware the irate empowered consumer! I’d be interested to know your perspective on this: do you think this is a good thing?

  4. Thanks Seamus, I assume you mean, is this a good thing for the florist industry? Well my view is that the internet side of it is becoming so corrupt that I would be happy to see it all close down and start again. If those in the florist industry (such
    as myself) have to live in a world where our customers are stolen by the dubious methods of Relay Florists (RFs) / Order Gatherers (OGs) and we have to toady back up to retrieve the orders at a far lesser value, then I want no part of it. I am sure most consumers
    would agree, and after becoming aware, if they decide not to buy flowers online so be it. I do not believe that this will be a loss to the industry as a consumer intent on sending flowers will likely just revert to the old method of finding a real bricks &
    mortar florist. The particular outfit exposed at http://www.readyflowersreview.hk in my view is worse than the average RF / OG in that (without the knowledge of the consumer), the substantial documented evidence in my possession, shows that the value of the order
    is substantially devalued before a commission is deducted. As published at http://www.readyflowersreview.hk and elsewhere, I believe this is fraud. It is logical and factual that this sort of parasitic conduct brings about the complaints that are re-published at
    http://www.readyflowersreview.hk, however similar complaints are not confined to this outfit as there seems to be thousands of complaints about RFs / OGs throughout the internet with a substantial amount arising in USA where government consumer protection agencies
    are attempting to do something about it, unlike here in Australia it seems. The bottom line is, without the florists who do toady up to RFs / OGs, the parasites would be out of business and I believe that introducing some sort of transparency to the industry
    is a legitimate way to address the situation.

  5. All human advances can be used for good and bad. Its not the fault of the technology. The internet empowers people to seek their own solutions, if some sectors of the industry try to exploit customer ignorance and provide poor quality, value for money
    or service then the internet also provides the basis on which these practices will be exposed and these companies will be the losers. Many florists are finding the internet provides them with the tools to promote their capabilities to the market and compete
    effectively with much bigger organisations that are unable to offer similar capabilities. What is important is that florists need to learn these skills and apply them to their business. It is no longer good enough to take an add in the yellow pages, join a
    relay and wait for it to happen… it wont. Steve White, CEO, Tesselaar Flowers

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