Facebook and Twitter for florists: a post detailing how to use these two social media giants to promote your floristry business. Well, kind of….
About a month ago my dear old Grandma went into hospital for a major operation. Now, I hardly ever send flowers, sad but true, but in this case I was moved to. So after deciding this, what did I do? I went straight to my laptop and punched something basic like “flower delivery” into Google and bought from one of the big, faceless companies that let me do it all online.
Before you shoot me abusive emails, consider this: if the local florist (I am vaguely aware there is one) had previously engaged me via social media, compulsive Facebook addict that I am, if we had struck up some kind of relationship in this way, so that I felt I had grown to “know, like and trust” this business, do you think I would have thought instead to use them to order flowers? I dare say, yes, most likely I would have.
How To Sell More Flowers By Using Social Media
OK so you’ve got your website and you’ve decided to give a blog a go (or not). The next step in the online marketing for florists adventure is whether or not to bother with two of the most popular social media sites right now: Facebook and Twitter. Here are my notes on the matter:
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1 – Focus Your Efforts
If you are running a business, then you seriously need to ask yourself how much time you have to also be running a blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
If you’re a small operation, then maybe you can give a blog and either Facebook or Twitter a go. Anything more then you’re going to need a lot of time – or professional help.
2 –Which to Choose – Facebook or Twitter?
I have to admit that I don’t get Twitter.
I joined out of curiosity back in 2008 but to me it seems like little more than a bunch of people who don’t know or listen to each other broadcasting their wares uselessly into the wind. The only place I see it working is for already popular people & brands, whose existing audience lap up their every “tweet”.
So I pretty much gave up on it, unlike Facebook which I use a lot and find really useful.
Twitter is either an enormously successful con-job (Emperor’s New Clothes anyone?) or it actually does provide massive value to a lot of people. Otherwise why would they all use it?
So it’s up to you which you use; my recommendation would be to use the one you think your customers use.
If your customers are so-called “ordinary working Australians” (aren’t we all?) then I would guess Facebook is where they all are. But if your customers are trendy cosmopolitan types (ok, let’s face it, we call ‘em Yuppies right?) then maybe they are all busy … err .. being Twits *cough* in which case it might make sense to have a presence there.
3 – Set it Up Right
If you use Facebook to promote your business – whatever you do, DO NOT create a new “profile” (these are for people only) and I don’t recommend creating a “group” because these are the poor-man’s Facebook page. They probably won’t be around soon and anyway you can’t “Like” them, which is kind of the point. (Not the only point but one of the main ones.)
Create a Page (click “Ads and Pages” in the left-hand sidebar, then click the “Create Page” button) and then scramble to get 25 “Likes” so you can claim your business name, i.e. www.facebook.com/yourbusinessname. Currently to do this you go to https://www.facebook.com/username/ where it allows you to choose a name but ONLY if you have 25 fans already.
By the way, anyone familiar with Facebook knows that they change things all the time, especially layouts so these instructions may soon become dated.
Why do they change things so much in the Facebook site? Because they can – Facebook (including your page) belongs to Facebook not to you. That’s why you need your own website, because it belongs to you and therefore, save the complete disintegration of civilisation as we know it, you can rely on it always being there to serve your business objectives.
4 – Try Not To Bore the World To Death
Social Media, when used properly, is about engagement not just about broadcasting your wares.
A) Create Value.
This is a bit of marketing jargon – basically it means “be useful and interesting – preferably both”.
Constantly blathering on about the things you sell and how your business rocks is not always useful and not terribly interesting – actually it’s B.O.R.I.N.G. (Do not overestimate how much people care about your business).
On the other hand, writing a blog post about the best bunch of flowers for blokes to send their lady when they need to say sorry for forgetting the wedding anniversary again might be useful and interesting to the gentleman who has just royally stuffed up – or to the woman who wants to rub salt in their Old Man’s wounds after such a major faux pas. And then you’d want to tweet or Facebook about it.
B) Be Responsive
This means when people ask you a question or make a comment via your website or social media account of preference, you need to know about it and respond pronto.
Not responding to a social media interaction in a timely fashion makes as much sense as ignoring a customer who is standing in your store saying “Excuse me, can you help me choose some flowers?”.
I like to think that we are doing a good job of that here – go ahead, leave us a comment and see how fast we get back to you 🙂
5 – Prepare for a Marathon Not a Sprint
If you start a Facebook page or a Twitter account, you should not expect to see the masses come thronging to shower you in popularity overnight. In truth people are overwhelmed by brands and businesses wanting their attention, so you’ll need to prove your worth by creating value for them.
If you go to Tesselaar’s Facebook page – Facebook.com/Tesselaars – you will see (as of publishing) that we only have about 130 or so fans.
But we only started the page in early December and are getting between 5 – 15 new “Likes” a week. So at this rate we’ll have 5 or 6 hundred by the end of year (probably more because things snowball –every time we post something to the Tesselaar’s Facebook profile it appears in our fan’s news feed, which then gets seen by their friends, some of whom sign up, so you can see it’s scalable and relatively exponential).
Furthermore, according to the stats Facebook provides, in 4 months of effort only the Tesselaars brand has appeared in front of our fan’s eyeballs (in their Facebook news feeds) 40,000 times so far already! That is a huge reason alone to get busy establishing your business online.
Rather than go all out for a week just to get disappointed when it doesn’t seem to be generating any real sales, think of it as a long term strategy and restrict your time online to half an hour a day spent creating content of value and responding to any customer or prospect interaction.
Over time, from little things, big things can grow. Having said that…
6 – Size Isn’t Everything
If you are a florist working out of one specific shop, then you probably don’t need the whole world paying attention to your online presence.
I would guess (comment below if I am wrong) that the only people of interest to you and your business are locals; therefore you really only want to be finding ways to engage those locals who are active on social media. Then one day, like me with my Grandma, when they suddenly need to send flowers, you will be the first thought that pops into their mind, and voila – you’ve created a new customer!
Photo by heliosphan
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