Do you ever look at other florist Facebook pages and wonder how they managed to get so many Likes and so much interactivity on their page?
Here’s some insight into building a crackingly good Facebook page – like we did!
Why Facebook? How Will It Help Your Florist Business Flourish?
That’s the first step, to figure out the BIG WHY.
Did you start a Facebook page to keep existing customers interested in you and your flower creations? To find new customers in your local area? To drive new customers to your e-commerce store?
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I suspect that Facebook might be a better way for small businesses (bar those with a lot of money to spend) to stay in touch with existing customers than to find new customers.
The reason I say this is because (while not the ONLY way) advertising is the most likely way you will be able to attract lots of new Likers to your page. But advertising in the retail florist space is expensive.
Give Your Customers Good Reasons To Like Your Page
As many have experienced, just putting something on your website that says “Like us on Facebook” usually won’t make a lot of people do that. We all see this on every business website these days – and we all ignore.
The question is: why should your customer care about Liking your page on Facebook? Why would they want to see your business in their Facebook feed? Everyone has too much clutter; they don’t lightly opt-in for more.
The Key is Engagement
Nothing to do with weddings, “engagement” is marketing jargon for “engage and sustain the attention and interaction of your online audience”. So basically, you need to get and keep people’s interest, driving them to act.
How do you do this? Here’s some ideas:
- Photos – as the recent ascension of Pinterest illustrates, people love checking out pictures online. It’s easier than reading, and quicker than watching a video. Believe me – awesome photos are the key to online success in the flower space.So take them and post them to your Facebook page. Get a sweet camera and read this article of flower photography tips. Get out your iphone and use instagram (warning: addictive) and upload a shot of every bouquet you make before it heads out the door, plus interesting stuff like back of house and smiling happy people in your shop.
- Weddings – weddings are when people care about flowers the most. And when a bride is preparing, she seeks out wedding flower photos – so provide them.Befriend wedding photographers and get them to take shots of your flowers on the big day. Then get your hands on those pics plus permission to post them online.Here’s an example of how important wedding flowers are to people: on our Tesselaars Facebook page, the second most popular tab after the default timeline is our wedding flowers tab, which is currently hidden away because it is a little out of date. So people care so much about wedding flowers they will actually seek them out even when it requires effort (which is unusual online).
- Advertise – At the end of the day Facebook ads can work to get you new Likers, if that’s your goal. You can target the ads to make sure they only get shown to people who are relevant to your business, like perhaps people who are female, engaged and live in your nearby suburbs.Also you can target existing page Likers, which is a good way to remind them you exist if they haven’t been seeing your posts (see last section below on Edgerank).With new Likers, it might be a good idea to tell people to like your page in the ad itself (they can by default) because many will & then will see your posts in their news feed later.
- Understand people – it’s not about you, it’s about them. What they Like on Facebook is a way of communicating to the world the image they want to project. It’s a way to affirm their own self-identity. So why would they want your Facebook page to be a part of that?Think about the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) factor. Something like 70% of people say they engage with businesses online because they want to know about specials, so it makes sense to dream up some offers to attract their business.
- However, avoid constantly spruiking your wares as this will probably just turn people off.To me, nothing sucks more* than seeing a post from a business that is all about what they want from other people (buy my stuff, vote for me, etc).*OK some of the photos of me that people post to Facebook suck more than that but you get my point…
- Be social – I don’t know if this will work as well as advertising but it can’t hurt. Join groups like The Florists of Facebook and pages like Flower Story and see if you can’t drive people back to your own page.But do it subtly, nobody likes the person who just spams the group.
- Be social offline – care about your customers, talk to them about their lives, and then once you’ve gotten them to really like you (because you obviously care so much about them) then try to get them go to your Facebook page.Dangle a contextual carrot, lead in from a conversation about how they love David Austen roses to “Well why don’t you Like my Facebook page so I can let you know when they’re available?”I would have a laptop or an ipad handy so you can get people to sign in right there and then. Just ask them to, a lot of people would be a happy to do it, but they are busy, they will forget.
- Run competitions with really desirable prizes that require your customers to Like your page to enter. Just make sure you read Facebook’s rules about competitions first.
- Share memes (i.e. “what my Mom thinks I do…”) & topical posts (like the Olympics bouquet during the Olympics).Ok so it’s not likely to lead to a direct sale, but:
- if it gets shared…
- then more people are going to see that facebook post…
- which means more people are going to share it…
- which means more will see your NEXT post
It’s all about getting them to click to increase your EdgeRank.
Understand how Facebook Works
If you want rock Facebook, you need to understand it’s not just about the initial Likes.
Once people Like you they will only see the stuff you post if they engage with your content regularly. So that means clicking your photos, sharing and liking your posts.
So that requires being engaging (hey – you are right?) and regular in your posting: once a day at least. Many successful brands do it multiple times a day, but you probably don’t have time for this (although you can schedule posts).
Don’t Forget About Your Website & Google
In our experience building the Tesselaars Facebook page up, we have found that people tend to use Google when they are in a buying frame of mind, whereas Facebook is more a place to hang out with friends and just kind of poke around killing time.
So it is really important that you don’t neglect your website and your SEO because otherwise you might go to all the effort of keeping your business top-of-mind in your customer’s minds only to lose the sale when they can’t find you on Google.
Have fun! (It’s fun right?!?) Here’s some links to some successful florist website pages – maybe you can pick up some tricks from them!
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