Posts Tagged “social media”

Why You Should be Using Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories

 

So you’re on Instagram, but so are 700 million other people, with 25 million of those being businesses. How can you make yourself stand out in a sea of literally millions of other Instagrammers? (Yes, it’s a word, we checked. Merriam-Webster is more than likely adding it to the dictionary as you read this.) One word: Stories. You’ve most likely watched Instagram Stories from some of your favorite ‘grammers, be it other florists, bloggers or friends. And you’ve probably loved them, right? Instagram Stories are a great way to not only be seen on Instagram, but to connect more personally with clients as well.

 

According to Instagram, one-third of the most viewed Stories on the platform are from businesses – a huge number when you consider business profiles only make up about 28% of the total users on Instagram. And even better news, two-thirds of visits to business profiles are users that don’t already follow that business on Instagram. With 300 million Instagram users viewing Stories daily, that’s a lot of opportunities to get your content before the eyes of potential customers, and current customers that you want to keep coming back for more of your floral magic.

 

Instagram Stories

 

We know, we know, we’re total data geeks and we just threw a lot of numbers at you! But aside from all of the technological reasons (changing algorithms, engagement, etc.) there are so many other ways and reasons to be using Stories for your business. So now that you’re on board, we want to share some of the different ways you can use them to your benefit and achieve the engagement you need to run a successful business in the age of Social Media!

 


 

One of our most asked questions when it comes to Instagram is whether or not to share BTS (behind-the-scenes) and personal images on your business feed. Well, when answering that question, there are many things to consider. The Instagram feed has now become your portfolio… brides will scroll through yours and decide within SECONDS if they like your work and want to reach out to you. And with all of the beautifully curated feeds out there, you do want to compete with those and make sure yours is consistent and representative of your brand. However, with all of those beautifully curated feeds, how do YOU stand out? To a potential bride or customer who doesn’t necessarily look at flowers and weddings all day, it can be overwhelming to differentiate between all the pretty! Well, Stories are a great way to set yourself apart and show the world a little bit about the designer behind the flowers.

 

I don’t know about you, but when the time comes for me to choose all of the vendors for my wedding, I not only want to love their work, but I want to love them. Stories is a space to share your personality – if you’re a big goofball in real life, show us! Are you witty and sarcastic and have an opinion on just about everything? You bet there’s going to be someone out there who connects with that. Instagram users and potential clients love seeing little pieces of your life outside of work – it helps them feel like they know you even if in reality, you’ve never met.

 

Stories are also a great place to share some BTS of your day-to-day life as a florist… the “ugly” stuff. We know that gorgeous centerpiece on that carefully curated tablescape didn’t just appear… show us how it got there! The process can be just as interesting for your clients or fellow vendors, and as an added bonus, it shows them just how much hard work goes into being a florist, something people don’t always realize! On top of potential clients, this is also a great way to network and connect with other vendors in the industry, making “Instagram friends” if you will, who want to work with you in the future and will direct their clients to you. Win-win!

 

Instagram Stories

 

Okay, so let’s quickly recap the WHY’S of using Stories:

 

  1. To show off that sparkling (or goofy) personality of yours
  2. To show your process and a little BTS of your life as a florist
  3. To increase engagement on your content
  4. To network with industry vendors

 

So now that you have a little more insight into some of the benefits of using Stories, here are some tips, tricks and how-to’s to achieving that.

 


 

Instagram Live

 

Going live can be super intimidating, but Instagram has made it so easy that it’s really not that big of a deal! We’ve seen florists use Live videos in a number of ways… from live design demonstrations to Q+A’s (both personal and business related), Live stories are a great way to interact in real time and allow your followers to ask questions for you to answer right then and there. If you’re not already following Ponderosa & Thyme, she uses Instagram Live all the time and is one of our favorites to tune into.

 

Links

 

If your Instagram is a business account (which it should be) one of our most utilized features is the good ‘ole “Swipe Up!” for links. Whether you want to share new content you’ve posted to your blog or website, or you just want to direct customers/brides to your contact page, this feature is exclusive to business profiles and sees really high engagement. When we started linking our new blog posts on Stories, we saw a huge increase in link opens and people reading and commenting on our blogs, and it makes complete sense with how convenient it is – a simple swipe and they’re right where you want them.

 

Polls

 

In the most general sense, polls can be a great way to find out WHAT your followers are interested in seeing. If you’re still struggling with determining what to post on your feed and/or Stories, do a little crowdsourcing!

Polls can also be used as fun little ways to interact with your followers, even if you’re not *really* looking for an answer. For example, posting two arrangements and asking them which they like best. Or maybe you DO want an answer! Your followers’ input could be just what you need to answer the important questions in life…. like blush vs. millennial pink 😉

 

Story Highlights

 

It’s both a blessing and a curse that Stories only last 24 hours… but that all changed when Instagram introduced Highlights. If you went on an Insta-Rant (not yet a word, but it probably should be) about pricing and you want everyone to hear what you had to say, make it a Highlight! You can really use them for anything – a portfolio of your best work, a BTS of an event from start to finish, upcoming events or workshops – and you can add to individual highlights even after you’ve already posted the original one. If you need a little inspiration, Shean Strong has some great ones – from “Five Fun Facts” to our personal favorite, “Driving with Shean,” the possibilities are endless.

 

Instagram Stories

 

Fight the Algorithm

 

We’ve all heard about the changing algorithms, and because of them you might sometimes notice less engagement (likes & comments) on your posts. One way to help guide followers to new posts on your feed is to use Stories! Many bloggers & Influencers do this by screenshotting their feed and literally just saying “NEW POST!” as a way to direct them there and increase engagement. And in doing research for this blog, we learned that there might be some new features on the way to make sharing new posts even easier… stay tuned!

 

Insights & Tutorials

 

We’ve talked a lot about engagement and insights and all this technical stuff – but what does it all mean?! To find out how to analyze all this data, check out this article from Social Media Examiner… they can explain things a bit better than we can 😉

And if you’re looking for some more technical help on how to use all of the great (and constantly evolving) features, check out these two helpful visual guides to help you master your Insta-Story game!

The Preview App: New Features Instagram 2018

Hootsuite: How to Use Instagram Stories

 


 

If you weren’t already using Stories, we hope you’ve convinced you by now! If you have any questions or comments, or have discovered another creative use of them, share with us in the Comments below!

 

5 Tips to Elevate Your Social Media Presence

social media tips for florists

 

Preface: Below is an article that I recently wrote for the WFFSA blog and I wanted to make sure that I shared it with you all! I hope that you find it helpful and if you want marketing/social media tips, let me know what you are looking for and I may create a blog post just for you!


I literally just wrote the title and now I’m thinking, “ONLY 5 – how am I going to pick just 5 points to focus on”??? Because if you have ever met me, then you know that one of my passions is social media and inbound marketing. I could talk about it all day long, but I know that you have just a few minutes to spare and I don’t want to waste your time. So let’s get to it!

 

TIP #1: DEFINE YOUR POST FREQUENCY

I’m assuming that you have already found which social media platforms you want to utilize because that is where your core audience is hanging out at. Now you need to figure out how often to post. Personally, I try to post once a day with the exception of Instagram, which I post 1-3 times per day. For businesses, the bottom line is that it is imperative to be consistent. So set a schedule and try very hard to stick with it. If you are looking for a more scientific approach, then be sure to check out CoSchedule’s “Social Media Posting Frequency Kit” that summarizes 14 different studies.

 

TIP #2: BE SOCIAL

Yes, be social on social media! It sounds simple, but this is sometimes the hardest part to keep up on because you need to check back on your posts. If you are working hard on coming up with great content to post on to your social media pages, be sure to follow through to gain the most from your efforts. That means be social, respond and interact with your fans who take the time to respond and ask questions. It is a great way to establish authority over the subject matter at hand.

 

TIP #3: EARN THE RIGHT TO SELL

You read that correctly – all brands need to earn the right to sell to their community. Social media is NOT like other marketing engines because the content here should be focused on educating, starting discussions and entertaining. You might be tempted to keep on blasting your fans with product promos, sales and the like but please don’t because you will lose your followers or at the very least, they will tune you out. Get together with your team to brainstorm content ideas – company culture, industry news, informative posts, product information, job postings, etc. Then post using your rich content and sprinkle in your sales, promotions, etc. Another way to think of it: jab, jab, jab, punch!

 

TIP #4: RESEARCH HASHTAGS

If you want to expand and grow your audience, then you need to be using hashtags. People love to follow rabbit holes to see where they lead them, and that is one of the many benefits of using hashtags. I cannot tell you how often my team uses hashtags when planning our events. We have found great resources this way that would have been virtually impossible using just plain old Google. If you aren’t using hashtags, then sit down with your team again and do some research on relevant hashtags for your brand and for your geographic area. Instagram, I like to strive to use up to 10 hashtags per post. Also, if you are worried about doing the whole hashtag thing correctly because this topic is new for you, then take a look at this article from HubSpot that talks about “How to Use Hashtags on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram”.

 

TIP #5: REVIEW & UPDATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES

I saved this one for last because I review a ton of social media pages and websites and this is a pet peeve of mine. Take time to review your profile to ensure that it is complete and that items like your username, profile and header photos, bios, descriptions and links are consistent across all of your social media channels. You want to ensure that no matter where someone is looking, that your brand is consistent. If someone clicks from one page to another, they feel safe that they are in the correct place. Also, if you are a local brand, make sure you have where you are in your descriptions and that that same geographic information is somewhere easy to find on your website. I cannot tell you how many times I have visited an Instagram page, then tried to click over to their website and still couldn’t figure out where the business was located. Your profile is very important and helps get your fans into your sales funnel. If you want a great checklist to utilize, then be sure to check out Hootsuite’s “13 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Profiles in One House or Less”.

 

 

Well, those are my top 5 tips – what are your top social media tips that help you stay on top of your game?

 

Love learning? Then be sure to check out our 2018 Mayesh Design Star Flower Workshop! Kaylee talks flowers and design, but we also have on the agenda to talk about taking your best photos and social media!

LEARN MORE

Live Chat Replay: Kelly Perry Talks Instagram

 

During yesterday’s Live Chat we talked all things Instagram with the lovely & talented Kelly Perry of Team Flower! Kelly is an amazing force within the industry and has created two completely separate businesses: her floral design company, Philosophy Flowers,  and Team Flower, a community of florists and flower friends who come together to learn from one another, lift each other up, and help propel the industry forward.

After struggling with social media and Instagram for some time, Kelly turned things around by changing her mindset and taking a new approach. Watch our replay to learn what that approach is, as well as tangible tips & tricks to improve your Instagram feed & presence! And if you don’t have time to jot down all of the resources we mention, they’re all listed beneath the video… we’ve got you!

 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA & INSTAGRAM RESOURCES

 

Applications & Tools

 

INSTAGRAM VISUAL PLANNING: UNUM & Planoly

 

SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT SCHEDULING: Hootsuite & CoSchedule

 

INSTAGRAM PHOTO EDITING: VSCO & Filmborn

*There are SO many editing apps, just do some research online and find what fits best for you & your style!

 

CREATING SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGESCanva

 

Blog Resources

 

TEAM FLOWER COURSES: Floral Photography & Instagram Branding

POSTING TIMES BEST PRACTICES: Hootsuite & CoSchedule blog posts

Team Flower’s Upcoming Industry Conference! 

 


 

And remember, we are always looking for content ideas & want to produce Live Chats that help YOU! So if you want to see more like this, or have another topic you’re dying to learn more about, let us know in the comments below!

Mayesh is on Snapchat

Mayesh on Snapchat


Oh SNAP … Mayesh is on Snapchat! Our username is mayeshwholesale (or use our Snapcode). Check out our‬ snaps as we exhibit at the World Floral Expo and Caterource Event Solutions conference this week & next.

Are you on Snapchat? Who do you recommend to add as a friend? Love to hear your suggestions on the comments below!

 

Join the Conversation: Social Media & Survey

Social Media & Survey

 

As you may already be aware of, we are known for our social media activities.  We try to be everywhere you are, provide useful information, and give back to our community/industry.

With that said, I wanted to ask you to please take 3 minutes to answer 7 questions.  I promise it will be quick and painless, but oh-so-important so that we may continue to produce things that you want to watch/read/discuss/share/like/enjoy/etc!!

 

TAKE SURVEY NOW

 

And just in case you have been living under a rock or pumping out so many flowers that you haven’t noticed … here are all of our social media pages – Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, and Google+:

 
facebook @MayeshWholesale

instragram@MayeshWholesale

pinterest@mayesh

 

twitter@Mayesh

 

youtube@MayeshWholesale

 

linkedin@/company/mayesh-wholesale-florists

google plus@+Mayesh
 

Remember, that we want to produce videos, write blog articles, create product guides and so much more, but we want to make sure that we are covering topics that you care about.  To provide feedback and suggestions, just take 3 minutes to answer a handful of questions here.  THANKS!!

Social Media Strategies & Best Practices for the Floral Industry

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure and honor to present my thoughts on how to implement social media marketing successfully at the 2013 WF&FSA Floral Distribution Conference.  After researching the list of attendees signed up for my presentation, I decided that the main focus needs to be on content marketing.  To be successful on any social media platform, you need killer content!  Remember, content is king!

Thank you to everyone who attended my session and for asking questions.  This was my first time speaking at this level – your energy and thoughtfulness made it a great experience!  While I am very pregnant right now and became a little out of breath while I was speaking, I hope you enjoyed the presentation and are inspired to created killer content!

Side note:  I started the session with the “#Hashtag with Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake” video.  We were able to watch part of it, but for some reason I lost the connection, so just in case you still wanted to watch the vid, check it out here.

AIFD2012: Floral Design Photography

Scott Acevedo AIFD did an important program for all florists on photography.  With the popularity of blogs, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook taking great photographs of your work is not only good to do, it is essential.  Your clients are surfing the web before they even talk to you and if you don’t have your work up, your competitor will.  For someone like me, if you don’t have a website or blog showing off your designs, I’m going to wonder why.

I hear all of the time from florists that they just don’t have the time to create content for a blog (or social media), but here’s the “thing” … each and everyday you have the most challenging part done – creating unique content a.k.a. your floral designs – and all you need to do is have a set up to take pictures and then throw it up on a blog and let your audience know through your social media channels about your new content.  Easy, peasy!

 

The first part of the Scott’s program covered the different ways you could use your floral photography:

  • Use the pictures on your website.  For example, use them for the lead departments of your site – birthday, sympathy, wedding, corporate, etc.
  • Create note cards to use to send out with your floral designs – a great up-sell.  We actually just created our own custom floral note cards for our branches to use and they are a big hit!
  • Enlarge the prints to sell and/or to decorate your floral shop or design studio.
  • Use single variety pictures to help sell new or unfamiliar varieties to your customers.  For this point, I just wanted to say that we have many customers who point their customers to our very own Flower Library.  I even know of a customer who has printed cards with the Flower Library URL to give to all of their brides so that they can browse through all of the flowers and create FloraFiles filled with their favorites.  I even see florists share our Facebook photo albums with their audience to show what is available now.  Easy, free content all at your disposal.

Here are some photography basic set-up pointers on using a tripod, PVC pipe frame, foam core draped with material, 2 lights, and camera placement:

  • Use a tripod whenever possible.  Even if you think you are holding the camera as still as possible, most likely you are not.  A tripod makes a huge difference in making a photograph look professional.  Just using your point-and-shoot camera with a tripod will give very nice quality pictures.
    • Be aware of “low key” and “high key”.  Low key is using something like a black background and high key is utilizing a pure white background.
  • Scott likes to use a neutral gray backdrop draped over a PVC pipe and foam core frame because it allows all of the colors to pop, whereas black tends to absorb all of your light making it hard to see the details of your design.

 

 

    • I differ from Scott’s opinion on this subject a bit and I am not a fan of plain gray backgrounds as I think it looks drab and boring.  I really think investing in a great backdrop and/or floordrop will take your pictures to the next level.  I’m a big fan of Traci Ryant Photography (she has taken my daughter’s pictures for the last 2 years) and she often uses drops from a company called LemonDrop Stop.  Here’s a picture of a sample set-up.  You would want to set yours up on a table, of course, but these drops are swoon worthy and would be a spectacular backdrop for your beautiful designs.  They have faux wood, old doors, fun patterns, and fabric all in a inexpensive polypaper perfect for you!  You are sure to find something that will ensure that your pictures are completely branded with your company’s look from the flowers to the background.  A few samples from the LemonDrop Stop site:

 

 

    • Do you have old shutters, or an old door, or a cool looking wall?  Then try those as backdrops too.
  • Lighting – if you want to be a professional as possible you can go with a strobe light, but to get started 2 basic lamps can be used to fill your pictures with the proper lighting.  Of course, if you have a great area in which you can utilize natural light, that is always the best option.  Here are some lighting specifics to keep in mind and play with:
    • Hair light – this lighting comes from behind to light from the top and behind
    • Key light – accents the facial features
    • Fill light – Fills with the light a bit more
    • Scott recommends Calumet Photo if you want to start looking into lighting.
    • If you are on site at night, using flash may help prevent blurriness.
  • Camera position – be aware that you will need to adjust the angle of your camera depending on the design.  Sometime it may be better to be looking down at an angle or sometimes it may be better to shoot straight on.  Experiment and have fun!

If you do wedding and event flowers, then be sure to bring your camera (and your tripod) with you for the set up.  It is great to get pictures with your clients holding the bouquets, the boutonniere on the guys’ lapel, or the centerpieces placed on the tables.  Be sure to crop out the faces, otherwise you will need a model release.  If all fails, be sure to introduce yourself to the event photographer.  Often times, the photographer will allow you to post pictures as long as you are giving proper credit.  You won’t know until you ask.

 

 

Last, but not least, to ensure that some other site doesn’t steal your work, be sure to watermark your pictures.  You don’t need to get fancy software as you can just use something free, like Picasa, to add a text watermark with just a few clicks.

I hope you are now ready to start capturing pictures of your floral designs.  If you are still looking for more pointers try browsing Pinterest for camera and photography tips.  Also, FlowerChat recently published a post all about photography too – check it out here.

For all you floral designers already taking your own pictures, comment some other tips of what works well for you!

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