RESPOND TO MARKETPLACE CHANGES THROUGH DIGITAL
Consumers are fickle. This fact is proven when we explore new trends in consumer floral purchasing habits found in the American Floral Endowment’s (AFE) Floral Purchasing Tracking study (read story, page 10, for key data). Adjusting your marketing efforts to reflect new information is critical to staying relevant with consumers. For this column, we discuss how you can adjust your digital strategies to leverage findings found in recent demographic and consumer trends.
SELECT SOCIAL MEDIA WISELY
Although you may think “Millennials” when social media is mentioned, all demographics are present in strong numbers on the most popular social platform, Facebook. With more than two billion users, this should be your primary social tool to engage customers using your page. What’s the secret to maximizing Facebook? Post more video (uploaded as posts and Facebook Live), be sure to #hashtag relevant keywords and Facebook-tag the people and places you mention within the post descriptions.
Next social to consider? Prioritize Instagram to engage older Millennials; Pinterest to connect with brides and young men; and LinkedIn to help build event business. Snapchat gets lots of buzz but consider its primarily younger Millennial users. These are individuals who are just out of school or entering the job market. You need to ask, “how much money do they have to spend?” Say no to Snapchat…for now.
THE POTENTIAL OF VIDEO
Why are we pushing video? It’s a must, since it garners 1,200 percent (yes, that’s right) more engagement – Likes and shares – than text and photo posts combined! Get started by creating a YouTube channel. Next, use your smartphone to capture video of shop activity and at events. Confirm you have good lighting and audio and keep these videos short and sweet. Think 30 seconds to a minute. Introduce yourself, talk about varieties used in arrangements, colors, mention venues and share design, decor trends – be the floral expert! Upload all videos to YouTube and start creating video posts on both Facebook and Instagram.
Once you’ve mastered capturing video and regularly post videos to social, consider doing a Facebook Live video stream. Live is scary but very authentic and resonates with consumers. Contrary to best practice, think of a video that could last about 10 minutes. Provide a tour of your shop and cooler, share care and handling tips, or present customers a variety of arrangement specials. Once the Live broadcast is finished, post to your page.
RECATEGORIZE YOUR WEBSITE
The biggest surprise from the AFE study is the fact that young, mostly married and affluent males are the most dominant online consumers of flowers. And not just any flower, specifically red roses. How do you capture this very narrow, yet lucrative market? It’s all about search engine optimization (SEO). You are already aware your website is already categorized and have subpages for occasions such as “birthday” and “anniversary” which you can visit directly at flowers.com/birthday or flowers.com/anniversary.
You want to apply the same to “red roses.” Create a new category and subpage with the optimized URL flowers.com/red-roses. Recruit the help of your web publisher to change the <title> tag to be “Red Roses, perfect gift for wife or girlfriend | City, State | SameDay Delivery” then write a description intended for customer eyes for the <meta name=”description”>.
Here’s a sample: “Express love and romance with gorgeous red roses. Your wife, girlfriend or boyfriend will love our fresh flowers!”
Now that we’ve talked web, another potential accommodation you should consider is language translation on your website. We recommend you gauge cultural and/or ethnic shifts in your community and do your best to reach out using their native languages. The quickest way is installing Google’s translator widget which automatically prompts the user to translate your website to their language.
Go to translate.google.com/manager/website/, sign in to your Google account and click “Add to your website now.” Next, enter your website URL into the empty “Website URL” field and choose the original language of your website from the dropdown menu. We recommend getting assistance from your web developer to install the widget with the code of your website