Whether you hate it or love it, there's no denying that social media has changed the dynamic of the business-consumer relationship. And while Facebook is still the number one platform for users, Instagram has proven to be a top marketing tool. It's an incredibly influential platform and with 1 billion people actively using Instagram every month, it's no wonder it has become a key player in brand marketing across the globe.
Looking at these statistics and at successful Instagram accounts, it's easy to feel intimidated by it all. But that's no reason to ignore a chance at gaining new customers and expanding your floral brand! Follow these 8 tips to help ease your social media stress and become an Instagram master.
1. Create a business account
If you don't already have an Instagram account for your shop or studio, it's time to create one! Be sure you are creating a business account instead of a personal account so you can track your followers and post engagements more effectively. When setting up your account, include your website or business' Facebook page along with contact info. This information will show at the top of your page and make it easier for any new follower to find out more about your business.
2. Post meaningful content
We, as everyday consumers, are surrounded by sales gimmicks and ads. So when we scrolling through Instagram, being bombarded with ads is the last thing we want. Instagram was created to be a genuine social media platform, so aim to keep it that way with your posts. Think of it as a digital portfolio of your work. Grab users attention with images that are a good representation of your brand and aesthetically consistent.
3. Take quality photos
Image quality is a main ingredient in creating a successful Instagram account but a professional camera set-up is no longer needed to take stunning photos; your phone's camera is qualified to get the job done. When taking your photos, keep your subject in focus (no blurry images!) and crop out unappealing backgrounds such as messy studio floors and empty flower buckets.
If you're wanting more professional photos, work with photographers at the events you design for. Ask them for photos of your designs and if they'd mind you using them. Most are already photographing the flowers and will appreciate the shout-out when you share their work (remember to always tag them)!
4. Don't flood the feed
It's easy to think that the more you post, the more people will find your account and follow/engage with your posts. But that's not the case. Overwhelming your followers' feeds with excessive posting can cause them to un-follow you. It's best to choose 3 to 4 photos a week and post every other day. Check your follower activity to determine the best days and times to post.
5. Engage with other users
Engaging with your followers and peers will help other users notice your account. Follow your followers, mentors, and other floral professionals. Like and comment on what their sharing and send them direct messages when you admire their posts. Anytime you're posting a photo that was in-collaboration with other designers, photographers, event planners, etc, tag them! You can do so by using the tag option before posting or typing the '@' symbol followed by their user name in the caption box. This will help bring more traffic to your page and ultimately more followers and likes. Note: social media sites like Instagram and Twitter allow you to tag anyone. When using sites such as Facebook, it's best to only tag your friends and business accounts that you 'like' otherwise the person/business you are tagging will not be notified of the post.
6. Utilize hashtags (#)
Hashtags make content searchable. Adding varying hashtags (also known as the pound sign) to your posts allows anyone searching that tag to see your post and click on your account. You want to use relevant hashtags to your photos and not an overwhelming amount. Here are some floral specific hashtags that we like to use on our own Instagram account; #flowerstagram, #floraldesign, #petalsandprops, #florallove. Use anywhere from 4-11 relevant words or phrases to help increase user engagement.
7. Mix with Facebook
Facebook and Instagram work hand-in-hand (Facebook actually owns Instagram!) Linking your business Facebook page to Instagram is a great way to reach a wider audience. When the two are linked, anything you post on Instagram will automatically upload to your Facebook page. Using the two platforms together will boost visibility and help promote your Instagram on another social site.
8. Tell stories
Take advantage of all that Instagram has to offer, including the story feature! Instagram stories is an excellent marketing tool that allows users to post more freely and informally since they only stay active for 24 hours. Stories encourage your followers to check out what you're posting and help create a personal connection. Here is a great opportunity to post behind-the-scene shots, ask your followers questions with the poll feature, and promote any sales/seasonal opportunities your shop is offering.
Now that you have these basic tips, start experimenting with your content. Notice what your followers are best engaging with and keep a consistent aesthetic. You'll be an Instagram pro in no time!
Connect with us on our Instagram page!
Posted by Kayla Neary
Kayla Neary is the Marketing Coordinator for Kennicott Brothers. She holds a Bachelors degree in Communications from The University of Alabama and has previous experience as a retail florist.Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Google+