On April 12, FTD hosted a free webinar for member florists titled “Growing Your Business on Instagram.” The webinar was led by Krista Neher, CEO of Boot Camp Digital, international speaker and author of several books, including the bestselling Social Media Field Guide and Visual Social Marketing for Dummies.
We’ve compiled some of the biggest take-aways from the webinar in this post, but if you’d like to view it in its entirety, you can do so on FTD University.
Instagram by the numbers
Instagram’s stats are staggering. Did you know that it’s the second-largest social network after Facebook (its owner)? Since the app was introduced in 2010, Instagram’s 500 million users have shared more than 30 billion photos. Yes, billion. On average, Instagram photos receive 2.5 billion likes per day.
According to Krista, almost a third of businesses targeting consumers use Instagram. Many businesses find that Instagram posts translate to traffic being driven to their websites.
That’s great, but what is Instagram?
In a nutshell, Instagram is a mobile app that allows you to tell a story visually. You can take, edit (using filters) and share photos and videos with your followers. In addition to sharing your own photos, you can also “follow” your friends to see what they’re sharing and “like” their photos.
A note about hashtags
Hashtags are ubiquitous on Instagram. They allow you to quickly search for images of a specific subject. Let’s say you post a picture of roses. You could tag your post “#roses.” Then, whenever another user searches for pictures of roses, your post would appear. In general, Krista said, no more than eight to 10 hashtags should be used per photo.
Hashtags are a great way to gain exposure to an audience beyond the people who already follow you. They’re also a good way to develop brand recognition. Try creating a simple, intuitive hashtag that represents your business and use it on all of your photographs. It doesn’t hurt to do a quick search of the hashtag first to make sure it isn’t already being widely used.
How does Instagram benefit florists?
Instagram provides unique opportunities for florists. Skeptical consumers who want to know exactly what will show up when they order bouquets from you will appreciate you sharing photos of actual orders, not overly produced stock photos. This helps build trust and create an authentic relationship with customers and prospects.
Krista recommended encouraging your customers to post photos of the flowers they purchase from you and tag you in them. Consider offering an incentive, such as including a card with your deliveries that says “Tag us on Instagram to be entered to win a free floral arrangement!”
The good news for time-crunched florists is that this doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Encourage your staff to keep cell phones handy and snap “Instagrammable” moments when they arise.
Instagram is also a great way for florists to network. For example, if you do a lot of event work, you could connect with event planners, cake decorators and other industry members.
Repurpose your content
If you’re thinking, Ugh, I barely have time to post on Facebook and now you want me to find time for Instagram, we have good news. Most of the content you share on Facebook can be repurposed for Instagram, and vice versa – as long as your pictures are interesting and engaging.
Krista offered the following tips to make sure your Instagram posts are creating an impact, not landing with a thud.
- Always use your business logo as your profile picture. This helps potential followers instantly recognize you.
- The name of the game is interesting photos. Don’t just post pictures of bouquets on a white backdrop.
- Don’t put watermarks through the middle of your photos. If you want to place a watermark on your images, make it small and put it in a corner.
- Post regularly. Strive for daily posts, or whenever you come across Instagram-worthy content.
- Tag people (as long as they’re okay with it). This helps grow your reach.
- Try posting at multiple times of the day to see when your audience is most responsive.
Oh, and don’t forget to follow FTD’s florist Instagram account at @MercuryNetwork. If you’re looking to flex your new Instagram skills and win an awesome prize in the process, be sure to enter our #MDaytheFTDWay Instagram contest! You’ll find all the details at www.FTDi.com/Instagram.
To view the full lineup of FTD webinars and register for future events, click here.3