Want a super-fast way to stand out on social media? When you respond to customers’ comments — positive and negative — sign your name. Doing so humanizes your business, and lets customers know there’s a real person on the receiving end of rants, raves and questions, said Crystal Vilkaitis, the social media expert behind Crystal Media.
“This works extremely well for local, independent shops,” she added.
This was just one of many put-into-action-now tips Vilkaitis shared last weekend during “The Social Selling Mindest” at the Society of American Florists’ 1-Day Profit Blast in St. Louis, sponsored by Syndicate Sales. During the session, Vilkaitis, a regular columnist for Floral Management magazine, shared ideas on how to increase local exposure, foot traffic and sales via social media. Four additional tips from the session that you can put into practice now:
Ask Questions. Having a hard time getting customers to engage with your posts (like, share, comment)? You may be making too many statements. Ask questions and you naturally invite interaction. “So often brands post pictures of what to buy, instead of asking [customers] questions,” she said. “Go back to your social media over last several months and see how many times you ask questions.”
Embrace the Selfie. We know. You’re having a bad hair day. You HATE having your picture taken. You want to let the flowers shine. But on social media, people rule; it’s good practice to include photos of yourself, your employees and your customers (with their permission), in addition to all those gorgeous blooms. “Phots of people tend to perform better than any type of content,” Vilkaitis said.
Respond Quickly. Don’t let comments or direct messages linger. “More customers are turning to Facebook and private messaging,” she said. “If businesses don’t respond quickly, they move on.” Vilkaitis suggests having push notifications turned on so you can respond fast. “For Facebook, you can have an automatic message,” she added. Customers who message Stems Florist in St. Louis via Facebook, for instance, receive the following automated reply: “Thank you for sending us a message. We will reply as soon as possible. If you need instant information during normal working hours, please call [phone number].”
Get on Theme. Consistent themes (a particular promo every week, for instance) can help generate excitement and create positive patterns. “If we train the consumer to check out our page at certain times, they will,” Vilkaitis said. Looking for some theme ideas that go beyond #TBT (Throwback Thursday)? Check out a list of ideas, divided by day of the week. Read about one florist has been using a consistent theme on social media this summer to build B2B work.
Couldn’t make it to St. Louis? Don’t worry! Additional SAF 1-Day Profit Blasts will be held in Boston on Sept. 23, sponsored by Jacobson Floral Supply; and Louisville, Kentucky on Nov. 4, sponsored by Bill Doran Company. (Check out what the event “looks like” in our gallery of photos from St. Louis.) Want an even more immersive educational experience? Join SAF members from around the county for SAF Palm Beach, the association’s annual convention.