With more than one billion users — many of them in the 18- to 34-year-old demographic — Instagram is a primo place to promote Mother’s Day if you can do so in a way that’s “real, interesting and current.” That’s advice from Jackie Levine, the manager at Central Square Florist in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a fourth-generation, millennial industry member, who recently shared tips on how to leverage the popular social media platform during a 30-minute WebBlast for the Society of American Florists.
“Instagram leans toward a much younger demographic than Facebook,” said Levine. “Its photo-centric style appeals to young people. Millennials are your target audience.”
Levine’s mantra for the site — be real, interesting and current — is a product of her time experimenting with posts, Stories and Highlights, and figuring out what works and what doesn’t on the platform. “It’s necessary to be these three things before you can sell on Instagram,” she said.
Her tips for florists who want to make better use of the site in advance of Mother’s Day include:
Show people. When you show your staff (and yourself!) interacting with flowers and each other “customers will feel more connection and want to buy from you,” said Levine, who frequently shares photos and videos of her family’s busy store to emphasis its local roots.
Go behind the scenes. Pulling back the curtain to show customers want happens in your design room and delivery or processing areas can build excitement among customers, said Levine, who recommends sharing photos and videos of new shipments arriving in store. (Don’t forget to include people opening the boxes and oohing and ahhing over the gorgeous blooms as they arrive.) “Customers will actually start to expect this and will start checking in [on your Instagram] to see if you are sharing new product,” Levine said.
Embrace Highlights. Because of their prominent placement on your Instagram page (just below your shop handle and contact information), Instagram Highlights are a perfect place to showcase holiday content. A little uncertain how to use Highlights? Don’t be intimidated, Levine said. “Think of Highlights as curated collections of your Stories,” she said. (Stories typically disappear after 24 hours but collecting them into a Highlight means they’ll reside on your page, nestled in that neat digital folder.) Levine suggests building a Mother’s Day 2019 Highlight folder that showcases tips on what to order and trends for the holiday. You can even offer “Instagram follower only” deals.
Get additional tips on Levine, including step-by-step instructions on how to create Highlights, advice on building a stronger following and much more. SAF members can access the free WebBlast at any time at safnow.org/events-education/webinars. While you’re there, you can also watch Parts I and II of SAF’s Mother’s Day Digital Strategies series, with tips on generating and managing online reviews and best practices in holiday SEO.
Mary Westbrook is the editor in chief of Floral Management.