In less than nine years, Lily Greenthumb’s in Charlotte, North Carolina, has grown from a tiny startup to one of the most sought after florists in the state, winning many high-profile jobs including the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the Charlotte Panthers’ VIP suite and numerous editorial spreads for bridal magazines.
Owner Karen Greenoe attributes a lot of her company’s success to social media, predominately Instagram. The photo-centric site provides her with design inspiration, keeps her abreast of trends, introduces her to prospective clients and gives her major name recognition.
Lily Greenthumb’s currently has 5,434 followers and consistently receives triple-digit likes on her posts. She’s achieved those metrics by constantly studying social media best practices and tweaking her strategy. “I’ve heard all types of advice, but the best I’ve found came out of a webinar hosted by The Knot,” she said.
Here, she shares her top tips:
- Follow “thought leaders” in the industry. These are the designers influencing the future of floral design and creating looks that consumers lust after. Wondering where to find them? Start by following AIFD (@aifd_official), The Chapel Designers (@chapeldesigners), Style Me Pretty (@stylemepretty), BRIDES magazine (@brides) and The Knot(@theknot). See which florists they feature and follow them too.
- Turn on notifications. “You want to be one of the first people to like and comment on wedding VIPs’ posts,” Greenoe said. Why? It ensures that your account handle shows up when people check out these posts. If, say, a newly engaged woman has started following all the bridal accounts and starts seeing your name at the bottom of every post, she’s likely to follow you in return, Greenoe explained.
- Write something specific. Short and sweet comments (“Nice!” or “Gorgeous!”) are fine here and there, but Greenoe finds adding a little detail (“Love the ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peony!” or “The texture in this bouquet is EVERYTHING!”) has a better impact, resulting in more follows, likes and comments for her business.
- Keep in touch. Greenoe refuses to let a comment on a Lily Greenthumb’s post go without a response. “It shows you care,” she said.
- Tag photographers. Sharing shots from your wedding portfolio? Always credit the photographer. “It’s right to recognize the artist,” Greenoe said. “As a bonus, it exposes you to their followers.”
- Post something at least once a day. “Timing doesn’t matter much in Instagram;s new algorithm,” Greenoe said. “But consistency does!
- Get personal. “It’s tempting to only post pictures of pretty flowers, but it’s good to throw in some personal photos too,” Greenoe said. “People love seeing the face behind the flowers — it humanizes the business.”