Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating the start of 2018 on Sunday evening and a restful day yesterday. I thought I’d begin the year with an article, which I wrote recently for the new monthly Florist Business magazine about the florist’s favourite social media platform, Instagram.
Launched in 2010, Instagram has rapidly become the florist’s social media platform of choice. Perfect for attracting your ideal customer, this easy-to-use app gives you the ability to share beautiful images and captivating videos of your flower journey. And it also provides you with endless floral inspiration from around the globe.
So what exactly is it about Instagram that makes it so popular with florists? Well, there are many reasons and here a just a few…
Instagram is one of the ‘visual’ social media platforms. It’s an ideal place for you to showcase your floristry style. Many florists describe the grid as their on-line gallery or portfolio. And some even refer to it as their digital shop window. More often than not, your Instagram feed will feature the most recent examples of your work, before they hit your website – so, it’s always bang up-to-date.
Many florists steer potential clients to the app as a first port-of-call. Within seconds, people can get a feel of your signature style – whether that’s rustic, dark florals like Swallows and Damsons ; exquisite, intricate designs like Zita Elze or offbeat, naturalistic arrangements like Grace & Thorn.
Whilst stunning images and a cohesive look are important on your grid, it’s Instagram Stories where you can really show ‘behind the scenes’ and inject a bit of personality. It’s the perfect place to show the more informal side of your comings and goings – whether that’s early morning visits to the flower market, conditioning scenes in your studio or setting up wedding flowers at a venue.
On your grid, in Instagram Stories and as Instagram Live, videos are an amazing way of giving your followers an insight into your floristry business. And McQueens is a shining example of how to use the moving image to enthrall your audience. They regularly post short videos on their grid and in Stories. They even have a video series called ‘Flowery Stories’, which they not only feature on Instagram, but also post on their popular YouTube channel.
Oregon based florist Katie Davis from Ponderosa & Thyme is such a pro when it comes to Instagram Live. And you’ll regularly find her there creating stunning bouquets. It’s a great way for followers to get to know you personally as you talk to the camera, as well as see you create arrangements in your unique floristry style.
The popularity of video content is expected to continue to rise in 2018. Therefore, if you aren’t already using Instagram Stories, get on them now! If you’re not quite ready to put yourself in front of the camera yet though, at least let your followers hear you speak behind the camera. It’s amazing how just hearing someone’s voice can help you connect with them more.
A huge incentive for using Instagram is to help you grow your floristry business. And this free marketing tool really comes into its own if you’re a florist without a physical presence. There’s been a marked increase in the number of florists either working from a studio or home. And with this easy-to-use and intuitive app, you can promote your business online and attract new clients.
Be brave and put yourself in the spotlight. People buy from people. People like to buy from people they know, like and trust. They want to see the face behind the business. And one way of building a stronger connection with your audience is to share images and videos of yourself. Join in my new hashtag #inthefloralspotlight and be in with a chance of being featured on @inthefloralspotlight.
Florists also use Instagram to network with complementary business like wedding planners, cake designers, photographers and dress designers. It’s a lovely way to keep in touch and be at the forefront of their mind, for that moment when a bride-to-be is looking for a florist.
This visual treat of an app is such an amazing way of seeing what florists are creating not only on home soil, but all around the world. It’s a place to go to be inspired by others – florists, artists, stylists, photographers, interior designers, etc. Discover new trends, see what’s flavour of the month flower and foliage wise and immerse yourself in all the stunning creativity. Check out my Instagram account, @underthefloralspell, for lots of beautiful floral inspiration.
Working solo, it’s lovely to feel part of a wider community not only connecting with customers, but also the friendly, supportive floristry community on Instagram. It’s a wonderful place to meet and interact with like-minded people, from florists and flower growers to flower wholesalers and flower markets.
THREE FLORISTS SHARE WHAT THEY LOVE ABOUT INSTAGRAM
Hannah Agnes Antmann | Saint Floral
“I love that I can use Instagram as a platform for self-expression, with and beyond flowers. There is always a meaning, emotion or mood behind what we post. We are the hands and minds behind these images. And whether it’s a piece of work we’re really proud of, or a moment in nature we want to share, we can. And it’s worthy of the share, for they keep our stories unique and our viewers curious to see more.”
Fiona Perry | Fiona Perry Flowers
“I love Instagram and in particular, Instagram Stories. I feel that they’re your chance to add a bit of your personality and a story. I love that aspect of the app. You can be you on Instagram Stories, more so than I feel on your grid. The photos and videos last a very short time. You can put the images in colour or black and white. It gives you total freedom, which I feel the Instagram feed doesn’t always necessarily allow you. And that’s why I embrace this other side of Instagram whole-heartedly.”
Ruth Davis | All For Love
“Instagram is one of the most enjoyable aspects of running my business. It’s a bit of a treat, a switch off from realities. I love sharing an insight into our day ‘behind the scenes’ in Instagram Stories, including the less glamorous side, like washing dirty vases at 3am in the morning! But on my grid, I’ve made a strategic decision to only post high quality images by investing in professional photography. We’re in a visual industry and beautiful images are key.
I’m launching a new ‘Instagram for Florists’ online course this year. If you’d like to be one of the first to know when it’s launched, simply sign up to my mailing list. And in the meantime, if you’re UK based and don’t already receive Florist Business magazine and would like to subscribe, simply click here.
P.S. You’ll find me on Instagram as @flowerona!