We learn, engage, and shop through our phones and other mobile devices more than ever. This consumer trend crosses all retail industries. And social media platforms have become our primary information outlets. According to Statista, there are currently more than 2.7 billion active users on Facebook. YouTube isn’t far behind at 2.3 billion.
As a business owner, you likely recognize the advantages of promoting your company through social media. As these platforms evolve, go beyond simply sharing basic information such as store hours, and use the new business tools to engage with customers and help grow your business. Let’s cover some of these new features here.
Facebook’s dynamic ads feature targeted products based on the companies the shopper engages with.
For your business, dynamic ads can take that information and match your products with consumer interests. Instead of linking to your entire product inventory, these ads automatically show specific products to customers who’ve expressed interest on your website, in your app, or elsewhere online.
To take advantage of this tool, upload your product catalog to Facebook and set up your campaign. This tool pulls your data for the length of time you want—finding the right people for each product and using up-to-date pricing and availability. You can track how your ads are performing, including what products are getting the most clicks and through which medium.
Dynamic ads provide a personal experience for your customers. They can also remind shoppers of items they’ve viewed but haven’t bought yet.
You need to install your choice of specific Facebook tools and create a business manager account to create these ads.
You can also send sponsored messages via the Facebook Messenger tool. This is an effective way to reach customers who haven’t visited your shop or online store in a while. This tool is ideal for targeted promotional efforts, perfect for when you conduct sales or holiday promotions.
While you can use Twitter to truncate the same messages you post on Facebook, there’s another way to use Twitter to entice more immediate action—Twitter Fleets.
Twitter Fleets are messages that disappear after 24 hours. This makes it an ideal tool to highlight short-term promotions, show off new products, and share special announcements. You can post text, photos, and videos.
To share a tweet as a Fleet, tap the share icon at the bottom of the tweet and then tap the option to Share in a Fleet.
Fleets appear at the top of your followers’ timelines, making your messages easily visible each time they visit Twitter. As the author, you can see who views your Fleets—including accounts with protected tweets—by clicking into their Fleets and tapping on the “Seen by” text at the bottom.
Your employees can be some of your best advocates and key drivers in increasing brand awareness.
LinkedIn offers a My Company function that allows employees an exclusive space to share company posts, engage with one another, and celebrate milestones.
According to LinkedIn, employees are 14 times more likely to share their organization’s LinkedIn page content than non-employees and 60 percent more likely to engage with posts from coworkers. This increased engagement can not only help you with sales, it can also help you recruit new employees.
LinkedIn is also a great platform for you and your executive team to engage socially. Through blogs and videos, you can share industry trends, events, and insights, and eventually become a thought leader in your field.
As anyone who’s been down the YouTube rabbit hole can attest, this platform is filled with information, instruction, and entertainment. You can use YouTube for all the same reasons for your business, too.
YouTube is ideal for sharing how-to tutorials and product reviews. Want to demonstrate how to make the perfect flower arrangement? Make a video. Want to showcase the latest tool in your store? Serve it up on video.
YouTube recently rolled out new features that allow you to:
Earlier this year, YouTube began testing a new feature that allows viewers to purchase featured products directly from the platform. According to Gadgets 360, viewers will be able to see a list of featured products in the video by clicking on the shopping bag icon. The link will take them to the product page for more information, additional videos, and purchase options. Keep an eye on this development, as it could be a great tool to help you increase sales.
Instagram is perfect for photos and short videos. Sounds ideal for our industry, right? Think about the glamour shots you could post showing floral arrangements or rows of blooming flowers in your greenhouse.
According to Instagram, 90 percent of account users follow a business, and two-thirds of business profile visits are from users who don’t follow that company yet.
Like the other platforms, Instagram has special features for business accounts, including:
While you might think TikTok is just a platform to show off your dance moves, it can also be a strategic video marketing tool.
According to a 2020 article by Forbes, consumers watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week, a 52 percent increase since 2018. TikTok has become a major social media outlet for videos, as viewers enjoy the 60-second clips.
One great way to build a following on TikTok is by creating a hashtag challenge. This is a quickly accomplished challenge that includes organic or sponsored content. You provide a specific hashtag related to the challenge (e.g., #horticulture) for easier search visibility, ensuring all the related videos appear together. Another option is to join a hashtag challenge that already exists, and which could resonate with your business and audience.
Choose a niche topic for your TikTok videos that differentiates you from your competitors. If you record your videos using the TikTok app, you only have 60 seconds to make an impression. Be creative in your messaging and have fun.
Using social media is a great way to engage current and potential customers creatively. You don’t have to use all of these social media platforms to help promote your business. Use the outlets you’re comfortable with and take advantage of the tools available to you.
As you continue establishing your online presence, you also open yourself up to additional risks from cyber criminals. Follow these tips to help combat cyberattacks.
Computers and other technology can help your horticultural business. But when that tech gets old or outdated, what do you do with it? We recommend you reduce, reuse, and recycle.
If taking further advantage of social media is on your to-do list, update your company vision and follow these tips to refresh your business plan.