Mornings with Maggie: Advertising on Social Media

We’re excited to spend some mornings in the weeks to come with Maggie Bailey of Bramble & Bee brainstorming about everything from flowers to design to social media. Our conversation began one afternoon at a pizza bar and continued on throughout the afternoon as we moved down the street to a coffee house. We never finished  the conversation, but had to eventually say goodbye. We’ve decided to include you, the BB readers, in the conversation as we pick up where we left off. Feel free to chime in, leave comments and ask questions about Maggie’s topic of the day.

Maggie Bailey | Bramble & Bee | Laura Morsman Photography

Maggie Bailey of Bramble & Bee | Image courtesy of Laura Morsman Photography

Maggie: I’m not going to lie, I have been adamantly against paying for advertising on social media. I am not the most tech savvy 20-something out there (though I keep my head above water most days!). I feel like I’ve just found my groove with Instagram, my Facebook does its own thing way over there, and I am still fighting the good fight against Snapchat. I’ve always assumed that the “promote your post” button in the corner was put there by money suckers just trying to lure me in. However, I’ve recently had an epiphany. As it turns out, advertising on social media may not be such a bad idea after all- here’s why:

The Algorithms! (I imagine that being said in a deep, villainous voice intended to make you a little nervous). We’ve all heard about them, especially as they relate to Facebook and Instagram, but here’s what is actually happening. Basically, these sites have built data sorting systems to try and help you stream line your feed by predicting what you’re most interested in seeing and what stories you’re most likely to interact with. As a person viewing a feed, it can be great, given the sheer number of people, businesses, videos, news stories, and countless other things that will fill your feeds in a day. But as a business owner volleying to get your post seen by others, it can present a challenge if you aren’t being considered in the data sorting process as someone that others might want to see. Organic growth on these platforms is (although not impossible) much more challenging than it once was!

So here we are, small (or maybe large) business owners, trying to create brand awareness and build our client bases while relying on a system that we have very little control over to make sure our posts show up in front of the right people. Thus, the advertising option. The details you can choose from when creating a target audience for your ads is insane. You can target people in certain locations, specific demographics, sort based on interests (I think my ideal client enjoys drinking coffee all day and binge watching Gilmore Girls…), as well as their behaviors (Are they house shopping? Do they use an Android phone?). Best of all, it works for pretty much any budget. You determine how much you want to spend on advertising and you get billed based on ‘cost per click’ which is generally between $0.20 and $0.30. Once you’ve hit your budget based on cost per click, you can renew or adjust your targeted parameters!

Tips for maximizing your advertising experience:

  • Choose to start on the social media platform that you are already most engaged with.
  • Have an end goal in mind (Do you want 2 inquiries? 50 people led to your website?)
  • Start small with your budget and adjust as necessary! Not hitting your end goals with your initial targeted audience? Tweak things and try again!
  • Speak to your IDEAL audience with what you choose to post! Don’t be general with this! We are inundated with pictures and ads all day long, so posting something general will get lost in the ocean of other general posts. Make sure yours speaks specifically about what you are trying to sell and who you are trying to sell to. Let me see if I can show you what I’m talking about…

Bramble & Bee | Kelli Durham Photography

Bramble & Bee | Kelli Durham Photography

The picture above is what we’d consider too general for our business. It’s a gorgeous photo and one of our most liked on Instagram so we know that our people respond positively to it, but it’s a white background, a slightly more muted bouquet in color and shape, and doesn’t give much insight into the girl holding the bouquet.

Bramble & Bee | Luke & Cat Photography

Bramble & Bee | Luke & Cat Photography

This  second picture is what we’d choose to advertise with because our dream bride is elegant, perhaps a little vintage, and a bit moodier with her color palate. The bouquet is spot on our favorite style (loose and undone with flowers going in whatever direction they want to!). If we could make this bouquet everyday, we would. Is it every bride’s cup of tea? Nope. But we’ve been intentional with our target audience already so we want this picture to narrow down the field even more!

Do I think advertising is crucial to your flower business? No, absolutely not. I think you can totally grow a clientele organically on social media (and in person! Forget our computers and phones all together!). Is it a viable option if you’re looking for a boost? All I’m saying is don’t knock it till you try it!

Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: No. 86

Question:

Wondering if you can share any tips on building a sturdy flower wall?

Answers:

Floresie | Anna Tereshina Photography

Floresie | Anna Tereshina Photography

I have never built a complete wall as this is not something people are much into in France, but I do massive arches just like the one in the picture above and I guess I would build a wall the same way. The arch structure is made out of 1 in. thick by 10 in. wide wood boards. I then literally wrap the boards in chicken wire and tie them with strong wood staples. Large metallic flat angle brackets hold everything together (yeah this is more carpenter work than florist work actually!). I then completely cover the wood by inserting foliage in the chicken wire (i usually do that with the board lying flat which is easier…) and then add flowers that are previously inserted in small phials filled with fresh water. (Images: Anna Tereshina)

Laetitia Mayor (Floresie)

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Since a flower wall in most part is wood frame or almost book shelf like construction with floral foam in it – it is terribly heavy, and often leaks all over the place.  Very difficult to move also.

My flower wall is very easy to install and the construction just requires using something that’s really easy to find.

Just go to a store fixture wholesaler and purchase Metal Grid Panels – they come in 2×8, or better 4×8 panels.  They stand up attached to Grid Legs, even on casters so they roll and lock.  Support with 1ft wide side panels.  Just wrap this structure with 4ft wide Chicken Wire on both side with 6-8″ spacing between the front and back layer.  Zip-tie the chicken wire to the grid panel.  Just simply cut flowers and push them through 2 layers of chicken wire – have someone water tube from the back side if needed.  In most cases (if the weather is not too warm), you can place the flowers without water-tubing, just mist heavy and cover with plastic until the event.  It should last for up to 8 hrs. without showing wear and tear – any delicate flowers like Hydrangeas (early crop), water tube them.

This is the lightest, easiest, easy to set up and knock down Flower Wall ever.  You can build each 4×8 Unit for around $250 or less.  I have even rented the units – built 12ft x 8ft wall which cost me less than $200 for the weekend.

Hitomo Gilliam (Design358)

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Holly Chapple Flowers | Abby Jiu Photography

Holly Heider Chapple Flowers | Abby Jiu Photography

Here’s a carnation escort table we built for a wedding. Hope this helps!

SUPPLIES:

2100 Carnations

12 – 1′ x 3′ Pieces of Styrofoam

2 – 3′ x 6′ x 1/4″ Plywood

10 – 3 1/2″ Screws with Fender Washers

Greening Pins

Heavy Duty Glue

Duct Tape

Glue Pan

Toothpicks

INSTRUCTIONS:

Glue 6 pieces of 1′ x 3′ Styrofoam to each of the 3′ x 6′ x 1/2″ pieces of plywood. Insert greening pins into Styrofoam joints for added stability.

Holly Chapple Flowers Flower Wall Instructions

You may want to wrap a few pieces of duct tape all the way around the board and Styrofoam for reinforcement. Cover each of the 2 Styrofoam covered boards with carnations. Cut the stem short, dip a toothpick into a glue pan and insert into the base of the carnation. Dip the other end of the toothpick into the glue pan and insert into Styrofoam in rows. Don’t forget to cover the sides of the Styrofoam that will show when viewing the wall from the side.

On this particular flower wall, the decor company installed an 8′ x 8′ plywood wall covered with faux boxwood around the outermost 2 feet. Once the carnations were in place, the 6′ x 6′ carnation wall was screwed into the 8′ x 8′ wall. To install, a few of the carnations were removed and  3 1/2″ screws with fender washers were inserted right through the Styrofoam and plywood into the 8′ x 8′ backboard. The carnations were then glued back into place to cover the screws.

Be sure to have a few extra carnations glued on toothpicks available for last minute touch ups. You may want to leave a box of extras with the planner. Spray the entire wall with Crown and Glory. This wall was installed one day prior to the event. Escort cards were affixed to the wall using corsage pins. During the reception dinner the wall was transformed into a photo booth backdrop.

Holly Chapple (Holly Heider Chapple Flowers)