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: 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…
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.
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!