Florists Guide to Attracting Brides on Facebook
“Clicking With Brides on Facebook” was originally published in May/June issue of Canadian Florist Magazine
Clicking With Brides on Facebook
The generation that grew up on computers since childhood is tying the knot. Brides are online, and there’s no two ways about it. More than ever before, if your shop is not online, you’re missing out.There are currently 250 million people using Facebook, and 175 million of them log on to this social powerhouse every single day. The very personal nature of Facebook is perfect for businesses looking to attract brides with very little out-of-pocket investment. With a little time, creativity and persistence, you can attract a locally targeted and ceremoniously captive audience.
Why A Facebook business page?
If you already use Facebook personally, you might wonder what the advantage is to developing a “Page” for your business (formally known as a “Fan Page”) over a personal profile or a group. Facebook groups limit the amount of members you can obtain and you wouldn’t want your pictures from Cuba mixed in with your latest wedding portfolio would you?
Florists benefit much more from Facebook Pages for Businesses with its extensive features, a wide range of applications and professional branding capabilities.
Facebook makes it easy to set up your business Page – just log into your personal profile and click “Create a Page for My Business.” You can even create a Page if you don’t have a personal profile on Facebook and don’t want one. On the homepage, simply click “Create a Page for a celebrity, band or business.” A nice profile photo (your shop, logo, etc.) and a concise page name are important for longevity and good branding. Don’t forget to choose your custom address (URL); for example, facebook.com/yourflowershop, as it will make promoting your Page a whole lot easier.
Start adding content right away, such as photo albums by wedding or theme, relevant articles you find on the web and interesting facts about your latest weddings and events.
Interestingly, a survey conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies showed 60 per cent of people claim Facebook fandom increased the chance they would recommend a brand to a friend. This is music to the ears of the wedding industry.
Find your past and current brides on Facebook and “add as a friend.” with a little note reminding them who you are. You can then suggest they “like” your Page (using the “suggest to friends” feature). Because they already know you and your business, the chances of them clicking to “like” your page are high.
An important reason for adding brides as a friend first is so that you can reference them on your Page wall. Facebook has a feature that allows you to “tag” your friends in a wall post by simply typing @ before their name. This will add your Pages wall post to their own wall feed, which then puts you in the eyes of all their friends who then can “like” your Page too. You can also tag them in photos of their flower bouquets etc., though it would be wise to ask permission first.
You might also consider including your Facebook Page address on your business cards, your brochures, on your blog and webpage or even mentioning Facebook as a good place to see your portfolio during a consultation. They key is to establish your Page as a resource for ideas and inspiration.
Keep your page fun
Photos are a fantastic way to lure new members and keep your current members engaged with your services and products. Develop a system of photo albums that allows you to show off as many designs and styles as possible. When you think it’s appropriate, tag the designer and the bride in your photos. This will broaden the circulation of your content beyond just your Page.
Social media was given that name for a reason, so engage your members regularly. Ask and answer questions, post interesting articles and keep dialogue flowing on your Page wall. The more activity on your Page, the more outsiders will feel like they might miss out on something exclusive.
Be careful not to overdo it. Facebook Page members can be finicky, and if your Page posts interrupt their homepage feed too often, they can (and will) quickly “Unlike” your Page too. There is no magic number on Facebook, but even with just a few posts per week, you can gain a comfortable momentum that won’t take too much of your time or theirs.
Must-have Facebook business page applications:
FBML is essentially a blank canvas where you can add graphics and links using HTML. Create a custom landing page (via a tab) or an interactive box in the sidebar. Differentiate your Page from the rest – the possibilities are endless.
Contests and giveaways are a great way to engage people with your brand. The promotions app makes it easy to build and publish a contest on Facebook. Sign up for a free account with WildFire and pay a small fee for running promotions. Your promotions can be used and published on other social networks as well.
If you already run a blog for your shop, consider pulling in this content with the social RSS app. You can set it up to pull your latest posts to a dedicated tab, in a box in the sidebar or even as part of your wall feed (be careful not to over-do it here though).
What are the most popular wedding themes among your fans and their friends? The polls app can be a lot of fun and can keep things social. It’s easy to set up and is customizable as a tab or box. It can also appear as part of your main feed. You can invite friends to participate and they can be easily shared with others on Facebook.
Do you hold an open house for brides? What better way to promote it than with the ever-popular events app. Simply add a new event, a snappy photo, pertinent info and voila, instant attendee management via the most popular social media site.
For more information about these and other Facebook Applications visit Mashable.com and see the resources at www.facebook.com/FacebookPages