Being a local online floral business comes with its many challenges and hardships. One of the most effective ways to minimize it is by engaging with your local community. Keep reading to know why and how.
Why is community engagement important?
There are a number of reasons as to why community engagements can make or break a local business. After all, it’s where your potential customers belong to. Building a connection with them will help establish trust on your business. You can be aware of their needs and requirements and provide better products and services for them.
How to increase florist community engagement?
1. Get to know the community
In order to engage with the community, you need to understand it thoroughly. And for doing that, you need to know about the people, their likes and dislikes, festivals and celebrations, spending potentials, floral preferences, and so on. Conducting online and offline surveys, attending local events, and personally becoming a part of the community will help you discover a great deal for your online floral business.
2. Start a blog
Now that you have enough information about the community, use that information well. Start a florist blog and create helpful posts to get your community interested. You can choose topics like flower related information, seasonal flowers, floral arrangements, and which ones are in trend, which flowers go well for which occasions, etc. People who are interested in flowers but have no knowledge about how to use them, how to decorate their homes, or how to make floral gifts will be benefitted from your blog. It will inspire them to make purchases more often. You can also post about new launches, product updates, and news related to your online floral business on your blog.
3. Post on social media regularly
When you want to benefit from community involvement to the fullest, maintaining a blog will not be enough. In order to maintain the quality of the blogs and keep your audience interested, posting more than 1-3 blogs a week is not recommended. However, engaging with the community is a daily process. So to fill the gap, use social media platforms like facebook, snapchat, and instagram. Daily updates in forms of reels, stories, and status updates will keep your community engaged as well as informed about the happenings around your flower business.
4. Engage in local floral events
Of course, in order to increase your involvement, you should extend the engagement beyond online and to the real world. Organizing local events as flower partners is a great way to increase involvement as well as increase your business. Weddings are a great opportunity because people tend to include lots of flowers in weddings, be it the décor, the bridal bouquet, or others. Bar Mitzvas, charity events, community events, even large-scale birthdays, anniversaries, or parties are great opportunities for you to cater flowers. Don’t forget to take good quality pictures and videos for your portfolio, website, or social media. Using these photos and videos for marketing will earn you some extra points within the community.
5. Offer sponsorships
Offering sponsorships to local sports teams, social workers, or volunteers is another fruitful way to engage with the community. You can sponsor your local basketball team and they will be happy to wear your logo on their jerseys. For social events, you can sponsor food, medicine, or any other expense and display your banners to spread awareness. You can also just donate flowers to such events and promote your business. So, sponsorships not only increase community engagements, but also work great as a marketing campaign.
6. Encourage user-generated content
Community engagement is a two-way process. It doesn’t bode well if you only speak and ask your community to listen. Instead, give them a scope to play the role of the speaker too. You can create a ‘community news’ portal on your website where your customers can add their reviews, ratings, or opinions through text, image, or video. Promote them vigorously and even incentivize their efforts through reward points. When local people see their neighbors, friends, or acquaintances praise your products and services, they too will feel intrigued to give your service a try. Provide a good customer service and don’t disappoint them.
7. Local employments
If you don’t already have a team of employees, you can choose them from the local community. This is a very useful way to engage with the community and get some real involvement from them. Even if you don’t need to hire all new employees at the moment, you can select part-time workers and interns from the community for your business.
8. Arrange fun workshops and events
Get your community excited by arranging some hands-on fun workshops for them. You can conduct workshops about how to create basic floral arrangements, how to plant seeds, how to cut and decorate flowers, how to preserve flowers, how to take proper care of cut flowers, and so on. For kids, you can also arrange for sit and draw competitions based on a floral theme. There are so many other fun ways to get both the adults and the children in your local area excited about flowers, plants, and related things. Even an environmental awareness workshop can turn to fun if you conduct it in an interactive way.
9. Start a loyalty program
Finally, offering something special or extra to your community members can be another awesome way to win the hearts of your community. Loyalty rewards work like a charm every time. Reward your local customers by offering some points to their credit every time they make a purchase. They can then use those points to get discounts or free products. Loyalty points help a great deal in retaining customers. It also helps in word of mouth marketing.