Social Marketing

There’s a new social player in town, and it’s taking the country by storm. It’s called Pinterest and if you haven’t heard of it, you won’t be in the dark for long.

Pinterest is an online pin board, a place for viewing photos. The majority of the viewers are women, who categorize, bookmark, store and share pictures of clothes they are wearing, food they are eating (recipes), jewelry and flowers that they are inspired to have. Users have pin boards (subject boards) to help them prep for weddings, decorate their homes, plans for ideas on spring gardens and landscapes.

On wedding boards, pictures of arrangements, colors, favorite flowers and new introductions of flowers that may have never been seen before are viewed. You can click the Like, Repin, or Comment tabs on pictures. The Like tab is clicked to like a picture. The Repin takes that pictures and puts it on one of your boards. The Comment tab lets you make a comment on that particular photo.

So what is the advantage of being on this site? You are able to show photos of your flowers: the way you grow them; the sizes, different colors and varieties you produce; and textures of what we (growers) love to do. Think about it: post a picture of a bed filled with a bright assortment of zinnias or a bed of ‘Pro-Cut’ sunflower—what a visual impact that would be to prospective brides! A future bride sees your pictures and BAM! She wants that combo for her summer wedding. So whether the bride is down the street and never knew you grow cut flowers, or she’s across the state, she can now find you, the grower of these lovely flowers. As a bonus, each photo you post has your web address on it.

Some numbers: in early February, comScore reported that Pinterest had hit 11.7 million unique monthly visitors in the United States alone. That is less than three years after its initial launch (March 2010). Considering that number of consumers, flower growers need to jump on board with Pinterest. Pinterest is driving people to our web sites and blogs. We are in a green industry that is highly visual and Pinterest is a visual medium. A great combo!

With Pinterest, as growers with e-commerce on our web sites the viewers are driven back to us to find out more about our farms, and the flowers we have to offer them. With just being on Pinterest a short time we have already had contacts on our products. So I feel that Pinterest has helped get the I.W. message out.

These are just some of my thoughts on Pinterest. Some growers may not have an interest in “pinning”, but at least look into Pinterest and decide if it is for you.

To move my information to my markets and the greater world, I also use Facebook,  Twitter, and blog and web sites. In the future I may consider videos of my farm and its flowers.

I started with Facebook a few years back with a personal profile page. A co-worker said I should post some pictures of my flowers, so I posted a few. Looking into this site further I saw that I could make a business page. I started an Illinois Willows business page. Basically, the I.W. page is a running story of what we are doing at Illinois Willows. As of March 1st we have more than 500 people following us. They are floral friends, designers, educators, customers, other growers, industry associates, and the international floral community.

We have recently redesigned our web site. When you pin (photos) on Pinterest your tag is there for them to click back to your web site.
In late February I started a blog: mrwillows-willowsontheprairie.blogspot.com, thus getting my feet wet in another area. Other ASCFG members have been blogging for a number of years and it is always a pleasure reading and learning about their farms.

Happy growing and marketing, ‘til next time !

Kent Miles

Illinois Willows

Kent Miles Illinois Willows Contact at [email protected]m