According to surveys, the average person spends approximately 2 hours and 33 mins on social media per day. With 230 million active users on social media, it's not even a question if it's worth our time to invest in these platforms but absolute proof that we must!
The bare minimum requirements for being active on social media include posting pictures and actively engaging with followers. Effectively using these platforms to advertise our products and services requires much more effort. Launching creative ad campaigns, producing funny videos, and running contests are all huge investments in time and resources, which means you need a plan and a strategy.
Effective Campaign Planning
Native plants appeal to many different types of people that share a common goal. They desire a connection with nature. They decide how to do that through their eco purchases, sustainable actions, and improvements to their personal environments. We can effectively reach this audience in creative ways with some planning and objective-setting.
When choosing to use social media for advertising, it's important to define the purpose for each post.
1. Define the Goal. What are you trying to achieve?
- Increase followers through shares, comments, and likes
- Brand awareness—in other words, remaining top of mind
- Conversion in newsletter sign-ups and sales of advertised products
- Seeking solutions to a common problem
- Looking for new products they'll love
- Supporting a cause or social movement they are passionate about
- Learn how they are interacting with the same demographic
- What posts are they creating that are getting attention?
- How are they converting "likes" into sales?
- Set down real numbers: 100 new followers, 20 new sign-ups, etc.
- Choose how you plan to engage; is it a video, a contest, a funny meme?
- Create a post and measure results
There is so much more involved in our advertising efforts using social media platforms than using traditional print campaigns. However, with all the data available to directly target our ideal consumer, it's undeniably a better investment—even if it requires a little more of our time.
Choosing an Idea for a Campaign
Once the goal is defined, the next hurdle is to come up with a clever idea. Here are three creative ways to promote native plants on social media.
Instagram and Facebook stories are quick and easy to do. Just log in and start recording. Try getting a video of a truck arriving with your latest native plant shipment. Timelapse the opening of a bloom, or a buzzing bee gathering pollen. Found a nest in a native tree? Attach a GoPro camera to a branch and broadcast it live. Videos like these connect with your audience and increase your brand awareness.
Get creative here. Ask people to post a picture of a native plant they recently put in their yard or have a bee photo contest. Challenge your followers to show "How Do You 'Eco' in Your Backyard?" for a chance to win a native plant. These contest ideas engage your audience to get involved and increase your reach.
3. Solve a Common Problem
Address a current concern that may be common for this time of year. This gives you a chance to sell your products and solve problems at the same time. Take it one step further and have an expert staff member ready to interact in real-time to questions posted on the given topic.
Perhaps it's about pruning Elderflowers, and the many uses its edible flowers and berries have. People love to talk about their personal experiences, and the ongoing chatter in the feed inspires others to contribute as well. This type of post may be useful in converting genuine interest into sales.
Use social media as a way of connecting with your consumers on a more personal level. Understand that customers who would most likely purchase native plants are also interested in things that affect their environments and well-being. Appeal to these things, get creative, and watch your campaigns succeed!