Marketing via Facebook has been one of the most important nutrients in the soil of San Francisco-based startup Farmgirl Flowers’ growth, as the social network has driven 10 percent of all traffic to its website since 2011, and its Facebook campaigns have delivered a return on ad spend of 12 times, Founder Christina Stembel told the Facebook for Business page.
Stembel said Farmgirl Flowers limits itself to “a handful of distinct arrangements” from local growers, adding that the company also relies on Facebook to hire extra help for its busiest seasons: Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day.
She offered more details on how she uses the social network to Facebook for Business:
For us, brand awareness is huge. Flowers are often an impulse buy or a last-minute purchase, and we really want people to think about us when they’re going to place an order for flowers. Because a lot of our customers are on Facebook every day, it helps us reach them every day, so we can stay on their minds.
Like any other business, we ultimately want our marketing efforts to drive sales. Because we don’t have a storefront, we don’t get the foot traffic that a lot of florists get, so we have to use marketing channels that will bring people to our site. With Facebook, we spend about an hour a week managing our campaigns, and are able to drive 10 percent of our total traffic. To be able to drive such a significant portion of traffic with such little investment of time is huge for us.
And we also advertise to people a lot on mobile News Feed. We’ll run pictures of our daily arrangements or pictures of orders that have just shipped, and because people have their phones with them all of the time, our work can become a little part of their day. Because the content we share is really nice to look at, we think it’s OK to be more active with our ads. They’re adding a little bit of beauty to peoples’ lives.
We also use our page as a feedback channel with our customers. We run polls to see what people would prefer from us — for instance, we recently asked our customers whether they’d prefer vases that were made from recycled glass, or from glass made in America. The direct feedback is wonderful, because it can offer instant guidance for future decisions.
Custom audiences are great for us, especially because we advertise to a very local audience and focus a lot on holiday sales. For instance, we can run ads to people that bought flowers from us the previous Valentine’s Day, and it enables us to reach them without just being another spammy email in their inbox. Or we can create lookalike audiences to help us reach people who are similar to the folks that have already bought from us. It’s another way for us to spread the word about our flowers and our mission.
Readers: Has the success experienced by Farmgirl Flowers on Facebook inspired you to try anything different in your marketing campaigns?