Many florists are familiar with Facebook, but Instagram can be a new challenge for those who aren’t up-to-date with the latest social media trends. Instagram is a visual way for people to express what they’re doing and share their lives with the people who are important to them, as well as a place to learn about what their friends are up to.
As a florist, you can use Instagram to share your shop, personality, and artistic creations with the people around you. This can help you build a connection with the community, display your beautiful floral arrangements, and show people you are a high-quality, professional shop that takes its image seriously. A beautiful Instagram feed can also help you attract clients: florists often tell us that brides they’ve booked discover them on Instagram.
Building an attractive Instagram feed is important and intimidating work, but don’t fret! Here are some tips you can follow to make sure your photos are showing your flower shop off to its best advantage.
1. Instagram values genuine posts.
Instagram is intended to be a natural, aesthetically pleasing display of photos that convey beauty and personality. As a florist, it’s important to operate with the mindset that your Instagram photos are a magazine or lookbook of your work, not an advertisement or a place to tout ongoing sales. Today’s consumers have become ad-blind and skip over anything that feels like an advertisement, so make sure you are genuine with your posts.
Photo Credit: Bruno Nascimento
This is especially important because of the way Instagram’s algorithm functions. Instagram does not show viewers every post from every account they follow. Instead, it selects photos for each viewer based on an algorithm that favors photos and accounts that are similar to those the viewer interacts with. Photos with more likes are shown to more people, and photos posted during peak posting times are shown to more people.
Therefore, if you blast your followers with sales-y photos they don’t want to interact with by liking or commenting, those photos won’t be served to anyone. You might also earn yourself some unfollows. Instead, convert your Instagram account into a Business Profile so your profile will contain website, call, and directions buttons, and focus on posting pictures that aren’t sales-oriented.
2. Build an Instagram Feed like a bouquet: A mix of complementary looks
Good Instagram pages (also known as feeds) have a variety of different photos that keep the viewer interested. This is important for two reasons; first, people who follow you don’t want to see minor remakes of the same photo over and over in their feeds. This is a great way to get unfollowed. Second, you want your page to look like a cohesive whole when people visit it because it conveys your professionalism and commitment to beautiful design aesthetic.
Feed: Forage & Fleur, @forageandfleur. Photo credit: Sarah Ingram, Taylor and Porter, Before Your Eyes Cinema
Imagine the composition of a bouquet. In your floral education and design experience, you’ve learned to use textures and geometric shapes that work together to create a beautiful, cohesive design. A beautiful bouquet needs a combination of mass, filler, and line flowers. Tube-shaped flowers like calla lilies pair well with circular flowers, including roses and ranunculus. Each bouquet requires a combination of all the elements to create visual interest and mutually display the features of each flower.
Similarly, your Instagram feed needs to contain a mix of photos that have the same overall theme and look but aren’t cookie-cutter. Your photos should focus on your design work and involve your flowers in some way, but they shouldn’t all be flat photos of customer orders against a white backdrop before delivery.
Here are some ideas:
- arrangements about to go out for delivery with a variety of backdrops
- timelapse videos of arrangements being created
- photos from weddings and other events
- a small posy of flowers in an interesting or unusual place
3. Go for simple, gently edited photos
Photo Credit: Anton Mislawsky
Try to capture a photo that has a clear, subject captured with a simple background. You don’t want to confuse the viewer’s eye by featuring a lot of texture in your floral design with a complicated background.
Most of your photo editing can be done in the Instagram app, but apps like Snapseed and VSCO will give you a little more control. Start by brightening the photo and turning down the warmth to give the photos a clean, white look. After that, you can boost the saturation and contrast just a little to make the colors pop. Finally, sharpen the photo to make sure everything looks crisp. Stay away from the filters if you can! For more photo editing tips, check out this fun blog by Craftsposure.
If you’re posting your own photos, make sure you’re capturing them in a well-lit area with a quality camera or smartphone. You can also assemble your own photo studio with minimal up-front investment to capture softly lit photos.
4. Ask for professional photos to show your wedding work
Many of the best photos we see on florist’s Instagram feeds are those captured by professional photographers at the venue. Ask your bride or the photographer for high-quality images that feature your design work, as well as the permission to post them. Most photographers will greatly appreciate the shout-out and will love it if you tag their Instagram handle in your caption to link back to them.
Photo by Jeremy Wong
5. Post between once a day and once a week
Don’t overwhelm your followers, but make sure you’re maintaining the connection and getting your photos out there.
Small business owners and social media managers alike are vulnerable to falling into the trap of “flooding” followers’ feeds with posts. This can annoy your viewers, who will react by decreasing their engagement with your posts or unfollowing you, which will bump you out of the algorithm discussed above. Instead, your week in posting should consist of the three most photogenic arrangements or other photos you captured that week. If you just designed for a wedding or event, choose the best two or three of those photos and skip other types of posts that week.
Instagram can be a challenging platform to master, even for those who are very familiar with social media or work with it for a living. The best way to learn is to start with basic tips and experiment with ideas, captions, and posting times. For more inspiration, take a look at these florists who are doing a great job with their Instagram feeds.