The Proven Winners Social Media Strategy

Reader Reaction: National Promotion Must Attract New Customers

GG: Who manages social media for Proven Winners and what kind of time commitment is given to it?

DE: I manage all Proven Winners social media outreach, including Facebook, Twitter, the Proven Winners Regional Blog and YouTube.

With regards to Twitter, both Stacey Hirvela from Proven Winners ColorChoice (Spring Meadow Nursery) and I share that responsibility to tweet during the entire day. Stacey also maintains the Proven Winners ColorChoice Facebook page, which currently has 20,817 fans to date.

The time commitment is maybe one hour at the most per day – in the morning I check and answer questions on Facebook and post for the day. Then, I’ll check back at noon and 5 p.m. to see if there are any new interactions.

On Twitter, Stacey tweets during the morning from 8 (a.m.) to noon and I pick up from there. By using a scheduler, like Hootsuite it can make posting a lot less time consuming.

GG: Which social media platforms have you found to be most effective? Why?

DE: Proven Winners feels that all platforms listed already are effective. That is the reason why we are participating in them.

However, the decision is different for each company. We have had substantial growth on both Facebook and Twitter over the past three years. On Facebook, we experienced a 254 percent increase from 2009 to 2010, and from 2010 to 2011 we had an 81 percent increase.

On Twitter, from 2009 to 2010 we had a follower increase 105 percent and from 2010 to 2011 had a 104 percent increase from the previous year. At this time, we have 32,092 fans on the Proven Winners Facebook and 3,434 followers on Twitter.

In December 2011, we started our regional blog where we are working with bloggers across the country to write for Proven Winners on a freelance basis. We have been extremely pleased with its performance in the past three months. By winter of 2012, we will be able to review all the numbers to see if we feel it is necessary to expand this project.

YouTube has become a force to reckon with and we are continually producing more and more video content for both trade and consumer channels.

Proven Winners feels it is important to have a strategic marketing plan to target multiple channels, including the trade and consumer – both in the experienced category but in the novice category as well. Social media gives consumers the possibility to reach out and get to know your company on a more personal level than traditional advertising did in the past.

GG: What is unique about Proven Winners’ social media strategy?

DE: I don’t feel there is really anything unique about our strategy as we are continually learning and look to other companies – both horticultural and non-horticultural – to inspire us with ideas. I believe the reason why our Facebook page has [such a large] fan count compared to other horticultural brands is because we update our page frequently and keep the customer engaged. We also have had tremendous success with using Facebook’s advertising option, which is available to all companies for a very low cost. Recently, I read that Calloways (Nursery) in Texas is having great success advertising their upcoming events on Facebook.

GG: Are there any emerging social media platforms you’re exploring?

DE: One of the next platforms we are reviewing is Pinterest, which is becoming extremely popular. We are researching how businesses are using this tool effectively.

Also, once businesses are able to create Google+ pages, we will be exploring that option. When Google+ was launched, they asked for businesses to wait to create their page. I imagine it will be similar to Facebook, where they do not want companies using profiles to promote their businesses. We didn’t want to start a Google+ page for Proven Winners until they were ready with that platform at the risk of building a fan base and having to start over again.

GG: We hear a lot about social media as a great marketing and promotional tool but little, if any, about social media’s payback. Has Proven Winners found ways to generate revenue through social media? Any metrics that can help convey any monetary success Proven Winners has had with social media?

DE: I have read many articles about social media and its return on investment (ROI). There are many industries struggling with calculating this. It is not just a challenge the horticulture industry is experiencing, but major companies like Coca-Cola, Ford, etc.

There is a video I showed at a recent presentation and it states that ROI on social media is “that you will be in business in the next five years”. There are many videos on YouTube that a business could watch talking about social media and ROI.

To me, I view social media like having a website – what is the ROI on your website? How do you measure that? Social media is the new website – you will need to be doing it so people know you are in business.

In the video, it also states “the question isn’t whether we do social media; it is how well we do it.” I believe to attract new business, we must be where our customers are. It is very hard to measure the relationships you are building with your customers through great customer service on these platforms.

Retailers are more able to see the ROI on social media because they could hold exclusive events or have exclusive coupons for platform users and can measure it by how many people showed up for an event or redeemed a coupon.

Leave a Reply

More From Marketing...
National Garden Bureau New Website

March 22, 2017

National Garden Bureau’s New Website Features Mobile-Friendly Design, Marketing Tools

The new site is designed to serve as a home base to drive traffic from NGB’s social media community to one central location.

Read More

March 7, 2017

Local Florists Celebrate Women’s Day and SAF Promotes Occasion With New Video

Florists across the U.S. are celebrating International Women's Day, March 8, and raising awareness for non-profit organizations. The Society of American Florists is raising its own awareness of what happens when women receive flowers with a new video for International Women's Day.

Read More
Savor New Website

February 16, 2017

Pleasant View Launches Updated Website for its Savor Edibles and Fragrants Brand

The site is designed to offer a friendly and informative vehicle that delivers product information in an easy-to-navigate format.

Read More
Latest Stories
National Garden Bureau New Website

March 22, 2017

National Garden Bureau’s New Website Features Mobile-Fr…

The new site is designed to serve as a home base to drive traffic from NGB’s social media community to one central location.

Read More

March 7, 2017

Local Florists Celebrate Women’s Day and SAF Prom…

Florists across the U.S. are celebrating International Women's Day, March 8, and raising awareness for non-profit organizations. The Society of American Florists is raising its own awareness of what happens when women receive flowers with a new video for International Women's Day.

Read More
Savor New Website

February 16, 2017

Pleasant View Launches Updated Website for its Savor Ed…

The site is designed to offer a friendly and informative vehicle that delivers product information in an easy-to-navigate format.

Read More

January 24, 2017

Beekenkamp Plants B.V. to Take Over Marketing Sunny Ost…

Beekenkamp Plants B.V. will take over Sunny Holland B.V.'s marketing activities as of July 1, 2017, and begin offering Sunny Osteospermum to the supply chain.

Read More
gg-january-2017-cover-arizonaeast-feature

January 5, 2017

Why ArizonaEast Is Expanding Its Succulent Production T…

In Greenhouse Grower's January cover story, learn how Brian and Joe Vitale of ArizonaEast saw a chance to expand and diversify their New Jersey-based succulent operation, and why they jumped at the opportunity.

Read More
dummen-orange

October 18, 2016

Dümmen Orange Buys Rose Breeder, Participates In Petal …

Dümmen Orange will be hitting the streets of Columbus, OH, this week, handing out some of its favorite flowers as part of the Petal it Forward program in partnership with the Society of American Florists.

Read More
media-day-at-altman-plants

October 17, 2016

Altman Plants Hosts Media Day To Highlight Its Water Sa…

This month, Altman celebrated more than 100 million gallons of water saved since its water recycling program began operation.

Read More
OSU ATI Greenhouse

September 21, 2016

Your Support Is Essential For Current And Future Studen…

September is back to school time, and that means renewed opportunity to support the young people who are electing to pursue careers in horticulture. I continue to hear from growers of all sizes, from all over the country, that there just are not enough qualified graduates of two- or four-year horticulture programs. We also need to be active in promoting careers in horticulture to those who are not aware of the opportunities available. There have been some great success stories in this area recently. At University of Florida (UF) last fall, Anna Ball and Dr. Marvin Miller of Ball Horticultural Co. joined UF’s Dr. David Clark in an introductory environmental horticulture couse that’s open to any major. After the class, the line of students waiting to talk with Ball, Miller, and Clark was out the door. It is so important, Ball says, for each of us, individually and collectively to […]

Read More
Dual Income No Kids (DINK) Young Couple

September 16, 2016

What You Need To Know About DINKs

DINKs (Dual Income, No Kids) are quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing demographics that marketers are targeting.

Read More
Cavicchio Greenhouses

September 6, 2016

Cavicchio Greenhouses Wins Inaugural Sustainability Awa…

The Sudbury, MA, growing operation sustains more than 250 acres of annuals, perennials, and nursery stock, with a number of practices to mitigate its impact on the environment.

Read More
Laura Drotleff

August 10, 2016

Customers Need Hand-Holding And TLC [Opinion]

If we want customers to use our plants, we need to provide basic information about the plants we produce.

Read More
Luxflora Flower Run

July 20, 2016

First-Ever Flower Run Was A Big Success, Luxflora Says

Kicking off Cultivate’16 on Sunday, July 10, Luxflora’s first annual 5K saw nearly 150 participants racing through the picturesque Scioto Audubon Park in Columbus under clear blue skies and perfect conditions. It was a great way to start the week, participants said. Congratulations to the winners of the first-ever Flower Run: First Place: Jacob Griffith Gardner Second Place: Mike Goyette Third Place: Jack Ford The top three winners — and all of the Flower Run participants — were showered with flower petals when they crossed the finish line, making for a colorful and fragrant finish to an invigorating experience. “Personally, I would consider it a grand success,” says Luxflora President Rebecca Lusk. “The overall mood was fantastic, from start to finish. There were many high fives and group hugs, numerous duo phone selfies and postings to social media, while participants enjoyed their bananas and bottled water donated by Experience Columbus. Most […]

Read More
PrairieSplendor_CompactRose Syngenta Flowers March 2016

May 16, 2016

New “Generations Of Flowers” Study Tracks How And Why C…

The Society of American Florists and the American Floral Endowment have released an update and analysis of this study, which first began in 2009.

Read More
Webinar Photo from Flickr

May 7, 2016

How You Can Connect With A Broader Audience Through Web…

Webinars are time-saving and effective marketing tools that can extend your reach to a greater audience.

Read More

April 27, 2016

Use Your Data To Make Smarter Marketing Decisions

Learn which marketing metrics are important to your business, measure successes, and learn where changes are needed.

Read More

April 26, 2016

“Bee-Friendly” Labels Matter To Plant Consumers, Accord…

Research at Michigan State University shows ornamental plant buyers understand and respond to bee-friendly production practices.

Read More
Krause Berry Farms Farm To Table Dinner

April 20, 2016

What The Floriculture Industry Can Learn From Farm Mark…

Although we have a lot in common with the produce industry, there is much we can learn from one another.

Read More
Costa Farms Container Ideas E-Book

April 12, 2016

Costa Farms Targets Consumers With New Container Garden…

The electronic book offers tips on container selection, design, and plant care for millennials looking to grow in small spaces.

Read More