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...
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 Consumers Are Buying Flowers And Plants

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
Latest Stories
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
Tropical Fruit Tree Selection (Hopkins Tropical Fruit Nursery)

April 7, 2016

University Of Florida Research Shows Consumers Value Lo…

Compared to conventional plants, consumers reported a higher purchasing likelihood for certified organic or organically produced fruit plants.

Read More
Random Acts Of Flowers

March 31, 2016

The Floriculture Industry Needs A Unified Message To Pr…

Seeing the sneak preview of the new varieties that will be presented at California Spring Trials (CAST) spurs a visceral reaction in me. I’m giddy and excited about these gorgeous plants, having taken in some of their beauty and excellent performance already at Costa Farms’ Season Premier. I’m excited to travel to Spring Trials and that spring is coming, and I’m ready to dig in and get gardening. I’m guessing many of you feel the same way. And it’s likely that consumers do, too. Nearly a year ago, upon returning from California Spring Trials, I lamented the absence of ideas translated from CAST to retail. The beautiful displays, the breathtaking combinations, the clever marketing — somehow, all of that effort and enthusiasm focused on business-to-business promotion is not being funneled effectively to the consumer. As an industry, we are not good at working together to market our products in a clear, […]

Read More
Sakata Seed America President David Armstrong

March 30, 2016

Sakata Signs Agreement With Indonesian Government To Co…

This week, Sakata Seed Corp. announced internationally that it has signed an agreement with the Republic of Indonesia to cooperate in the further development and production of its line of SunPatiens interspecific hybrid impatiens, based on the principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Under an agreement based on the CBD, Sakata Seed has worked with the Indonesian government since the early 2000s to identify the origin of the native germplasm collected in Indonesia to develop SunPatiens, and the two parties have agreed on how the indigenous genetic resources will be used for the further development of SunPatiens. There are currently only a few cases in the world of such an agreement, based on the CBD in the category of horticultural plants, made between a resource-rich country and a commercial seed company. Greenhouse Grower contacted Sakata Seed CEO David Armstrong to provide context about this agreement, what it means […]

Read More
NGI-SunPatiens-Compact-Hot-Coral-Sakata

March 23, 2016

P. Allen Smith Says SunPatiens Are Hero Plants For Cons…

Plants that ensure consumer success with disease resistance bred into their genetics, and ease of use in a variety of conditions, are heroes for gardeners, especially beginners, and they should be celebrated and supported to promote gardening success and interest. These are the messages the award-winning designer, gardening, and lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith wants the horticulture industry to know, with the recent announcement of his expanded partnership with Sakata Seed. In an exclusive interview with Greenhouse Grower, P. Allen Smith describes his expanded partnership with Sakata Seed to promote SunPatiens and why the now 10-year-old series helps both novice and expert gardeners to be successful. Smith also collaborates with Sakata to promote the HomeGrown Collection of vegetables. SunPatiens Set Consumers Up For Success, Smith Says As a plantsman first, Smith has extensively trialed SunPatiens in his gardens at Moss Mountain Farm in Little Rock, AR, and says he is […]

Read More
Suzanne McKee

March 18, 2016

4 Pitfalls To Avoid With Responsive Web Design

When implementing responsive design on your website, sidestep these common problems with some advance planning.

Read More
1 800 Flowers Instagram Women's Day

March 15, 2016

Society Of American Florists Uses Social Media To Take …

SAF strategically promoted five key Facebook posts to expand its reach beyond its followers and prominently featured Women’s Day on its other consumer channels.

Read More
Mason Day Great Plant Debate Campaign For GrowIt!

March 3, 2016

GrowIt! App Founders Look To Make Waves At The Chicago …

Mason Day and Seth Reed will hold a “Great Plant Debate” at the event, while updating the GrowIt! app with information on every plant featured at the show.

Read More

February 26, 2016

How To Recruit Loyal Customers With Facebook

Facebook is a powerful engagement tool that when used effectively can help you attract and retain faithful customers.

Read More
Greenhouse Vegetable Marketing

February 18, 2016

9 Tips To Maximize Your Greenhouse Vegetable Market Pot…

Set yourself apart by sizing up your competition, evaluating your demographics, and putting customers first.

Read More
GrowIt! Logo

February 9, 2016

GrowIt! And MasterTag Partner To Enhance Plant Care Inf…

The partnership allows MasterTag to provide plant care instructions to the wide catalog of plants available on GrowIt!, which helps consumers find plants in their area.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]