The Growers Exchange is a successful online store focused on providing top quality plants and garden related products of the widest variety. The business started out the “old fashioned way,” as a brick and mortar shop in Richmond, Virginia. To avoid raising prices due to competition from big box stores, The Growers Exchange decided to take its business online 5 years ago.
Since making the move to ecommerce, store owner Briscoe White watched social media grow in popularity and knew that one day it would become a highly valuable medium to showcase his business. And, though according to Caroline Upshaw, Marketing and Media Director at The Growers Exchange, “it took a while to get the hang of social media,” she feels like it’s really starting to pay off.
Caroline was kind enough to give us a breakdown of the social media platforms that The Growers Exchange uses to help boost their online business. Checkout Caroline’s thoughts below and learn how you can start leveraging social media to the fullest.
How has Facebook impacted your marketing efforts?
The Growers Exchange Facebook page remains one of our top referring sites. We’ve worked hard to keep an authentic, honest voice across all of our social media platforms, and each has been a success in its own unique way. With our Facebook page, we maintain a long term relationship with our customers and friends. It feels like a more meaningful exchange of information where we share recipes, tips on growing specific plants, links to our blog and various sales. Facebook is a highly accessible site used by a good chunk of our customer base and because it’s user friendly and integrated with our site, people are more familiar with it and interact with us regularly.
Facebook is not only a great way to gain feedback from customers, but also to identify customer issues quickly. We’re constantly improving our site and we appreciate our customers’ thoughts. After all, it wouldn’t be an exchange without them!
Describe your customer outreach efforts on Twitter.
Twitter remained a mystery to us for a long time, because we didn’t understand it. After a staff member downloaded it to her iPhone to learn the ropes, we started to rely heavily on it via @GrowHere. Twitter provides a great way to get sales or tips out to a large group of people.
We also started participating in weekly industry-related conversations, like #herbchat, which has given us a much larger presence on Twitter. It’s a great way to communicate with our customers in real-time, especially with our younger customer base.
How are you showcasing your business on Pinterest?
Pinterest has been the newest addition to our social media portfolio, and it’s proven to be a great way to share pictures, recipes, blog images and more. I think because people seem to have a shorter attention span these days, telling your story through pictures really appeals to the masses. Pinterest provides an easy way to find inspiration for projects that you’re working on (like gardens for example) and there’s even a way for businesses to post products for sale.
As with many projects, gardening involves a lot of planning. Pinterest is a terrific way to stay busy and plan your garden during the cold winter months, when the weather is too harsh to go out and get your hands dirty. By “pinning” pictures of plants you want to incorporate into your spring garden, you can be ready to break ground during the sunny season. It’s a wonderful way to organize your inspirations.
The only pitfall for us is that because it’s so new, the platform has yet to develop a way to measure metrics within the site. We rely on Google Analytics to monitor traffic and conversions for Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
What other social media platforms is The Growers Exchange using to increase web traffic?
Here’s a list of channels we’re using:
- Stumble Upon
- Briscoe’s Seeds For Thought Company Blog
- Dave’s Garden (industry forum)
- Growers TV on YouTube
The collaboration of these social media efforts help to give an Internet retailer like us, a closer connection to people. Our customers now feel like they know who we are outside of their transaction.
Thanks to Caroline for sharing these insights and best wishes to The Growers Exchange on continued social media success!
Happy selling (and tweeting)!
Lauren Hill, Social Media Associate, Volusion