Savvy producers use social media to maximise profit
Farmer's Weekly|November 20, 2020
Social media offer small food and farm businesses a cheap and effective means of advertising. Yvonne Fontyn spoke to three e-commerce entrepreneurs about how they identify their target market, decide which platform to use for marketing, and go about advertising their goods and services online.
Yvonne Fontyn
The Instagram florist

Jina Rabinowitz of Johannesburg started her business earlier this year. “I was a nursery and playschool teacher for many years,” she says. “My middle daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the end of 2017, so while I loved teaching, I needed to find something that would give me more flexibility in my working hours. I wanted to do something of my own, and I’ve always adored flowers. I decided to do a floristry course.”

Rabinowitz completed a floristry course at the Dalton & Bloom Floral Academy in Randburg and launched her delivery-based floristry service, @27stems, soon thereafter.

“I called the business 27stems because 27 is my house number. It’s a happy home that l love very much, so 27 seemed like a lucky number. I decided to start small, taking orders in manageable quantities so I can deliver the best possible product. It’s just me for now. But I hope to employ an assistant and a driver in the future. I usually make all my deliveries myself in my car. When I have too many or the customers are far away, I use my faithful go-to courier, Mr 24 Deliveries. They offer a great same-day delivery service,” she says.

IDEAL FOR IMAGES OF FLOWER DISPLAYS

For marketing, she uses Instagram, which is particularly suited to visual displays.

“I photograph my work and upload it to my Instagram page, @27stems. This way, clients and potential clients can browse my past work. People often send me a screenshot asking for a particular arrangement. Clients can contact me via DM [direct message] on Instagram, WhatsApp or email, or phone to place orders.

“I chose to use Instagram because I found it the most user-friendly medium for my purposes. It also allows for advertising and promotions that I can customise to reach my clientele.

“I chose this kind of marketing because I think social media is probably the most effective way to advertise these days. It’s very cost-effective. People are never without their phones, and those who use social media tend to check it or scroll through it many times a day.”

She uses the hashtags #flowers, #florist and #flowersmakemehappy.

Business is picking up slowly. “My business is only a few months old. I work from home so I don’t have many expenses and I haven’t employed anyone else yet. Hopefully, I’ll see some profits in the near future,” says Rabinowitz.

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