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Founded in the 1980’s, 1-800-Flowers created a network of florists in the U.S. that allowed it to take orders over the phone and deliver throughout the country. Always an early adopter of new technology, the company became 1-800-Flowers.com with the rise of the Internet and is now primarily an e-commerce business. It has also expanded into the delivery of gift baskets including food and wine.
Facebook Executive Summary
facebook.com/1800flowers Objective: Use Facebook’s tools to successfully drive engagement and help 1-800-Flowers stay top of mind for Valentine’s Day Solution: Run a Facebook Ads campaign with a Facebook Credits promotion and augment it with Sponsored Stories Key Lessons: • Using Facebook holistically can help drive powerful business results • Being able to get the most out of Facebook takes inter-departmental cooperation • Sponsored Stories, targeted to the friends of your fans, can be extremely effective at generating engagement • Facebook can allow a brand to integrate customers into many parts of the business such as marketing, product development, merchandising and customer service • A brand can leverage its ongoing Facebook community to stay top of mind to achieve direct response objectives
According to Chris McCann, President of 1-800-Flowers.com, “1-800-Flowers is in the business of delivering smiles and helping people express themselves to the important people in their lives.” Beginning in 2010, the company began to focus more heavily on Facebook as it noticed that its customers were spending an increasing amount of time there. “We need to make sure that when the consumer makes the decision to purchase, we know where they are spending their time, and where they are is on Facebook,” explains Chris. “That’s why our focus over the last year has been to really embrace Facebook.” After experimenting with Facebook for several years, 1-800-Flowers decided it wanted to use more of the tools available on the platform during its 2011 Valentines Day campaign to really drive the growth and engagement of its community.
“Our business is about relationships and Facebook is about relationships. The consumer has voted, and Facebook is part of our lives. Therefore, it’s an indispensable part of how we integrate and develop the relationships between our brand, our culture and our customers.”
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Another goal was to help consumers more easily pick and purchase flowers for their loved ones. What’s more, 1-800-Flowers wanted to use the insights it gained to leverage the platform most effectively in the future. “We said ‘hey, let’s test everything out there, figure out what our consumers are most receptive to and let them tell us what we should be focusing on,’” says Kevin Ranford, VP of Marketing at 1-800-Flowers.
For the Valentine’s Day campaign, 1-800-Flowers experimented with a number of different approaches to reach consumers. It ran a Facebook Ads campaign that offered 50 Facebook Credits (Facebook’s virtual currency) and 15 percent off flowers to consumers who bought their flowers on 1-800-Flowers.com. In addition, 1-800-Flowers was a launch partner for Facebook’s new product, Sponsored Stories, which allowed it
to increase the distribution of organic stories about its business that show up in people’s News Feeds. 1-800-Flowers ran Page Like Sponsored Stories, which generated stories on the right hand side of the Page for anyone whose friend liked 1-800-Flowers during the campaign. The company also ran Page Post Sponsored Stories to ensure that all of its fans saw its Wall Posts during the campaign. “Sponsored Stories allowed us to put really engaging Facebook content into our promotional ads rather than just a static offer,” Kevin says. Plus, 1-800-Flowers continued to leverage Facebook’s platform tools on its website, 1-800-Flowers.com. By using Facebook Login, 1-800-Flowers is able to show the upcoming birthdays of friends and family to each website visitor. All of its products on the Web feature a Like button. This allows the brand to know which products are most popular and to decide which to feature in other promotional materials. It also helps inform merchandising decisions, as the brand can easily find out which products are the most liked. 1-800-Flowers also closely monitors and fosters its Facebook community. It has a customer service team focused on social media to make sure people get the help they need. “We’ve built out a customer service team dedicated to Facebook and other social media channels to look specifically for inquiries from our shoppers,” says Kevin.
• 1-800-Flowers.com received 4,000 transactions as a direct result of the Facebook Credits promotion. “The throughput of sales that we were able to achieve using Facebook credits was a profound learning for us that is only going to become more steep as we go deeper into our integration with Facebook,” says Kevin. The Valentine’s Day campaign increased engagement with posts to its Wall by 250 percent. “We attribute this increase to the different testing we’re doing in new Facebook initiatives,” says Kevin. “We are super excited about this.” The number of people who logged onto 1-800-Flowers.com using their Facebook credentials increased by 400 percent
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The fan base on the 1-800-Flowers Facebook Page doubled to over 120,000 fans, which means the brand can reach over 37 million friends of those fans with Friends of Connections Targeting and Sponsored Stories Sponsored Stories had more than double the click-through rate compared to Facebook Ads, which had already high click-throughs, the company says
service team, we’ve seen our brand ambassadors often beat us to the punch,” says Kevin. “We believe this facilitates the kind of rapid response and caring response that is the hallmark of customer service on Facebook.”
1-800-Flowers says it plans to take advantage of all of the opportunities it sees on Facebook by evolving its internal organization as well. “Our culture has helped really develop this cross-departmental focus on our Facebook experience,” Kevin says. “We are testing a bunch of best practices within our teams and figuring out the winning recipes.” In addition, it will continue to integrate the experience on its website with Facebook. “We can’t look at Facebook and our website as off or on platform,” says Chris. “We’ll constantly work to be that facilitator, whether our consumers want to have a conversation on our website or on Facebook. Facebook is helping us to tear down the walls that exist between our company and our customers.” While selling flowers is 1-800-Flowers’ business, “making people smile” is its mission, says Chris. “We’ve always struggled with how to communicate that and how to get our customers to understand that because we can’t really go out and put that in a marketing message,” he says. “But customers can now express this for us via Facebook. Our business is about relationships and Facebook is about relationships. The consumer has voted, and Facebook is part of our lives. Therefore, it’s an indispensable part of how we integrate and develop the relationships between our brand, our culture and our customers.”
1-800-Flowers says it was very excited by the results on Facebook. “It was a validation of the fact that there is a strong convergence happening, both in terms of commerce and Facebook and social media in general,” Kevin says. Chris says that Sponsored Stories provided the brand with the high levels of engagement it has been seeking. “It helps us get our customers to have conversations with each other on our behalf,” he says. When looking at Facebook Ads, Kevin adds that being able to make ads very personal and being able to target the friends of the brand’s fans is key. “This allows us to really tie that ad unit into who you are, both as a person and as a person with relationships,” he says. In an ideal world, says Chris, customers would be running the business. “What we have realized is this is a great opportunity to get our customers to help inform product decisions and get our customers involved in the marketing of our business.” In addition, 1-800-Flowers says integrating customer service into its Facebook experience means its customers often jump in and start answering questions for the brand. “Even with the quick responses of our customer