Overview: An established brick-and-mortar business came to us to establish and grow and online presence for their wholesale and retail business. Prior to this, they had no digital presence at all. A website was built and social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram were used to grow an online presence. Results were impressive and have increased sales for this client more than ever.
Client: Alabama Smilax
Alabama Smilax has been in business for over 55 years operating under the business name Salter’s Evergreen Supply. They are family owned and operated and sell wholesale greenery for weddings and events. Their customer base is the entire US with an emphasis in New York, Houston, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, and more.
- Create a user-friendly website for both the vendor and their customers that includes a point-of-sale system
- Create and grow a social media presence utilizing Facebook and Instagram
Execution: To establish and grow an online presence for Alabama Smilax, they had to become present online first! As vendors for the wedding and event industry, we knew that images were key to sales so a website featuring photos was prioritized. They also needed a simple point-of-sale system. The Dogwood Web Developers created a Shopify site to fulfill both of these needs.
Website Design and Development
A Shopify site was created utilizing beautiful photography and a simple point-of-sale system. Mobile responsiveness was a priority as well as clear navigation for both wholesale and retail customers.
Marketing Strategy for Social Media Platforms
The profiles were created on both Facebook and Instagram and content was shared. The focus of the content was to share how people use Alabama Smilax all over the country in beautiful ways. A schedule of 2-3 posts a week on each platform was implemented.
Our marketing strategist Sara Kate Taylor has been the account manager for Alabama Smilax since the beginning. Below was her strategy to grow an online presence on social media:
“On the social side of things, the strategy is to share how people use Alabama Smilax all over the country in beautiful ways. Great photography is a must to make this happen and the majority of this was user-generated content. Since they are a part of the wedding industry, clients and vendors love to share pictures of their beautiful day. Whenever possible I tag the vendors in the post.”
Interaction is Key to Growing an Online Presence on Social Media
“I knew this was more of a niche product so I started by following people on Instagram in the floral and wedding industry. This really took off and I remember in the beginning for a while I would go on their Instagram page and really focus on following people and interacting with their content, liking and commenting. So basically my goal was to intentionally grow their social media presence by posting pretty images, consistent content, and interacting with customers and people in the floral industry on social media.”
Paid Advertising to Grow an Online Presence
To further grow the Alabama Smilax online presence, Dogwood boosted the ads on Facebook and Instagram and also implemented targeted Google ads. Targeting was key to the success of these ads. The ads were targeted to the entire US region since Alabama Smilax ships nationwide. Facebook and Instagram ads were targeted to those in the floral or wedding industry or who showed interest in flowers. The goal was to keep the ad targets as tailored as possible while still serving a wide enough audience.
Overall Results: The client has been extremely pleased with the website design, functionality and online presence established for them. Impressions and CTR have grown consistently on the website. Social media followers have increased consistently and at times quite dramatically. Overall revenue for the client has never been better.
Website Traffic Results:
From July 2021 (launch of the website) to December 2022 (conclusion of this case study) the website has seen the following statistics:
- Over 19,000 clicks (averaging over 1000 clicks each month)
- 815,000 impressions
- Average CTR of 2.34%
The vast majority of this traffic came from the targeted google ads and the targeted social media.
Social Media Results:
The growth for Alabama Smilax on social media has been fun to watch! From July 2021 to December of 2022, Facebook saw steady follower growth from zero to just under 6,000.
Instagram also saw beautiful growth with a beginning follower count of zero and growing to over 700 followers.
Alabama Smilax tasked Dogwood Media Solutions with establishing and growing an online presence for them. Once a beautiful and functional website was built, social media profiles were created. Consistent content was shared and the intentional targeting of ads on both Google and social media yielded dramatic growth and traffic. Our media strategist worked hard to create and build connections on social media by interacting with followers and other target industry accounts.
The combination of a great-looking, functional website, strong, consistent social media content, targeted ads, and intentional connection and engagement created a strong online presence for this company and more business than ever before.