By mid-February, Philadelphians are cranky.
One might even say, disgruntled.
All of our sports teams have lost. The holiday weight gain won’t quit. And most us have at least one ice-related injury. And while a select few are lucky enough to jet off to a tropical island, the rest of us are, well, just stuck in the cold. Our social media feeds are just as bleak. Aside from a few award show critiques, political ramblings and an occasional celebrity death, there’s nothing pretty or inspiring to share, ‘gram, pin or tweet.
Then, like a heavenly mirage, the Philadelphia Flower Show appears. The Pennsylvania Convention Center transforms into a lush, colorful and (dare we say) humid paradise as thousands of Philadelphians flock to the show like it’s the Jersey Shore on Memorial Day Weekend.
And while the florals are fragrant and the fauna is fantastic, one of the Flower Show’s most engaging assets is the social media fodder it provides over its 10-day lifespan. Ok, maybe the flowers are more engaging – but hey, we’re biased.
Not only are we biased, but we’re also the experts. (With social media. Not flowers.) For the third year in a row, we’ve worked with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) to help bring the Flower Show to life on social media. We sat down with PHS’s Digital Content Manager Noelle Wheatley and dished about all things Flower Show and social media.
ChatterBlast Media: Hi Noelle! Since you’re at the helm of the show’s social media, how would you best describe your social presence?
Noelle Wheatley: Facebook is our home base for social content and customer service during the Show. Twitter is our real-time conversation piece. And Instagram – well, it’s everything and then some, in that it is so visual – the beauty, creativity and arduous labor of the Flower Show naturally gravitate here – but it is also the hangout of the next gen consumer and fan base of the of the Philadelphia Flower Show. So we’re going to be there, but in new ways!
CBM: Content is king, but striking a chord with your audience trumps all. In your opinion, what content themes do you find create the most meaningful conversations?
NW: There are really two threads for this year’s Show.
The first – we want to rejuvenate a sense of history of the Flower Show (as the Show enters its 187th year) with our immensely loyal and loving consumer base. You will see evidence of this in some of the questions we pose, like “Why do you love the Flower Show? Why do you return year after year, after year?” – the response is explosive and the data obtained from these conversations is gold.
Second – we will be providing the learning tools (selfie sticks, Snapchat tutorials and all) and even act as guides (think: a social media squad of #SelfieRangers after all, we are celebrating the National Park Service) to a social media experience that not only connects guests with PHS and the Flower Show, but helps our guests capture and share memorable moments that live beyond the Show floor.
We’re getting personal. We’re getting hands-on. And we’re letting our consumer drive the conversation – while we enjoy all the action.
CBM: How important is the role of your social in building relationships with the Flower Show community?
NW: Our social relationships are defined by more than those who purchase a ticket to the Show; The Flower Show sustains a responsibility to build lasting relationships with over a whopping four-thousand volunteers, hundreds of PHS staff, exhibitors and general contractors, who, every year, transform the 10 acre main exhibition floor of the Pennsylvania Convention Center into a world-class, world-famous, horticultural extravaganza.
The conversations we ignite with all of these users – are the ones that ultimately tell the story of PHS.
As you can see, social media and the Flower Show were made for one another, and this year is no exception. This year’s theme, Explore America, celebrates the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. You can buy your tickets here.