Storytelling for Social Media

with Lori Guyer of White Flower Farmhouse

Lori Guyer started using Instagram to document the restoration of her historic home on Long Island’s Northfork. She discovered that it was a useful tool to grow and brand her shop White Flower Farmhouse. We asked Lori to share the top tips for storytelling for social media.

Instagram became a way to showcase what we sell and show where and how we get the vintage goods that fill the shop.  I have undeniably seen the results with increased sales and foot traffic.  Many times a person will enter the shop holding their phone stating “ I’m looking for this, I saw it posted on Instagram”.

I feel that the most important thing to do when you are in the business of selling something is to have good looking photographs. The photographs represent you and your brand. The more creative, beautiful and unique the photo the more people will stop in their scroll and take a look. Try to stand out from the mass.

Lori Guyer, White Flower Farmhouse

Lori Guyer
Shopkeeper at White Flower Farmhouse

TIP 01

 I try to post an image at least once a day. 

TIP 02

Photos should be clear, simple and consistent.

TIP 03

My goal is to invoke a feeling not just a pretty picture.

TIP 04

Edit the photos using apps, filters or layouts to help bring out the best in your image.

TIP 05

Stick to a similar topic or theme.

TIP 06

Use the stories feature – I notice that the stories help to excite interest in my posts.  

I definitely get an increase in activity and feedback when I post a story.

TIP 07

I keep my writing short and simple.

TIP 08

I will use hashtags that relate to the content or emotion of the photograph.

TIP 09

Keep it light, positive and not too personal. 

TIP 10

Tag and/or promote others for increased interaction.

TIP 11

Be genuine and true to yourself and your brand.

Which social media platforms do you use?

I use Instagram, Facebook and sometimes Twitter.  Instagram is my favorite.  It’s quick, easy and gets the best response.

How do you use social media to build your brand story?

I use Instagram to brand my story.  I go back and forth between my historic home and the White Flower Farmhouse Shop.  I post photos of both which means I’m reaching a broader audience.  Firstly it’s for the customers who frequent the store and want to see what vintage finds are new in the shop. 
The photos of my home are for those who are looking for decorating/design ideas, or old house enthusiasts.   Others just enjoy following someone with a similar aesthetic.  It is also helpful for the design consulting that I do when I have time. 

How do you use social media to drive sales?

I use Instagram stories to drive sales.  I will show what just came into the White Flower Farmhouse shop.  I’ll write a little information about the item with the photo and price.  More often then not I will get a message about making a purchase from someone who has been waiting for that particular item.

How often do you share behind the scenes on social media?

I use Instagram stories to show behind the scenes on where I acquire some of the pieces that I buy for the shop.  I will take photos on my excursions to flea markets, estate sales, thrift shops, old houses, basements and attics.  I always gets lots of messages when I do this.  

Instagram post versus Instagram story?

I prefer looking at posts or a quick story.  If the story is long and drawn out I skip through it.  For my own posting I prefer Instagram post over stories for its ease and rapidity.

Do you use a camera or smartphone?

I have an iPhone 8 Plus.

Which apps do you use?

I do my own revisions with Instagram editing.  I use the same edits consistently on most photos.  I don’t want to use a filter or use any heavy alterations.  I try to keep it as natural as possible.

Do you have a calendar and specific time for posting? 

I’m organic with my posting.  My goal is to be scheduled – unfortunately my daily itinerary is unpredictable.

How much of your personal life do you share?

I feel like I share a little… but just enough. 

Do you pay to promote posts? 

I have never paid to promote a post. We don’t sell online so it wouldn’t be beneficial.

Follow White Flower Farmhouse on Instagram

Lori’s home was discovered on Instagram by London-based stylist Sally Denning @blackshorestyle and featured in her book Relaxed Coastal Style.