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Living social trends: the most popular flowers in social

As part of this month’s gardening trend, which we see thriving on social, I had the delightful job to look more closely into which ‘flowers’ are driving interest. So here’s our ranking of the Top 10 Flowers discussed on social.

To kick off the research, and narrow down the flowers we are going to analyse, we used a variety of sources to establish long lists of the most popular flowers in retail and cultural terms. To account for marketing biases, we validated this list with plants that The Gardener’s World featured in 2016/17, and additionally added Dahlias and Daffodils. We also adjusted (excluded) for key events that would skew the analysis, like Valentine’s or Mother’s Day – in othr words, when flowers are used as gifts (rather than in their natural environment).

The gardening aspect (i.e. explicitly discussing the growing by consumers) is rather small in absolute terms, by volume – however there’s an implicit behaviour to note. The interest in horticulture is at its full bloom when it comes to the beauty and perfection of flowers. People post a picture (of flowers) and say “look how lovely this place looks”, but what they actually demonstrate is their view “oh these flowers look nice”.

That being said, Roses are clearly winning our Top 10 Social Flower Ranking (this ranking is based on relative mention volumes across Twitter and Instagram. We suspect YouTube to be a big deal when it comes to Gardening DIY, however due to platform API limitations, it’s not included in this analysis):

The obvious point in this table is the importance of a flower’s visual aspect: Roses, Lilies and Hydrangea, for instance. Their classic, exotic and expensive look and feel resonate particularly well with an Instagram audience. We also need to take into account that some flowers have a longer flowering seasoning, which affects posting volumes. Whereas roses flower 9 months a year, daffodils have only 4 weeks.

Unwinding the variety of flowers on social, we dug further into each flower’s related content. The results show some distinct opportunities to branch out (forgive all the puns). Among all the different flowers we looked at, Lavender features the least amount of specific gardening content compared to it’s overall conversation on social (est. 0.5%). Beauty products and gifting are dominating, instead. Similar is Fuchsia. People talk about the pink colour in combination with beauty and clothing products, but relatively speak less about horticulture. And last, but not least Daffodils – The feel good flower. Happiness emerges across all flowers, but a positive tone of voice really lives up in the Daffodil conversation, e.g. “Iced coffee in the sun yeah 'daffodils' 'sunnymood'" (we estimate Daffodils to be 9 times more often used in a happy/ sunshine context than Hydrangea or 1.4 times more often than Tulips for example).

When it comes to emoji flowers, however, within the flower conversation, the Sunflower emoji is more popular – just slightly ahead by 2 percentage points across the overall Twitter conversation, but 3 times more prominent than the Tulip emoji (not every flower we looked at has a specific emoji, however still surprising and a good indicator of the power of positivity we can find on social).

Lastly we looked at the demographics – and it’s relatively evenly distributed, with 55% female, 45% male conversation.

Next up in our analysis? Chelsea Garden Show…


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