How to Optimize Social Media for Your Wedding Planning Business
In the past few years, the wedding industry has become a $50 billion industry in the USA. Add in the local vendors from the overseas and destination wedding markets and you’re looking at tons of competitors all looking to create a space and name for themselves. Many vendors turn to social media to clear a space for their brand in the competitor-heavy industry and reach the consumers who seem to do everything online nowadays – even book their weddings.
If you’re looking to get started and make a name for yourself online or amp up your current social media efforts efforts – here are some tips we think will help you get your insta-likes up!
Do One or Two Things Really Well
We get it; every blog and article you’ve read about social media has told you about how Facebook is declining and SnapChat is on the rise. Then you read another and it says Facebook is getting younger and Instagram is getting older – what on earth does any of this mean for weddings? It means find your niche and learn to finesse it. Unless you have the thousands to hire social media staff, it’s 100% unnecessary to have a presence on every single social media platform if it’s not a benefit to your business.
Photographers, for example, definitely want to put together an effective Instagram strategy as a strictly visual platform. If you’re a planner, however, with limited access to real wedding pictures, maybe advice-based Youtube vlogs and Facebook posts may be more beneficial. Or, you may see a huge boost from a few Pinterest posts for the DIY brides. Think about what assets you have easy access to and what you can bring to the table and then build your social media strategy around that platform.
No matter the platform – you should also always have an online presence to link back and share the bulk of your business, whether it’s a website or a blog.
Buy Your Business a Really Good Camera (or Hire a Photographer)
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the photos you choose to showcase your work need to scream millions! There’s no point in having a social media platform if you don’t have viable and likable visual content. If your platform of choice is Instagram or Pinterest (which highly visual businesses like wedding businesses should aim to be on, btw) then a good camera will really pay for itself. Bonus that you’ll never have to chase down/bug a photographer again!
Selling weddings is at least 45% visuals and nothing will kill the dream for a bride than trying to squint through her phone peering at some blurry roses on a sparkly clothed highboy or trying to make sense of a dark ballroom with low lighting. Use your photos to tell a story to potential brides and grooms. No one is saying you need to be an expert photographer, but it’s worth it to learn at least the basics of lighting to ensure you’re capturing the very best of your ideas – especially if you’re a planner.
Engagement – It’s Not Just for Fiancées.
Next to giving birth, being a part of a wedding is a super personal experience to share in a couple’s life. Couples are more likely to hire a vendor they can relate and that relatable feeling should start before the first consultation. Engage with clients who like and comment on your posts on social media. Reply to their messages, ask them engaging questions in your comments – anything that makes them feel as though they’re dealing with a real person behind the screen. If you’ve noticed the same person liking your pics, shoot them a message and ask if they’re looking for anything you can help them with. Engaging with your audience is a great way to build a reputation as a down-to-earth, and easy to embrace vendor and will more than likely lead to recommendations.
Speaking of which…
Humble Brags Are Welcome
So, you’ve won a Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice Award for your events business or perhaps you made it on the BRIDE’s list- that pretty badge on your website is not enough. It’s called your platform for a reason – shout from it! There’s nothing wrong with a little humble bragging about your accomplishments and achievements in the industry. As a matter of fact, it may be a disservice to your brand to not share your accolades on social media and let potential brides know how highly acclaimed you’ve become. Go ahead and tag @BRIDES or @TheKnot in your posts as well. Using the tags and hashtags that vendors use, means your content will be filtered in there along with the bigger brands.
Take it up a notch and share a post a week of a couple you’ve worked with and their review of your business. Peer reviews have been found to be a leading reason millennials and Gen Y-ers are more likely to try a new business. Plus – doesn’t it feel good to see how much your clients love your work? 100 points for affirmations.
Embrace the Competition
If you’re just starting out on social or in the wedding industry altogether, it’s easy to look at that planner with 320k followers on Twitter and feel intimidated. Stop. Follow your competitors and other vendors, watch the way they work and look for inspiration.
Don’t let the numbers intimidate you, reach out to other vendors and ask about potential collaborations, guest blog posts, possibly an Instagram takeover or competition. Not only is it a good and relatively cost-effective way to build your own social media audience or following, but it’s a great way to build positive working relationships within the industry. If you’re in the same field, it may result in another vendor recommending their overflow clients to you as a trusted wedding partner.
Invest in a Management Tool
Look, we get it – it’s hard to manage your business, talk with clients, perform your tasks, invoice, eat, wash, rinse, repeat. The key to staying relevant on social media and with your online audience is to stay current. That two or three weeks that you go without posting does more than just leave your account dark, it actually hurts your performance. Many social platform algorithms work on placing your content in front of the audiences most likely to engage with it. If you stop posting, the relevancy of your content starts to drop and eventually, so does your engagement. This leaves you dishing out even more on Facebook or Instagram ads just to be seen – uh oh.
If you’re on more than one social media platform, it’s worth it to look at investing in a content scheduler. Buffer and Hootsuite are two of the more popular schedulers that include a basic free plan. Depending on the plan you sign up for, you can set anywhere from a week to a month’s worth of photos and captions in a few hours and then focus on the other areas of your business that need you while your social media is still relevant. Even better, apps like Facebook and Tweetdeck for Twitter have their own built-in scheduler … for FREE. Don’t forget to include relevant hashtags and tags – #WeddingWednesday is a popular industry hashtag, but don’t limit yourself to only industry-related hashtags. Cast a wider net with #photooftheday and #love as the virality of these will get you in front of more potential clients.
Have you built a pretty sweet audience for your business on Facebook? Do you have enough likes on Instagram to make even a Kardashian jealous? Share your best social media tips with us in the comments below!