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Improve Your Social Media Game!

Wedding vendors take note:

The Millennial bride will seamlessly jump between 27 different online social media platforms in just one hour every single day.

56% of these brides will only book vendors who have a presence on social media according to  WeddingWire.

A bride’s online presence makes tracking the source of a lead referral or the moment of conversion nearly impossible because even if a bride can tell you how she found you, the answer may not always be accurate. Case in point: I was chatting with a client and asked her how she found my website. Her initial response was Google, then a few moments later she was convinced it was Instagram.

Brides are constantly surrounded by advertising messages making it nearly impossible to keep straight the moment that triggered them to email, text, or pick-up the phone.

Unfortunately, there is no accurate data out there regarding to how many times a buyer needs to hear about a brand before purchasing. A bride could have to seen your name three to eight times before pulling the trigger—this is why it’s more important ever to be on multiple platforms and know which platforms will work the best for exposing your business to your ideal client.

Top social outlets

• Wedding Blogs

• Pinterest

• Facebook

• Instagram

• Twitter

I’ve included wedding blogs as a social platform because when surveyed, brides responded saying they visited these sites daily while planning their weddings. (Splendid Insights)

Building your social presence 101

Keep in mind that with each platform, you must dedicate enough time in order to see real results. And by time I mean daily attention as well as a long term time frame of at least three to six months to see results.

You will also want access to your analytics to track clicks and traffic.

Also consider planning goals around your social media campaign so you can track results. Whether it’s follower growth, engagement or leads, you will want achievable goals.

I’d like to note that Facebook is good tool if you already have a strong and engaged community, but otherwise can get quickly become costly with their pay to play structure.

Wedding blogs are a goldmine for exposure

In the rest of this post I’ll be offering a deeper dive into wedding blogs and Instagram.

Wedding blogs are an amazing resource for those in the wedding industry. Editors are always looking for eye-catching, real weddings to publish.

I find too often that venues and (non photographed) vendors often think they cannot submit to wedding blogs.

You don’t have to be a photographer to submit real weddings to blogs, just visit the ‘Submissions’ page of any wedding blog you’re interested in, read the parameters and submit.

I suggest to not only visit the top wedding blogs, but look for blogs that cater to a niche market that makes sense for your business. This could mean the writer caters their site to a particular style, type of venue or geographical location. Most times, these blogs have a more targeted and engaged following.

If you find there is a spike in traffic being directed to your site from the blog, you can join their vendor guide or participate in paid campaigns, but I always suggest to start with publishing real wedding submissions.

And bonus, being published on good wedding blogs will give you quality link backs which will help your SEO and Google ranking.

Instagram keeps growing

Instagram is a huge platform with Millennial brides and I continue to hear from vendors that couples are reaching out for quotes based on their feed.

Things to keep in mind when growing your Instagram:

• Any images posted to your feed should be your best work.

• Be sure to post regularly, as in daily or even 2x per day

• Instagram Stories can be more casual and a lesser quality than your feed

• Your hashtag game is key, use all the hashtags that Instagram will allow. 30 in your post and 30 in a comment.

• It takes time to build engagement. I recommend spending 30 minutes to 1 hour a day searching relevant hashtags to like, comment, and engage with.

• Play with timing on your post. I find late night performs the best for me.

• Your first 1,000 followers can be the hardest to get to, but know that it gets easier the more followers you have.

When Facebook monetized their platform it was a game changing day for all small businesses. You no longer could reach your followers and fans without paying. Don’t forget that Facebook also owns Instagram and its open structure could change at any time.

They are already playing with their algorithms changing the natural engagement on their platform.

This is why I stress to have goals around what you’re trying to accomplish and check your analytics regularly to track growth and how much time you should really be investing into these platforms.

Your portfolio is everywhere

To me your website imagery and what you post on social media are interchangeable as your professional portfolio.

65% of couples surveyed by Splendid Insights, said that a wedding professional’s portfolio was important to their decision making process. No matter the social platform, you’re utilizing, think of it as an extension of your website and another opportunity to show off your best work.

I can’t tell you how many venue and vendor websites I’ve visited and they’re showcasing imagery from the 90s. I’ve even seen this on the same offenders Pinterest pages.

The picture you paint on your social media is key. Beautiful imagery, well written posts and profiles are key to driving and capturing leads.

Lauren Randolph will present at Catersource 2018. Click here for a link to her session.

Lauren Randolph

Lauren Randolph founded My Hotel Wedding in 2012 based on her decade of experience as a wedding planner and catering manager for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts at the world famous Beverly Wilshire.