Social media has completely overtaken the online world and it's the focus of this episode of Confetti, the Wedding Planning Business Talk Show.
As always, a HUGE thank you to the Confetti co-hosts who actively participated during the live broadcast. Feel free to post your comments at the end of this post.
The vast majority of activity happens on large social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram (owned by Facebook).
Which social media platform are you using for your wedding planning business?
A survey of the Confetti listening audience puts Facebook at the top followed by Instagram. Twitter came in last. (Surprising? Or nah?)
Janelle, a wedding planner in Orlando, Florida, makes a habit of sharing lots of wedding tips on local wedding Facebook groups which brings people — potential clients — back to her FaceBook page and ultimately her wedding business website.
Here's a super-quick look at some of the platforms being used by us wedding planners:
Facebook – is considered the giant of social media and is known for the ability to send messages, form groups, create pages and the ubiquitous ‘Like' button. Sharing unique content and working toward getting your posts shared and “liked” seems to be the ultimate goal here. Although many businesses flock to Facebook, it's important to note that its primary use by ‘fans' is to stay in touch and to share pictures and videos.
Instagram – is a popular mobile, photo and video-sharing app famous for its square-shaped images and use of filters. Instagram is a great way to demonstrate your fun side and to provide a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes activity of your wedding company. Think about what YOU want to see when you look at someone else's photos and follow suit.
Pinterest – is another visual social media platform with a focus on sharing images. Pinterest users upload and manage media — pictures, videos — known as pins through collections known as boards. Boards typically center around a topic or theme.
Google+ – is designed to share links, videos and contacts and is most well known for having circles which allow you to target your postings and determine which contacts see specific posts. Posting publicly and sharing trending material are smart moves for wedding planners on Google+.
Twitter – forces you to get straight to the point by limiting each post to 140 characters. Primarily used on mobile phones, Twitter allows you to share links to interesting content, share others' tweets, and even allows you to have Twitter conversations. Hosting a bridal event? Twitter is perfect for creating excitement before, during and even afterwards.
Don't Forget About your Website!
No matter which platform you're using, make sure that your wedding business website is ready for when your fans, friends and followers arrive.
This means placing a prominent ‘call to action' that tells each visitor what you'd like them to do before they leave (because, eventually, they will leave) your website.
Do you want them to pick up the phone and call you to schedule a free consultation? Would you like engaged couples to come visit your wedding planning studio to browse through local wedding vendor portfolios? Are you hoping to get an email address in exchange for your “How to Get Hitched in [insert your city/town/area here]” PDF cheat-sheet?
Whatever the desired outcome, be crystal-clear and don't assume that visitors to your wedding business website know what their next move should be. Tell them!
Making Time for Social Media
Consistency is a must when it comes to engaging with others on social media. Thankfully, there are a slew of tools and applications to help you with managing your posts, tweets, and status updates.
I use Buffer which allows me to schedule whatever it is I want to share with my audience at a specific time. For $10/month it's well worth it. Hootsuite is another management tool that I've toyed with, but haven't really spent a lot of time with so I'm unable to compare the two, fairly. [You can find links to both of these solutions in the links listed at the end of this article.]
Kathleen, another wedding planner in Florida, is sticking with Facebook, only. And who could blame her?! Spend time on the platforms that work for YOU and more importantly the places where your clients and prospects are hanging out.
Which Social Media Platform is Best for You?
Although Facebook is the overwhelming favorite for wedding planners, does this mean it's the platform that you should focus on for your wedding planning business?
First, you have to know who your ideal client is and where that person hangs out; if s/he's not on Instagram, then perhaps that isn't the place to spend an inordinate amount of time.
Second, you do not need to be on all of the social media applications that exist. Stick to the platforms where your target clients congregate and then expand later on if you need/decide to.
Mentioned in This Episode:
A Professional Telephone System for Wedding Planners – FreedomVoice offers an affordable way for you manage your incoming telephone calls for your wedding planning business. Get either a local or toll-free telephone number and promote that number (instead of your personal cellphone number) for your wedding business. Visit TryFreedomVoice.com to learn more and for a 30-day free trial.
Get a Confetti Text Reminder – Want to make sure you're here for the next LIVE! Confetti broadcast? Text the word CONFETTI to 71441 to get a text message a few minutes beforehand. US & Canada only; message and data rates may apply.
Buffer – This application can help you manage and schedule the content you post on a variety of social media platforms. Visit BufferApp.com to learn more.
HootSuite – Another social media management tool used to keep track and manage your content. Visit HootSuite.com to find out more.