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Social media and the wedding industry: the common sense approach

I’ve been thinking a lot about social media. How do you know how to do it? Is there a way to get it right so it’s worth all the time it can take?

Maybe we can all learn from each other – so this blog post is to get you thinking, talking and sharing I hope. Have you got social media ‘right’ for your wedding business?

How do you know when you’re using social media well?

1. Networking, making connections & cross promotion with online industry contacts is bringing customers to your door

I see friendships developing on twitter between bloggers, wedding suppliers and photographers – they lead to some fantastic bridal shoots, and you get great product photography and brand associations for your website.

This is great, so long as the end result is real customers ordering from you. Otherwise it’s time wasted when you could be promoting your business elsewhere.

2. Potential customers and clients see your status updates and tweets and make enquiries

If your potential customers are using twitter and facebook, and you can reach them this way – brilliant.

I’d love to know how many brides and grooms use twitter for wedding research – from what I hear facebook is a better place for reaching brides and grooms.

Do you tweet about product launches, new designs, special offers? Do you get a good response from customers?

3. You’re spending a reasonable amount of time on social media which balances with what you’re earning (indirectly) from it

The top 100 wedding tweeters list shouldn’t be your goal if you’re a wedding supplier. Networking is great, but overdoing it won’t benefit your business.

I’m beginning to notice wedding suppliers using twitter very cleverly – infrequent and interesting updates are the way to go.

If you’re not getting business directly from social media but just want the industry to know your name, keep your tweets short and really, really good.

4. You’re learning important things from your twitter contacts

Keeping up to date with latest trends is a good use for social media. But you can do that quickly with a scan through a few top wedding blogs. Don’t use it as an excuse to live on twitter and facebook!

Following the top guys in your game is a good move. Photographers post mysterious tweets about lenses and techniques.

Learning great tricks and tips is a valuable reason for twitter time. Even inspiration from designers you admire is really important.

5. Twitter and Facebook are helping you establish your expertise – and the right people are paying attention

If you’re seen as a source of inspiration it will help your brand image. Share a few secrets, help your competitors and younger wedding businesses.

If you can embed your twitter feed onto your website home page and it shows you’re helping and advising other wedding businesses, your potential customers will be more impressed.

Grab a pen and paper – what can your wedding business get from social media?

I spent 10 minutes writing a social media plan for my wedding calligraphy business. I’m going to stick it on the wall and try harder to get it right – with these guidelines. Thought I’d share!

Ask yourself:

  • who should you network with for a good reason
  • can you reach customers on social media? How?
  • How much time you should really be investing
  • who you can learn from (business, craft)
  • where and why to share your expertise

It’s important not to get carried away and spend all your leisure time on twitter, doing “work”. Social media sites blur the boundaries between work / networking and friendships / socialising.

Whatever you’re doing on Twitter and Facebook, however much time you spend – just make sure it’s for the right reasons and getting the right results.

 

 

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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16 COMMENTS
  • Some great points Claire, I was only chatting with some wedding pals recently about bridal shoots and them being a genuine way of actually getting potential clients attention. Which we’ve been fortunate enough to manage everytime we’ve done one.

    But I think you’re right, if you find yourself doing them regularly and not getting a single lead off the back of them, then I guess it does amount to it being a waste of time!

    But I do think it has a massive reliance on working with like minded people. You can’t just have people ‘along for the ride’ – they have to be as focused and driven as the people behind the original idea. Their attitude can’t be: “Of course we’ll help you out with the bridal shoot” as if they’re doing you a favour. They have to understand that being involved is massively beneficial for them too. And I’m lucky enough to know some great guys who are constantly thinking about new ways to do things, new ways of using social media and new ways of wowing potential brides and grooms. Which is what it’s all about at the end of the day!

    Jonny.

    x

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Jonny – thanks for the comment.
      Great point about likeminded people making this kind of thing work – thank you.
      You’ve really opened my eyes to a very creative way of networking: from facebook to ‘real life’ stuff – our next meet up will be a proper interview along these lines! I’ve even got it written down… watch this space!
      Claire x

  • Elizabeth
    8 years ago

    Some really sound advice. Easier said than done though! 😉
    There are so many wonderful wedding industry tweeters & Twitter is a great way to network but I also wonder how many brides are actually on Twitter? I was a bride last year & I didn’t even consider Twitter as an option for wedding inspiration/planning research. I thought Twitter was for geeks & people interested in celebrity gossip! I agree with you about Facebook being a better medium to reach brides.
    Best of luck with your social media plan.

  • Claire
    8 years ago
    AUTHOR

    Thanks Elizabeth!
    I’ve heard one person tell me their wedding business chatted to more brides on twitter than facebook: but only one, ever. I speak to a small number of brides there, but they tend to have blogs and be very into social media for other reasons.
    It feels sometimes as though “the wedding industry” is on twitter, and the brides might be – but never the twain shall meet. If anyone’s had a different experience though, I’d love to hear!

  • Jenny McAvoy
    8 years ago

    I have a couple of existing wedding clients I tweet with and its a great way to keep in touch with them but generally I view Twitter as a business to business network and Facebook as client to business. It’s been good for us in networking with wedding bloggers to then promote our business on their sites-sites I would not know existed if it wasn’t for Twitter.

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Ooh – very interesting. It’s an odd one for me: when it comes to English Wedding a whole new game comes into play. I have to tweet, loudly and wildly! But for the calligraphy… meh. I’ve been trying harder this week but it’s a bit “if a tree falls and there’s no one there”!
      Thanks Jenny!

  • Some great points here … twitter for instance can really take over your life if you let it! I have to say though I enjoy chatting with other people in the industry on it and since starting twitter last year I’ve noticed a marked increase in business and have had a least 3 or 4 clients for wedding stationery directly through either the brides themselves contacting me through it or someone I know on twitter reccomending me to Brides they are working with 🙂

  • Claire
    8 years ago
    AUTHOR

    Thanks Nikki, (for the comment and for inspiring my new headscarf which I still love!) I have twitter to thank for that too!
    I think when I started out with twitter for the calligraphy business it was brilliant: I hooked up with old internet friends from Hitched wedding forum who I’d known a few years before, and the same thing happened: lovely to chat again, and I got a few recommendations directly from that. I think one or two turned into calligraphy orders.
    However… the chat kind of took over which is partly why I stepped back a little.
    Claire x

  • Claire, this is a very valuable blog post, I think the content is excellent and very wise. I use Twitter more so than any other social media source and through this I have met some really amazing people indeed and learnt a lot of new things! I also have to say I adore the way you have scribbled your notes and photographed it for your blog, I did a similar thing with bridal design sketches recently and it works really well and I think is is a more personal touch! keep up the great blogging! x

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Thanks Claire
      Do you have a link to those bridal sketches? I’m already jealous – can’t draw that kind of thing for the life of me! I had a look at your blog, and your guinea pigs and cat are gorgeous! But can’t see your sketches… 🙁
      You have a busy blog, and you know some great people by the way!
      xx

  • David Cartlidge
    8 years ago

    We did a quick survey asking ‘Have you used Twitter to find/talk to wedding suppliers?’
    The response was ;
    9% Yes
    78% No
    15% What is Twitter?

    That was 6 months ago – I will ask again to see if there has been a shift.

  • Claire
    8 years ago
    AUTHOR

    Ah – very interesting David thanks for sharing that. The same question about facebook would be interesting as a comparison (hint, hint haha)

  • David Cartlidge
    8 years ago

    Your wish is my command 🙂

    http://www.weddingchaos.co.uk/

  • Andy
    8 years ago

    For me as a wedding photographer twitter simply does not work in comparison to facebook. Brides want to see images and twitter just does not have the visual impact. Where it does work however is keeping track of other suppliers and networking with other wedding professionals.

  • Victoria
    8 years ago

    I agree with Andy about the visual impact of facebook! I have never allowed myself to have a twitter account, as there already aren’t enough hours in the day, but I know several other wedding togs have said they’ve had many more enquiries from brides on facebook than twitter.

    Fantastic article claire… really clarifies how to get the best from social media without allowing it to steal hours of your life each day!

  • David Cartlidge
    8 years ago

    Our results show Facebook is used significantly more than Twitter and at 1:4 people demonstrates why you really should have a Facebook presence 🙂

    Have you used Facebook to find/talk to wedding suppliers?
    Yes (26.4%)
    No (69.6%)
    What is Facebook? (4.0%)

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