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If you think that using social media is ultimately a waste of time, you’re missing a huge opportunity to reach brides and grooms that you may not otherwise ever come in contact. When used correctly, social media marketing is a source of a huge amount business. After all, what other marketing format is so efficient and effective that when you land business you walk away with 100% profit?
No Marketing Expenses
There is a variety of social media networks out there, so you do have to figure out which social media outlets are worth your time. Places where wedding planners should have a presence include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Your only investment is the time it takes you to put up and manage your social media profiles, unless you choose to hire a social media expert to handle this for you.
Adding Social Media to the Mix
No one marketing tactic or strategy operates in a vacuum. The key to creating a successful mix of social media with the rest of your marketing efforts is to fully integrate your marketing efforts. This includes integrating your business blog, article marketing efforts, email blasts, special events, webinars, workshops, and more.
Steps to social media marketing may unfold like this:
- When you post a new article to your blog, you should send out an announcement to your social media contacts to let them know. Be sure to provide the link that sends them directly to the article.
- When you send out an email blast to your list of brides and grooms, include an excerpt of the new blog post and include a direct link for them to read the rest of the article.
- Create a video blog post instead of a writing a blog post. Post the video to your blog, upload it to YouTube and upload it to your social media network pages to share with your followers. Then the following week, you start the schedule all over again.
- When you send out a postcard to your mailing list, invite the recipients to follow you or join you on your social media networks. The bottom line is that all of your marketing pieces should contain information on your social media networks and your social media networks should link followers back to your other marketing, such as your website and blog.
These steps will unfold over a one- or two-week period and then continue on an ongoing basis. Some steps may only occur once a quarter (such as a direct mailing of a postcard). Social media marketing works best, however, when it is done on a regular basis of at least two to three times per week. Some wedding planners are finding success in engaging social media networks at least two to three times per day!
5 Ways to Make Social Media Work for Your Business
There seem to be two sides to the using social media for your business debate. One side sees the benefits of this innovative medium, while others simply see it as a complete waste of time. Whether you’re on one of these sides already or you’re still debating whether social media is right for your business, here are five ways you can use social media as part of your overall marketing strategy.
#1 Create Your Own Cheerleading Squad
Brides and grooms — the members of your fan club — are using social media. In this scenario, your fan club is made up of current and past brides and grooms that simply love your service. When you create a social media profile about your business, you’re creating a platform where your fan club can become a cheerleading squad.
It becomes a form of word-of-mouth advertising online. This also allows you to monitor the conversations taking place between your cheerleading squad and potential brides and grooms. This opens up an opportunity for you to have conversations and build relationships with existing and potential clients as well.
#2 Be Effectively Reactive
Since social media is a way for you to monitor and take part in conversations about your business, it allows you to effectively react to problems or to head off problems before they become major issues. For example, 1-800-FLOWERS, through its Facebook Fan Page was able to resolve ordering problems their customers were having in placing phone and website orders around the holiday season. By adding ordering to its Facebook Fan Page, 1-800-FLOWERS responded to its customers needs before they lost these customers forever.
#3 Hear What Your Clients Are Saying
Your clients have a lot to say. When you listen to what they’re saying on your social media platforms, it’s amazing the type of information you can learn. Interacting with clients on social media networks has led to the development of new products and services that have garnered hundreds of millions of dollars in business (for a variety of businesses spread out over various industries).
People will tell you what they want and what they need. When you supply a product or service that fills what they need or want or resolves a problem for them, they’ll buy it up and you’ll make money. It’s similar to having a research and development extension of your company without the added expense.
#4 Disseminate Your Marketing Messages
Plain and simple, social media is one additional avenue of communication for you to disseminate your marketing messages. For those following you on social media networks that also interact with you in other ways, this is a reaffirmation of your marketing messages. For those that are not doing business with you, it’s a way for you to broaden your reach to brides and grooms that you may not have otherwise had an opportunity to get in front of at all.
#5 Build Referral Source Relationships
Finally, your referral sources (vendors you’ve worked with) or potential referral sources (vendors you want to work with) are on social media as well. As you’re building up your interaction with clients and prospects, you also have a chance to find related businesses and open up the line of communication with them. This can and does lead to a new stream of business in both directions.
How to Integrate Email and Social Media Marketing
Emails and social media are two primary components of any marketing campaign. The challenge may be finding ways to integrate these two methods to work together. The challenge ends today because there are a few quick and simple ways to integrate email and social media marketing to work together and boost your results.
Use Your Signature Block
First, every email you send out should contain your signature block. This is where you type in your name, title, company name, website address, and phone number. Add links to each of your social media accounts to the bottom of the signature block. Put these links at the bottom and invite people who receive your emails to “connect” with you on each social media outlet.
When you send out marketing emails, your e-newsletters or promotional emails, for example, should also contain icons that link to your social media accounts. If you prefer to use text links rather than icons, this is fine too. The point is that you want to create a loop, where you tie in subscribers to your social media accounts and you tie in followers on your social media accounts to your other marketing efforts, such as subscribing to your e-newsletter.
Beef Up Social Media Profiles
You can also invite people who are following you on your social media outlets to become a part of your email list. Post the free offer you have to invite brides and grooms that visit your website to subscribe to your list to each of your social media profiles. Link this offer directly to the page where they can subscribe. Social media profiles also have options for you to include the link to your website and the link to your blog. Make sure that you have these areas filled out on each of your social media profiles.
It’s as simple as that. When you include social media links in your emails and a way for your social media followers to get on your list, you are integrating your email and social media marketing efforts.
How to Improve Your Social Media Marketing
Wedding planners are flocking to social media marketing as a means to enhance online exposure and traffic generation. These four easy steps are a solid foundation for any beginner who’s looking to capitalize on social media.
Become a User Resource
Seek to enhance the overall value to brides and grooms by adding outbound hyperlinks that lead to other resources. When done correctly, you present yourself as a non-bias leader and information source. This helps social media optimization when others link to your social site and tag it as helpful. Over time, your content becomes more relevant to large search engines.
Reward Helpful Users
The most valuable social media participants are those who actively influence a given community. They seek out opportunities to assist others by contributing the experiences you can share or the expertise you have. In return, try to elevate them by promoting their business or brand to your following. A brief email or direct message describing your sincere appreciation and belief in their contribution can go a long way in building online relationships.
Participate in Content Creation
Social media is a two-way street. Don’t just rely on receiving information from other community members. Reciprocate by adding value through free advice, recommendations, or tools you have. You’ll find that certain content naturally spreads socially. Know what type of content can work for you and create it.
While the packaging of social media may be in a constant state of flux, these four pervading principles are good rules of thumb by which to operate online. Remember that text content is still paramount in optimization. However, integrating good content with a more personal and social element creates a winning combo.
I’m Kristie Lorette McCauley. I have a word addiction and I’m not afraid to use it (or admit it).
In my past life, I was a certified wedding planner. In my current life, I am the wedding planner content + copy writer.
I use my writing + wedding planning experience to turn your thoughts into words that land you DREAM brides + grooms + book your calendar solid.