» WeddingWire Networking Night San Francisco

This past Monday was our WeddingWire Networking Night San Francisco at The Hamilton Ballroom. Like our past events in Philadelphia, Miami, New York, Chicago, and Detroit, local Wedding Pros had the opportunity to mix and mingle with other area Pros across all service categories. We also included a bit of education to help grow your business, as WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, presented on upcoming Social and Mobile marketing trends.

We would like to take a minute to thank the wonderful Wedding Pros who helped make the event possible:

 

Congratulations to our drawing winner, Donna Spitzer from The Full Tilt! Band. She will receive a WeddingWire prize pack and gift certificate from Amazon.com.
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» The Power of You-Twit-Face

Did you know that Facebook is the world’s largest country? Or that Lady Gaga has more Twitter followers than the population of Sweden? Social media has fundamentally changed the way customers discover new businesses, especially YouTube, Twitter and Facebook (or better known as You-Twit-Face). These social sites give you the unique ability to reach and interact with customers in a way that was never possible before. Not only can you connect with potential clients in real-time, you can humanize your brand and show your personality. Focus on You-Twit-Face and you will see a positive impact on your business.

Why YouTube?
People watch 2 billion videos each day and upload 24 hours of video every minute to YouTube. In addition, it’s is the #2 search engine! So it’s easy to see that YouTube is great platform to showcase your services as a way to increase your online exposure and attract new clients.

Why Twitter?
Twitter has seen exponential growth in the past 2 years with over 200 million users. The site allows you to monitor what others have to say about your business, your competitors, the wedding industry, and more. In addition, you can easily connect with potential and past clients, as well as other local Wedding Pros, through Twitter and communicate with them in real-time.

Why Facebook?
Facebook has become the #1 largest social network in a short period of time. It has so many registered users that it’s technically the world’s largest country! The top demographic is women age 18–34, which is the exact audience you are trying to target in your marketing outreach. If that hasn’t convinced you, keep in mind that the average user spends 7 hours per month on Facebook.

 

To see the full article and hear our recommendations on how to take advantage of You-Twit-Face, visit the Education Center.

» Joining the Cloud

This week the WeddingWire team will be attending Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference. Many industry leaders will come together for this 4 day conference to move forward in the world of cloud computing. With keynote speakers including Executive Chairman of Google, CIO of Facebook, President of Verizon Business, and many more, we plan to share with you the most up-to-date industry news and information we learn!

Salesforce is going to be live streaming all of the keynote speakers as well as some exclusive shows, panel discussions and interviews. Just click here!

» Beginners Guide to Google Analytics: Part I

If you aren’t already signed up on Google Analytics, consider this your wake up call! It’s time. It’s free and allows you to track traffic on your website and blog. Analytics allows you to see more information about your visitors, what pages they visit, and how long they stayed on your site. In turn, allowing you to see what areas you need to improve as well as what areas are performing the best. The end goal: increasing conversions and traffic through the web. Sign up through your Gmail account.

Take a look at the example below of the interface. (Reference this page for information on each item.)

Next, install the code on your website and/or blog. Just follow these steps:

1. Grab your personalized Google Analytics Tracking Code – use the unique code for your Google Analytics profile which can be find within the Profile Settings page of your account. Click here for full instructions or watch the how-to video below.

2. Implement the code – paste the code you copied from Step 1 below the content on your site right before the tag on each page.

Having trouble? Visit the Google Analytics troubleshooting site.

» Catering to the LGBT Wedding Market

Yesterday, President of GayWeddings.com, Kathryn Hamm, joined WeddingWire’s CMO, Sonny Ganguly, as part of our monthly webinar series to discuss Catering to the LGBT Wedding Market. In the optional one hour webinar, Kathryn Hamm helped educate interested upgraded WeddingWire Pros about:

  • The legal landscape of same-sex marriage
  • What you need to do to educate yourself
  • How to market your business to the LGBT community
  • Skills for inclusive social media efforts
  • Tips for updating your marketing
  • How positive reviews can help your business
  • What to anticipate for the future

Don’t worry if you missed it, past webinars are added to Education Center and available for all upgraded Pros.

In September Sonny will discuss how to Get Social, Go Mobile: The Future of Marketing, helping listeners learn important trends and growth of the social media and mobile world.

» Need Design Help?

Getting a professionally designed logo that is up to your standards is often difficult for the small business owner on a budget and limited timeframe. Look no further if you are in need of a new logo, business card, or virtually anything for your business. As written up in TechCruch, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Entrepreneur, 99 Designs is a company that allows your business to receive multiple options at an affordable price.

The crowdsourcing method basically allows your business to submit information about your need to a group (in this case, graphic designers) who will compete for your business. The company, started in Melbourne, has grown to be the self proclaimed #1 in the marketplace with a new design submitted every 6 seconds. Their goal? To provide a “friendly, professional, and secure environment where designers from all walks of life can find opportunity and compete on a level playing field.”

Want more information? Check out the tutorial video on their website.

» Get a Quick Response with QR Codes

A QR (Quick Response) code is a specific matrix barcode (or type of 2D code) that is readable with specific barcode readers and camera phones. Whether you’ve heard of them or not, you’ve probably seen them around and wondered – what is this strange black and white box? In short, these QR codes connect people to mobile sites or information but what it is is not nearly as important as what is does.

According to an article featured on Mashable, 2D code usage quadrupled last year and can help increase your sales, customer loyalty, and revenue per customer. While popularity is increasing, that doesn’t mean all consumers have encountered these codes yet. Mashable recommends a short caption to help users understand how to download a reader to their phone and generally explain the process.

Great news – since your on WeddingWire, we automatically have created a personalized QR code for you! To access it, login to your account and click on the My Reviews tab. At the bottom of the page you’ll see your unique code. When a potential client scans your code, they’ll be taken directly to your Storefront and Reviews.

Some great suggestions on where to add your code:

  • Website
  • Blog
  • Business Cards
  • LinkedIn and Facebook Pages
  • Bridal Show Posters
  • Flyers
  • T-shirts

To make it as easy for your to jump in and stay ahead of the trends, we’ve also created a printable QR poster. With the click of a button you can have a formatted poster with your business’ code and information about how it works.

Any creative ways your business has used 2D codes?


» 5 On-Page SEO Rules of Thumb

1. Focus on your headline. By choosing a great headline (meaning it is attention grabbing but also contains keywords) you optimize your web page and search engines will rank it higher or more relevant for searches. By bolding and increasing the size of your headline, you help search engines know it is the most important thing on the page. Use this same tactic for sub-headers and within your text.

2. Stay simple with your URL. The format of the URL is important in indexing your pages. If you can customize your URL (usually it is free to do) make sure it is to the point and also includes keywords relevant to the page topic.

3. Use ALT tags on images. By including more information about the content on your page, your website becomes more appealing to search engines.  Make sure you are using keywords here too!

4. Have we said keywords yet? Include keywords in your title tags and meta description as well. The max characters for your page is 75 characters so make sure to choose keywords the fit best with the content of your page.

5. Take advantage of internal linking. Reference some of your other pages to help boost your SEO and encourage your readers to view other pages of your site.

Follow these simple steps and you will start seeing result for your on-page SEO ranking. Click here to read more!

» Create a Facebook Fan Page

If you haven’t already, you need to create a Facebook fan page for your business. Many couples spend their time interacting with family and friends online through Facebook while planning their wedding. It is important your business has a presence! Just follow our simple step-by-step guide below:

Click here to get started!

1. Select your Category and Name – You should likely select “Local Business or Place” and then select the category closest to your business type. Enter your name, address, and phone number and click “Get Started.” It is important to enter your name exactly as it appears on your own website as well as WeddingWire so that you maintain consistency.

2. Add a Profile Picture –  Click “Upload Picture” at the top of the page and select and image you feel best represents your business. Make sure it will look good even as a reduced thumbnail. We recommend bright colorful images of your past work.

3. Add Information – Use the “Add Information to this Page” option under your profile picture to enter in basic information. The more details about your business the better!

4. Add Content – Okay this one is really important so listen up! Like a profile page, Fan Pages have multiple tabs you can build out. You can devote a full tab to Photos, WeddingWire Reviews, etc. You can add promotions, discussion, and more ways to interact with your past and potential clients. There are also tons of applications you can add to further customize your page, browse them here.

5. Publish! – Click to “Publish this Page” and share it with everyone you know. You can engage with your brides and grooms online in a whole new way. Use Facebook’s functionality to make your page unique by setting a default page for those who haven’t “liked” your business yet, allowing fans to share your posts, photos, and more.

It is important to stay up to day with your Facebook page by posting regular content like links to your blog or new reviews on WeddingWire. Be sure to click the “Share” button to share it with friends and those you are working with or have worked with in the past.

Here are some more tips from the folks at Facebook.  Share your fan pages with us in the comments!

» What is Google Related?

Google has been busy and just announce their launch of Google Related, a browser extension that shows information related or relevant to the information on your screen. Watch this video to learn more about how it works:

This new tool emphasizes the importance of your website optimization and use of keywords. Click here to learn more about it from HubSpot.

» HOW TO: Update Your Main Image

It is important to periodically update your WeddingWire Storefront. An easy way to do so is to rotate your main image and theme with the seasons so potential clients can see you are staying active. It’s an easy process, just follow the steps below! Keep in mind we recommend images that are 600 x 600 pixels and a .jpeg file.

1. Login to your account

2. Click on the My Storefront tab

3. Click “edit” under your current main image

4. Click the “Choose File” button and select your new image

5. Click “Open” and then “Upload Image”

That’s it! Be sure to select a picture that reflects your style and is attractive to brides and grooms. Your main image is a very important part of how you represent your business, and often your first impression! In the vendor search results many visitors will or won’t click on a particular vendor because they like or don’t like that main image. What is your favorite main image of?

» Promote Yourself

It’s easy to forget when speaking with a new potential client to tell them all the great ways they can find more information and engage with your business. Here are five simple places to cross-promote your social media efforts and build a relationship with brides in a whole new way!

1. Your Blog – add commonly used Follow buttons to your blog so your readers can easily stumble upon your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.

2. Your About Us Page – this just makes sense! The About Us Page is where people come to learn more about your company, link visitors to your social media so they get the full picture.

3. Your Email – its easy to add a signature to the bottom of your email with links to Facebook and Twitter. You’ll be surprised how many new fans and followers you get!

4. Other Social Media Accounts – if someone is already your Facebook fan, make it easy for them to follow you on Twitter or check out your blog, YouTube page, or WeddingWire Storefront. Just add a simple shortened link using our URL shorterner, Wedli.

5. Print Materials – whether its materials you give clients who come into your store or giveaways at a bridal show, make sure to include quick links to your Facebook, Twitter, blog, and any other social media. You could even use your custom QR code available within your WeddingWire account to make it easy for potential customers!

Click here for the full article to learn more. What has been the most successful way your business has cross promoted?