» Got News? How to Share It

Engaged couples take many things into account when searching for their perfect wedding vendor. An important consideration is the amount of buzz generated around your business. When your business receives an award, when you are mentioned in a local magazine or news article, it is important to share it! Here’s a few ways to generate buzz outside of your website and blog:

Submit a Press Release

A great way to keep audiences up-to-date is writing a press release, which is easier than it sounds. Positive PR can be a great tool in building a positive reputation about your product or services. Press releases should be short in nature, typically around 600 characters or less, and highlight news about your business, whether launching a new product or receiving an award. In addition, you should always include the pertinent details about your business (website, tagline, etc.).

We recommend submitting your press release on WebWire, which distributes press releases to both online readers and media outlets and also helps with Search Engine Inclusion and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). For some examples of past WeddingWire press releases, visit the WeddingWire Press Center.

Use Social Media

Posting messages on Facebook and Twitter is another great way to generate positive buzz about your business. Encouraging your Facebook fans to “like” your post will automatically repost it to their Facebook friends, thereby boosting your word of mouth. This also occurs when followers re-tweet your message on Twitter. Not only will potential clients be impressed by your accolades, but you will be helping to improve your SEO by updating your online accounts and generating more links.

Showcase In Person

If you have a physical location where clients can visit, make sure to display any trophies or certificates of these accolades in a prominent area where they are sure to be noticed. Don’t forget to bring these to bridal shows as well!

All of these ways of generating buzz take just a few minutes, but can make a big impact on your business. Beyond updating news on your website and creating a blog post, take the extra time to write a press release, share the news on social media, and display your awards at your shop or bridal shows.

» The ‘Like’ Button: How to Get It & Where to Put It

This post was written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire, you can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. A full version of this article is available in the Education Center. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.
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How to Get It
Facebook allows you to quickly create a ‘Like’ button for your website. The first step is to visit the developers section of Facebook at:

https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like/

Enter your website url and then choose the layout you would like best. You can choose from the standard ‘Like’ button, which shows how many people like your site and also if any of their friends also like it as well. There is also a more compact button you can put on your website (shown above) or a box version that is typically great for blogs. They all work the same, so choose based on which aesthetics will work best with your site. You can also decide if you want the button to say the words ‘Like’ or ‘Recommend.’ I find that people feel it is a little easier to like something versus making a full recommendation, but you can go either way here. Make any last changes to the style of the button and then hit ‘Get Code.’

Simply add your personalized ‘Like’ button to your homepage. The next thing you know people will be liking your website. You’ll get more traffic and better SEO results. Now that is something to truly Like!

Where to Put It
You should add a facebook ‘Like’ button somewhere prominent on your homepage. Typically, this is put towards the top of the page or in a key area where brides and grooms will look. Again, you want the ‘Like’ button to be on your main url for your homepage. That way as you get more and more likes, it will boost the search ranking of the most important page on your site…your homepage.

» SEO Benefits of Being ‘Liked’

This post was written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire, you can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. A full version of this article is available in the Education Center. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.
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Adding the ‘Like’ button to your website’s homepage can improve your search engine optimization (SEO). In the past year, Google, Yahoo! and Bing have updated their algorithms for how they rank websites. Where you rank is dependent on numerous factors, including the content on your site, the keywords you use and the number of other sites that link to you. What has changed is that search engines now count the amount of social activity on your site and one of the largest drivers of that is the facebook ‘Like’ button. The goal of a search engine is to provide the user with the best possible search results and they have found that a critical factor is including the number of ‘Likes’ a website gets into the equation.

So if you are on page one for specific keywords in Google, but your website does not have much social activity (shares on facebook, twitter, etc) then over time you may lose some ranking. On the other hand, if you are sitting on page two but people have been hitting the ‘Like’ button and sharing your website on social media sites, your rankings will get a boost. So adding the ‘Like’ button to your homepage not only will get people to visit your website from facebook, but it will also make sure you show up higher in search results! The ‘Like’ button will improve your SEO over time.

» From Business Page to Home Page

This post was written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire, you can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. A full version of this article is available in the Education Center. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.
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In the past couple years you have likely built a business page on Facebook, which is one of the best marketing decisions you can make. It includes your logo, some basic details and allows you to share updates with your followers. Best of all, it is free (outside of the time spent making updates!) Your business page is a great tool to market your business to users on Facebook.

Ensure your page is successful by constantly growing your followers and posting good content. And don’t forget to also cross promote your Facebook page so that you can increase the number of followers or ‘Likes’ you have. It is a good strategy to include a link to your business page on your own website, your newsletters and even your email signatures.

The only challenge with the business page is that all of that traffic goes to Facebook. When a customer clicks ‘Like,’ they are liking your business on Facebook. There is nothing wrong about that, but what about getting people to like your own website? Why should all those likes be posted on Facebook?

The time has come to take the next step and add the Facebook ‘Like’ button to your own website. Leading sites across the web have started to add the like button to their homepages. Why? Because when people hit the ‘Like’ button they like your homepage and your own url. When that news gets shared back into Facebook, their friends and family will see what they liked. And if those friends and family click on the link it will bring the user back to your own website! You get all the benefit of the likes.

» WeddingWire Update from the CEO

We are excited to announce that WeddingWire recently welcomed new investors to our company, while also strengthening our relationship with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO). Catalyst Investors (www.catalystinvestors.com), a New York-based private equity firm, acquired a stake in WeddingWire by purchasing MSLO’s minority stake in WeddingWire. At the same time, WeddingWire further developed its partnership with MSLO to continue to drive success for local businesses.

As you may recall, Martha Stewart Weddings became the first WeddingWire Network partner in 2008, and since then Brides.com, ProjectWedding.com, and Weddingbee.com have been added to the network. This year, we extended our partnership with MSLO. WeddingWire currently powers the local resources on MarthaStewartWeddings.com and will do so for years to come.

Moreover, we are thrilled to announce that their flagship site, MarthaStewart.com, has joined our brand new EventWire Network, set to roll out in the beginning of next year. We invite you to preview our new EventWire site at http://www.eventwire.com.

The sale of MSLO shares in WeddingWire to Catalyst Investors is separate from the partnership. We continue to have a very close partnership with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and are happy to have helped them realize a sizeable return on their investment in WeddingWire. Furthermore, we are excited to be working with Catalyst Investors to continue to grow WeddingWire in 2012 and beyond. They not only bring a wealth of experience, but also provide a broad array of resources that we will have access to. Catalyst Investors beat out several other investors for the opportunity to invest in WeddingWire.

Now for the important stuff: What does this mean for you? The short answer: More exposure for you on MSLO sites. Click here for the official press release.

On behalf of everyone at WeddingWire, we want to thank you for your continued support. I still cannot believe that we have only been operating for 5 years in the wedding industry. It seems just like yesterday that folks were showing up in my living room with the common goal of building a more direct marketplace for the wedding industry. Today, our staff of over 100 employees remains relentlessly committed to building the most effective, efficient platform to help you grow your business online. In these 5 years, WeddingWire has become the largest wedding network and continues to be one of the fastest growing resources for engaged couples and local Wedding Pros in the market. We are delighted that MSLO will continue to grow with us as part of the WeddingWire Network, and that we have a strong partner like Catalyst to help us continue to serve local businesses in the future.

Happy Holidays,

Timothy Chi
CEO
WeddingWire, Inc.

» WeddingWire Happy Hour San Diego

This past Monday marks our first installment of WeddingWire Happy Hour! Members of the WeddingWire team gathered at The Lincoln Room in San Diego with local Wedding Pros. Similarly to our past WeddingWire Networking Night events in Miami, New York, San Francisco, Dallas and more, San Diego area Wedding Pros had the opportunity to mix and mingle with other local Pros across all service categories and listen to some brief remarks by Sonny Ganguly, CMO, WeddingWire.

A special thanks to Darren Moore at The Lincoln Room and heidi-o-photo for capturing the highlights of the event!


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» It’s OK to Be ‘Liked’

This post was written by Sonny Ganguly, CMO of WeddingWire, you can follow him on Twitter @sonnyg. A full version of this article is available in the Education Center. Sonny leads WeddingWire’s marketing strategy, customer acquisition, and business development.
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We all enjoy being liked by our friends and family! As humans, it is our nature to want those around us to like us. It is no different in the online world either. You want your brides and grooms to like not only you, but also your business, your website, your blog, your facebook page and more. The great thing about being liked online is that it is easy for everyone to see your popularity!

Facebook has made the ability to ‘Like’ products and services easier than ever before. All it takes is a simple click of the mouse to let people know what things you like in the digital world. In fact, it is so easy that people like items they see on Facebook, but also quickly like their favorite movies, celebrities and products. For instance, I personally like Coca-Cola, Saved by the Bell, Beyonce and more. I have over 170 different items that I have ‘Liked,’ including numerous wedding businesses.

Many times we are afraid of whether people would actually want to ‘Like’ a business, or in particular your business. Today’s customers are built in a different way. They are happy to like all sorts of things and then share it with the world. You will find that your brides and other wedding professionals will like you without much effort. You just have to make it easy to get liked!

Over the next week I’ll share with you:

» Double the Reasons to Request Reviews

There is no better time to contact your past clients for a review of your services than now. With the full launch of EventWire.com and Bride’s Choice Awards 2012 right around the corner, now is the best time to contact your 2011 clients and get more reviews!
COLLECT EVENT REVIEWS
Increase your non-wedding business by gathering reviews for other events that you service. With the full launch of EventWire.com right around the corner, event reviews will help you get more business for events like birthdays, corporate events, and more!
QUALIFY TO WIN
Our annual Bride’s Choice Awards is coming soon, which means there are only a few weeks left to have your past brides speak on your behalf! Simply invite your clients to review your services to be eligible to win the award.

» What’s Next in Tech

Yesterday, WeddingWire CMO, Sonny Ganguly, presented ‘What’s Next in Tech’ as part of our monthly webinar series. Each one hour webinar for upgraded WeddingWire Pros is designed to inform you about the latest industry trends and give you the tools you need to grow your business. This week Sonny helped listeners learn:

  • What’s the next social media
  • How mobile is changing the way we do business
  • 20 technology trends that will shape the world
  • How to stay on top of these trends
  • What you need to do today to be ready for tomorrow

All of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for upgraded Pros. In January, Sonny will discuss the Top Marketing Resolutions for 2012.

» KISSinsights: An Easy Way to Get Answers

Analytics and tracking can be confusing and trying to figure out how customers are finding you can feel impossible.  How often have you asked a potential client, “Where did you find us?” and the answer was, “The Internet.” How do you know where your customers ACTUALLY found you?  Google? Facebook? One of your online ads?

KISSinsights is a free and easy, two question, unobtrusive survey that you can add to your website or blog.  You have the ability to customize the questions to make sure they are relevant to your advertising and marketing efforts. There are also upgraded options to allow for even more personalization.  KISSinsights prides themselves on their questionnaires being private, targeted, and polite.

If you’re interested in learning more about this easy way to track your direct leads, click here.

» Twitter, Re-done

Twitter announced a new site and mobile app overhaul yesterday. They explain further on this dedicated website and blog post, but here are the highlights of what you need to know:

The Goal:

A simpler and cleaner layout

The Changes:

New tabs across the top of the screen (Home, Connect and Discover)

The Tabs:

1. Home – the main Twitter feed of users you follow

2. Connect – contact other users directly

3. Discover – find popular or trending topics and hashtags as well as followers’ activity

Twitter is rolling out the new design over the first few weeks, our account has been updated and we are liking the changes! What about you?