» What Do Couples Want to See on Facebook?

Christine Dyer is a social media expert and the founder of BridalTweet.com. Christine shares her social media expertise with the wedding industry through a series of free wedding marketing videos. As a testament of Christine’s social media success, BridalTweet now has over 10,000 Facebook fans, 37,000 Twitter followers, and 3,000 Pinterest followers. Prior to launching BridalTweet, Christine Dyer was the Director of Social Media Marketing at American Express where she led the development and growth of their Facebook fan pages, which had 1.6 million fans. Christine received a B.S. and M.B.A. in marketing from Fordham University.

Many wedding professionals use Facebook as just another channel to push out press releases and product promotions. Engaged couples don’t care about that stuff. Instead, the biggest factors that motivate their participation on social networks are 1) to find/share wedding ideas and 2) to get answers to their wedding planning questions. By consistently delivering this type of information on social networks, you’ll attract clients. And better yet — you’ll build a trusted relationship with them.

Having said that, here are the necessary steps that you will need to take in order to transform your Facebook marketing into more wedding sales:

1. Create an attractive Facebook business page. Your page needs to give people a reason to become a fan, showcase your work and link to your website. Another great idea is to add functionality to your page that captures email addresses. This is a great way to build your bride and groom lead list.

2. Build your Facebook fan base. To do this, add a Facebook icon to all of your marketing materials.  This should include all of your website pages and your email signature. The icon should link directly to your Facebook business page. And why not send an email to your friends and family inviting them to ‘Like’ your Facebook business page.

3. Select a few big ideas for your content. Consistently post about one specific theme or niche. Having a theme will create a perception that you are an expert on that particular subject. More importantly, it will signal to fans as to what they can expect from your Facebook page. If it is a theme that they are interested in, then they will likely respond to your page often. To choose a theme, think about what you are passionate about and what you are good at. For example, wedding photographers can publish a ‘wedding photo of the day’.  Wedding planners can publish a wedding planning tip of the day. Or consider posting about celebrity weddings — brides love that stuff. Whatever your big ideas are, they will help distinguish you and your business. And they will attract attention.

4.  Get into a routine and frequently publish those big ideas on your Facebook page. Try to post engaging questions or content on your Facebook business page in order to get free exposure for your business. I consider content to be engaging if it delivers valuable/helpful information to your fans and if it encourages your fans to Like or Comment on the content. Once your fans Like or Comment on your posts, then their friends will also see your business in their News Feed. Posting valuable information will increase your chances of rising to the top of thousands of newly engaged couples (and their friends’) News Feeds. Again, this results in free exposure for your wedding business.

5.  Save time! Spend only 10 minutes a day on social media by automating your Facebook posts. I use Facebook’s free scheduling tool. This service is invaluable to me because it frees up my time during the day and helps me to focus on what’s most important — my customers.

What are the big ideas behind your Facebook marketing strategy?

» 6 Ways to Become Influential on Twitter

We are pleased to introduce Christine Dyer, a new WeddingWire Education Expert!

Christine Dyer is a social media expert and the founder of BridalTweet.com. Christine shares her social media expertise with the wedding industry through a series of free wedding marketing videos. As a testament of Christine’s social media success, BridalTweet now has over 10,000 Facebook fans, 37,000 Twitter followers, and 3,000 Pinterest followers. Prior to launching BridalTweet, Christine Dyer was the Director of Social Media Marketing at American Express where she led the development and growth of their Facebook fan pages, which had 1.6 million fans. Christine received a B.S. and M.B.A. in marketing from Fordham University.

Over the last four years, I’ve built a strong following on Twitter with 37,000 followers. I’ve captured the attention of a large audience and more importantly, I’ve become influential in the wedding industry. In fact, WeFollow.com has ranked BridalTweet as the #1 most prominent brand on Twitter for the wedding planning category.

Why should you care? Becoming influential on Twitter is bound to help your wedding business. It will create more opportunities for you and it will drive referrals for you. And the good news is – it’s something that anyone can achieve.

So how did I do it? The fact is that this is all really easy but the secret sauce is that you have to use these tips on a consistent basis. You just have to keep at it. So, here goes:

  • Think hard when creating your Twitter profile. Your profile is as important as your own website because your photo, username, and description are the first thing that your audience will see. It should look professional. In Twitter, using your real name creates trust if you are a business owner or personality. Then, your username can be your business name. Make sure to link your profile to your own website. And don’t forget to personalize your Twitter background for a totally unique and branded look and feel!
  •  List your Twitter address on your website, blog, business cards, etc. This is an easy way to get more followers. And when you list your address, be sure to tell people why they should follow you. For example: Follow me to get wedding tips (or special offers, wedding ideas, etc.). A big pet peeve of mine is when businesses just say ‘follow me’ without giving anyone a real reason to do so.
  • Follow 50-100 engaged couples or wedding professionals per week. Most people who sign up for Twitter create a profile and then don’t know what to do next. After you create your profile, start to follow others. Approximately 20-30% of those people will follow you back. You’re probably asking yourself, how do I find brides or wedding professionals on Twitter?  The trick is to first go to other influential Twitter profiles like twitter.com/WeddingWire. Then, look at the people who are following those Influencers. They will likely be brides or wedding professionals. Follow 50-100 of them each week. The key is to do this at a slow and steady rate but to be persistent about it.
  • Listen. Initially, listen to what people are saying. What is appropriate? How are others behaving? It is great to just observe and take it all in.
  • Ask yourself – would my audience like this post enough that they would forward it on to their friends? This is what I consider to be the most important tip! You can post things like wedding tips, trends, wedding planning ideas, or special offers. This will act like a magnet for followers (and bridal leads!). You can even ask engaging questions to spur conversation. Post items and comments that favorably build your professional reputation. And don’t post things that are too personal or pointless.  In other words, don’t tell people what you had for breakfast. Again, the key here is to do all of this at a slow and steady rate but to be persistent. Try to post (or tweet) at least twice a day.
  • Measure your results. Use Google Analytics (a free tool!) to see how much traffic Twitter is driving to your website each week. And you can also use Bit.ly (also free) to shorten and more importantly, track urls within your tweets. Tracking individual links will help you to understand what type of posts your audience is most responsive to.

The great thing about Twitter is that ANYONE can achieve these results. The other great thing is that Twitter is free.  It offers an effective channel to build your reputation, humanize your brand, network and attract new bridal leads. So, here are my last words of wisdom: Your tweets (or posts) shouldn’t be hard sales tools but instead they should be a mix of marketing and education to build your audience’s trust. The whole point here is to build trust and to encourage brides and other wedding professionals to want to work with you.

Do you have Twitter tips that you’d like to share with our wedding community? Please comment below!

Interested in more social media education from Christine? Check out 2 Fan Page Tricks to Get a Ton of Brides and Engaged Couples!