» Like, Love or Dislike It: Social Media Matters

social-media-matters-webinarWebinar recap!

It’s challenging to stay on top of the latest social media sites and trends — especially while you are busy running a successful business. However, social media doesn’t need to require lots of time to make a big impact on your client reach.

During this month’s webinar hosted by WeddingWire Chief Marketing Officer Sonny Ganguly, we discussed the ‘big four’ social media sites your clients are loving — and where you need to be active this engagement season. Plus, Sonny shared expert tips to effectively leverage each top social media site to your business advantage.

Here are some of the webinar highlights:

  • Visual sharing on social sites is key. This is part of the reason that Instagram and Snapchat have risen to popularity so quickly! Overall, 3.3 billion photos are shared on top social sites daily. Don’t miss an opportunity to show off your work on a regular basis!
  • Your clients love social media. The majority of today’s engaged couples are Millennials in their twenties and early thirties. 89% consider themselves active on social media and 56% report that they would only consider booking pros they can find on social media.
  • How do they use social while planning their wedding? First, they turn to virtual pinboard site Pinterest to get inspired. Next, they move to Facebook to learn more about vendors they are interested in, and also turn to Instagram to see your aesthetic.
  • They follow the wedding pros they’re interested in. 61% of couples ‘follow’ or ‘like’ the professionals they want to learn more about. Why? Most commonly to get inspiration for their wedding, to see the quality of your work and to get more info about your business.
  • Where should you invest the most of your time? The top four sites to invest your time and connect with your clients today are: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. You can cut back on time on Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr due to a lack of interaction with your clients or general sharing traffic on those sites this year.

For more great social media tips, stats and information about connecting with couples on top social sites, watch the full webinar! Don’t forget that past webinars are available within Premium member’s accounts to view anytime.

» What’s Next in Social Media: 2014 Year in Review

What's Next in Social Media

What’s Next in Social Media: 2014 Year in ReviewThe big social networks are still finding new ways to innovate and introduce new features, even though they’re years old at this point. Don’t be fooled – just because networks like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest aren’t shiny and new doesn’t mean that their updates don’t constantly influence the way businesses conduct online marketing. 2014 was still a huge year for the big social players!

If you’re just now deciding whether or not to start a new social media marketing strategy, make sure you catch up on the latest social media news and updates before you start planning for the New Year.

Before you spend time searching the news stories to find out what’s next in social media, check out the biggest updates to social networks in 2014!

Facebook

Facebook’s biggest update for businesses was announced in December – new tools and insights for businesses are coming for 2015! The exciting announcement came as a result of feedback from publishers who need more social media marketing tools than just paid options. Facebook is introducing interest targeting for organic posts that allows you to target a subset of people who like your page so only that subset sees your post. Facebook will also give publishers the option to add a Post End Date to prevent users from seeing out-of-date posts from your business.  Finally, Facebook will introduce Smart Publishing to help businesses publish the most relevant and timely posts automatically. Besides the Facebook redesign in March and the News Feed algorithm update in June, these new tools are the biggest Facebook news for businesses in 2014!

Twitter

2014 was a big year for Twitter. Following its late-year IPO in 2013, Twitter created a new desktop design that radically changed the layout of the social network. The network then added Promoted Accounts to Twitter search so businesses could suggest their account to users searching on a similar topic. In July, Twitter helped businesses out in a big way by expanding Twitter Analytics so businesses could find out more about those following them as well as other users who show interest in their brand or activities. In the final months of the year Twitter also made strides in the e-commerce market by adding the “Buy” button to tweets as well as adding Offers to help businesses drive urgency with deals. All these features helped Twitter to solidify its presence in the top of the social media world, and businesses would do well to take advantage of these features in the New Year.

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» What’s Next in Social Media: September 2014

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from September 2014:

Facebook enforcing “real name” policy

While Facebook’s name policy is not new, the social network has made headlines this month as it began enforcing the policy. Facebook’s policy maintains that it requires “everyone to provide their real names, so you always know who you’re connecting with.” This policy affects personal, individual Facebook profiles, not business pages – but if you have yet to create a real business page for your business, now’s the time to make the switch!

Read more on the Guardian >>

Twitter unveils Twitter unveils “Buy” button

Twitter took its first steps towards fully integrated e-commerce this month with the “Buy” button. While the process is still early and the button is only available for test partners, this new feature allows retailers to monetize their Twitter followers by allowing them to buy while on Twitter. This is especially easy for mobile users to purchase through their smartphone with fewer steps.

Find out more on Twitter’s blog >>

Pinterest to launch conversion tracking

Great news for Pros looking to advertise on Pinterest: the network is releasing new advertising products that will help grow your Pinterest following and help you track conversions! Promoted Pins have been an advertising product for a while, but Pinterest is getting serious with its tracking abilities to help you determine ROI and give you insight into your audience.

Learn more from TechCrunch >>

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» 5 Ways to Build Engagement on Facebook

5 Ways to Build Engagement on FacebookIf your wedding business has a Facebook page, you know it can be a challenge to not only post consistently but also to get likes, comments and shares on your posts! Many businesses make the mistake of approaching Facebook for business in the same way that they approach Facebook for personal use, and the two could not be more different.

On your personal Facebook account, people you know will friend you simply because they know you; they don’t expect anything except for your friendship and a view into your life. On your Facebook business page, people will like your page because they want to gain something by following your updates. They might seek more information, deals, discounts or even just updates into your business, but they are looking for value. Your page should provide value through your Facebook posts, but how?

If you want to build engagement on Facebook and get your message out there to more users, incorporate the strategies below into your social media strategy!

Use more photo and video

As your users scroll through their News Feed, photos and video stick out much more than text posts. It’s hard to ignore a large, colorful photo, and just think about all the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos sweeping Facebook right now! Adding a photo or video to your post will earn you more attention, which means more engagement from users interested in your brand. Upload a photo from a recent event (giving the photographer credit where necessary) or create a quick video of your last event with our Video Builder. It may take a little more time than just a text post, but it’s worth the time to stand out that much more to your customers and potential customers.

Ask questions

When you do post text or a link, try to use questions to engage with your audience. Social media is a two-way medium, allowing for communication between both the poster and reader. Take advantage of this nuance by asking questions of your audience to prompt them to comment with an answer. If you’re a wedding planner, try asking your audience if they prefer one wedding trend over another. If you’re a photographer, ask your audience which poses they view as the have-to-have poses for their wedding albums. You can post a question each week on a certain day, or you can just add them into your social schedule as you see fit to provide some variation in your posts.

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» How to Incorporate Facebook into Your Marketing

Running your business is a full time job, and it may seem like taking on additional responsibilities would be too much to handle. With all the talk about social media and other online tactics, there’s a lot of confusion over what’s necessary for your business and how to get started. Even if you’ve started using social media for your business, it’s easy to get stuck in the same pattern of not knowing what to post or posting the same content over and over.

How to Incorporate Facebook into Your MarketingHowever, if social media is something you’re interested in incorporating into your marketing strategy, create a Facebook business page! Facebook business pages are free, and they have a variety of different benefits over using a personal Facebook account. And with over 1 billion active users on Facebook, you’ll be opening up your business to more exposure as well as another way to connect with your clients.

If you’re ready to get started, below are a few topic ideas to consider when writing your next (or first!) Facebook post:

Use your Facebook Page to Request Reviews

A Facebook status is a great way to reach out for reviews without having to personally email your clients. Posting a status including your personalized review URL is an easy way to solicit reviews, especially if you’ve tried sending personal requests and haven’t heard back from them all.

Pro Tip: Consider sharing this post on a monthly basis!

Share something from “Behind the Scenes”

Give your followers a glimpse from behind the scenes of one of your events. Your followers would love to see a post/picture of what goes into each wedding! This idea also lays the ground work for a follow-up post – the following week you can post a photo of the finished product.

Pro Tip: If you’re a florist, post a picture of your van packed full heading to the event. If you’re a photographer, share a story about the great lengths you went to secure the perfect shot.

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» Facebook Profiles vs. Facebook Business Pages

Facebook Profiles vs. Facebook Business PagesWhen Facebook first began to gain popularity with businesses, organizations and companies in addition to individuals, there weren’t many professional options. As a result, many business owners created personal accounts for their businesses which allowed them to “friend” their customers and grow a following that way. These accounts functioned for a while, but Facebook quickly realized that there was a growing need for a different type of access for entities.

Then Facebook Business Pages were created, and Facebook began offering different products to businesses because they have different needs than individuals. Whether you created a personal profile for your business because there were no other options at the time or you just don’t want to make the change, it’s time to switch to a business page! This tool will better serve your business’ needs, and there are a lot of benefits to having a business page rather than a personal profile.

Here are a few reasons why your business should make the switch from a personal profile to a business page (if you haven’t already), or why you should get started with a Facebook business page today if you don’t have one:

Professionalism

Even with constant changes to Facebook’s look and feel, it’s easy to tell the difference between a personal profile and a business page and business pages look more professional.  Also, since “friends” have access to each other’s profiles, you may be preventing potential customers from creating a relationship with your business because they may not want to share all of their personal information with you, or may be unable to search for your business by a personal name.

Multiple users

Using a business page for your business means that you can add multiple users with different levels of permissions. You don’t have to sign in and out or share your password with other employees who need access; you can just add them as administrators and they’ll be able to access from their own accounts. Facebook also added a new feature that allows only admins to see who posted on behalf of the page, so you’ll always know who posted what should anything go awry.

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» Tips for Getting More Facebook “Likes”

Tips for Getting More Facebook "Likes"It’s important to extend your online presence beyond your website and Storefront, since more people are likely to find you if your brand has a presence in more places. Facebook business pages are a great way to gain more exposure for your brand! As the reigning #1 social networking site, Facebook is a great place to interact with your fans and potential customers.

Whether you’re starting a new Facebook business page or just want to increase the number of followers on your current page, here are a few simple tips for getting more Facebook “likes”!

  1. Put the Facebook “Like” button on your business website. Follow this link to learn how!
  2. Invite your Facebook friends to like your business page. If you have a following on your personal Facebook, post a status asking them to “like” your business page. This will give your brand added exposure to their networks.
  3. Include your Facebook link in multiple places such as on your website, blog and even in your email signature. Without sharing you business page, your clients, potential clients and more will not know it exists! Continue reading