» 5 Ways to Market Your Business in the Busy Season

5 Ways to Market Your Business in the Busy SeasonAs we move into the warmer-weather months, wedding professionals across the country face an extremely busy time of year: wedding season! Though we know the majority of weddings happen in the spring and summer, it’s critical to remember those couples who are still in the process of planning autumn and winter weddings. Here are a few ways your business can continue your marketing strategy to keep new clients coming in despite all the rushing around you’ll be doing in the busy season.

Keep gathering reviews

With all your weddings and events happening in the spring and summer, it’s important to gather as many client reviews as possible. Each review is another chance for your clients to spread the word about your business, and each review is valuable for potential clients who are researching your business and other professionals in their area. Plus, recency is still a big factor when couples are evaluating your wedding business, so it’s essential to continue collecting them even if your calendar for the next few months is full!

Tailor your content

Blogging is a great marketing tool no matter what time of the year! Continue creating great content about your business with an off-season twist – think about where your potential clients are in the planning process and try to appeal to them with the right content for that stage. Are there things couples should know about your business when they first start planning? Is there a particular time period couples should focus on your business category versus others in the planning process? Gain more readers by targeting them with the right message at the right time.

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» 5 of the Most Shareable Blog Post Types

	5 of the Most Shareable Blog Post TypesComing up with ideas for blog posts can be time consuming, especially when you get stuck in a rut of posting the same types of articles all the time. Adding more variety to your post types will not only make writing easier, it will also pique the interest of your readers by providing a new format. If you’re not sure how else you can format your business’ content, we’ve got some great data to share.

NewsCred, along with Fractl and BuzzStream, recently analyzed 220,000 articles from 11 verticals over six months to determine what content resonates best on social media and when to post for maximum impact. We’ve broken down their data below to provide you with the most shareable blog post types!

1.  List Posts

Study results: 22.45% of total shares

Best months for sharing: June, September, October

List blog posts offer a number of points on a particular topic that support a general conclusion. List posts have become very popular due to popular news sites like Buzzfeed, which publishes a number of list posts each day. List posts, like infographics, are easier to read and understand because of their simple formatting. Think about the various options a couple has when booking your business and list them, or provide a list of ideas for each season.

2.  ‘Why’ Posts

Study results: 22.32% of total shares

Best months for sharing: September, October, November

‘Why’ posts provide readers with a reason or purpose and provide details that support a given conclusion. These posts serve to convince your readers that your conclusion is the right conclusion! Here’s your chance to really persuade your audience on your own viewpoints. For some wedding professionals this type of post could be a piece on why engaged couples need a Pro in your service category, and why they should book your wedding business.

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» Twitter Tips for Wedding Professionals

Twitter Tips for Wedding ProfessionalsWith WeddingWire World 2015 less than a week away, we’re getting excited for the flurry of social activity from our wedding professionals in attendance. We love seeing what you all have to say, and it’s great to open up a dialogue both during and after the event. Because we know you’re excited, too, now is a good time to talk about Twitter tips and etiquette to help your business stand out.

If you’re just getting started with Twitter, these Twitter best practices for wedding businesses will help you start connecting with new potential customers and building industry connections. If you’re ready for some more in-depth Twitter tips for wedding professionals, check out our list below!

Tweet at least once a day

Tweets are short and disposable, so it’s essential that you tweet at least once a day to fill up your own timeline. Just as inactivity is frowned upon on Facebook, it’s also a problem on Twitter! In addition to indicating that your business is alive and well to your Twitter profile visitors, tweeting consistently increases the likelihood that your tweets are seen by others. The best time of day to get click-throughs on your tweets is 12pm, and the best time of day to get retweets is 5pm. Note that both these times of day are when people are active on their smartphones – during lunch and after work – so they’re looking for something to keep them occupied during a few spare minutes. Reach them then!

…But not too much

Although tweets are short and disposable, too many of them can easily add up to be overwhelming for your followers. If you’re constantly tweeting and updating your followers on your every move, your followers may be tempted to ‘Mute’ you or, even worse, ‘Unfollow’ you. Target your tweets during those peak times mentioned above and add a few more tweets to your queue if you have something to say, but don’t tweet so often that you become frustrating to your followers.

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» Social Media Marketing: What Not To Do

Social Media Marketing: What Not To DoRunning your wedding business is a full time job, and it may seem like taking on additional responsibilities would be too much to handle. But with all the talk about social media and other online tactics, it’s important that your business fully understands social media marketing and what you should (and should not) do.

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. We’ve got some of the biggest social media marketing don’ts so you can know how best to proceed!

Don’t create accounts you’ll never use

There are new social networks being launched each month, and while it’s important to pay attention to the features and benefits of each, don’t spread your business too thin by thinking you have to be present on every social network. Most businesses only have enough time or resources to manage a few social networks, so try for quality, not quantity! If you’re already overwhelmed with Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterest, don’t create a new account on any network until you have time to dedicate to it.

Don’t just post about yourself

Although the purpose of a business account on social media is to promote your business, you shouldn’t just post about yourself. Don’t just post links back to your website constantly, and don’t post multiple times a day if you don’t have anything new to say. In addition to the occasional link back to your website, your posts should add value for your fans and followers. If you have a blog, remember to post your blog posts on your social networks to help educate and inform potential clients, and be sure to share any relevant news from industry websites or communities.

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» A Beginner’s Guide to Using Pinterest

A Beginner’s Guide to Using PinterestBy now, you’ve probably heard from other wedding professionals that Pinterest can be a big driver of traffic for your website. Pinterest helps users discover things they want to plan, buy or do sometime in the future. As an image-centric social network, Pinterest is one of the best ways to reach potential wedding clients because brides (and grooms!) will often use Pinterest for wedding inspiration.

If you’re a Wedding Pro with a lot of great photos, blog posts or other content you want to get out there in front of potential clients, Pinterest is a social network you should consider. Below are the elements you’ll need to optimize for your business when you begin using Pinterest!

Business Name/Username: When creating a Pinterest account for your wedding business, it’s important to use your business’ name so clients and potential clients can find you. It’s also important that you remain consistent across as many channels as possible so that all your networks can be found when searching for your business. With Pinterest, your business name is how your Pinterest account is displayed, and your username is what determines your account’s URL. If your business name is very long, you can shorten in the username and leave the full name as your business name.

Profile: Other elements of your Pinterest profile include a picture (which should be your logo if you have one) and a short “About You” section. This section should describe your business in a little more detail. It’s also a great place to include any keywords for your service category! There are also fields for your business’ location and website. You can verify your website to show Pinterest users that you’re a trustworthy source – instructions here.

Pins: On Pinterest, the content you post is called a Pin. You can pin from a website or from a file on your computer. Adding a Pin from a website is the best way to take advantage of Pinterest – you simply paste the URL of the page you’d like to pin and Pinterest pulls any images on that web page for you to add to your account. The benefit to pinning from a URL is that if users click on your Pin, they’ll be taken to the web page the image came from. Many wedding professionals use Pinterest to further the images they add to their blog and drive traffic to their website. However, if you have something you want to add as a Pin that isn’t on your website or blog, you still have the option to upload from a file. When you pin something, that Pin is public so that people searching Pinterest in the same category or topic as your Pin will see it. You’ll also be pinning it to your own board.

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» What’s Next in Social Media: October 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 October 2014:

Facebook's new Safety Check featureFacebook introduces Safety Check tool

Facebook has recognized its importance (among other social networks like Twitter) in times of disaster with its unveiling of Safety Check, a new tool to announce that users are safe and allow them to check on others. Users in an area affected by a dangerous situation will be asked if they’re safe, and a News Feed story will be generated upon an answer in the affirmative.

Continue reading on Facebook Newsroom >>

Twitter offers new tools for app developers

Twitter has been known as a stricter social network among the rest because of its rules around applications that integrate with its services. In the past app developers have had trouble creating apps that make the social network more useful – such as link shortening or photo posting. Twitter has now developed a suite of tools to help app developers build and monitor apps that integrate Twitter.

Learn more on The Wall Street Journal >>

Pinterest begins curating content for users

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» Infographic: How to Build a Buzzworthy Brand

In today’s marketing landscape, 72% of internet users are active on social media and 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision. Those are impressive statistics! Is your wedding business taking advantage of these statistics to reach couples planning their wedding?

If you need help building a buzzworthy brand in the wedding industry, our infographic has tips for using social media to grow your business’ presence!

Infographic: How to Build a Buzzworthy Brand

» Twitter Best Practices for Wedding Businesses

Twitter Best Practices for Wedding BusinessesSince many wedding professionals focus on Facebook or Pinterest for their social media marketing, it seems like Twitter is sometimes lost in the mix – but it shouldn’t be. In fact, 23% of millennials follow a brand on Twitter, and 47% of people who follow a brand on Twitter are more likely to visit that company’s website! With these strong statistics, it’s hard to avoid Twitter as a marketing tactic.

These Twitter best practices for wedding businesses will help you get started with Twitter so you can start connecting with new potential customers and building industry connections.

Optimize your profile

Customizing your Twitter profile is really easy and only takes a few minutes to give your business a professional look. Twitter has instructions and image dimensions here, but the basics are to:

  • Upload a profile photo. Since this profile is for your business, use your wedding business’ logo as your profile photo. If you don’t have a business logo, try using a photo of your finished product or a photo from a recent wedding. Try to avoid using your own image as your profile photo – remember, this is supposed to represent your business, not you!
  • Select a descriptive header photo. Your header photo appears at the top of your profile, and Twitter will overlay your business’ bio, location and website overtop, so keep the photo simple. Don’t use a lot of text and avoid overly bright or dark images. Be sure to check out how your header photo looks with your profile photo to ensure brand consistency.
  • Write your bio. Beneath your Twitter handle on your profile, Twitter will display your business’ name, location, website and a short description. Describe your business in this space to make it clear to anyone who stumbles across your profile. Also include keywords where appropriate – Twitter profiles do show up in search.
  • Choose a background. This step isn’t necessary; Twitter gives you several options for “themes” and you can leave your background blank if you’d like. If you have a design you’d like to use, upload it as your background. Don’t use a tiled version of your logo, though, as that often appears busy and unprofessional.

The bottom line for your Twitter profile is to keep it consistent with your business’ branding. Your Twitter profile could be the first time a new user interacts with your brand, so make a good first impression.

Know what to tweet

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» Mobile Marketing for Wedding Professionals

Mobile Marketing for Wedding ProfessionalsWith all the components of digital marketing to keep track of, mobile marketing may not be a high priority. Much of the research and articles written about mobile marketing suggest that your business create a fully responsive website, send SMS messages or create a mobile app.

OK, so your wedding business probably won’t be creating its own mobile app, but that doesn’t mean you can’t optimize your marketing efforts for mobile devices! Mobile marketing for wedding professionals is a whole different ball game, and with your limited time to dedicate to mobile marketing strategy you might feel overwhelmed. Don’t worry! There are a number of small things you can do that will have a big impact on your business’ ability to reach couples wherever they’re spending their time.

Below are the areas you should focus on mobilizing for your business so every couple who interacts with your business in some way gets the best experience, no matter the device!

Mobile website: Before you protest that you don’t have enough time to create a mobile website, read further! You don’t have to have a separate mobile website for your business; the key here is to ensure that your existing website functions well on a mobile device. Use your phone to check out your website on your smartphone. Is the text too small to read easily? Do you have trouble clicking on individual links? Do you have to zoom in and out with your fingers to navigate through the site? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you have some optimizing to do! WeddingWire offers our Mobile Website Creator to premium Pros, which simply requires you to paste a quick bit of code to your website and voila! You’re done and have a mobile-friendly site. Some website providers, like WordPress, also provide similar plugins that may be worth checking out.

Mobile-friendly email: Email marketing can be a very useful tool for many Wedding Pros, but unfortunately many of the beautiful emails you design don’t look so beautiful on mobile. Luckily for you, most email marketing platforms now offer desktop and mobile versions of their own templates, or they offer responsive designs that work on all devices. Unluckily for you, there are still a number of considerations you should still be aware of even if you have separate versions of your emails. You should be prepared to examine your versions and make adjustments where necessary. Remember that big buttons are easier to click than smaller text links, and keep your content as short as you can in your mobile versions. It’s difficult to read a lot of text on a mobile device without breaking it up with other design elements, so bear that in mind as you make adjustments and always review your emails on both desktop and mobile before sending.  Continue reading

» A Beginner’s Guide to Using Google+

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Google+Google+ is one of the most under-used social networks for the U.S. population at large, but especially for wedding and event professionals. We often focus so much of our energy on networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest that Google+ gets lost in the shuffle, but it’s worth a second look.

Many users and businesses have Google+ accounts and pages, but the general consensus is that the engagement levels still have not yet reached those of Facebook. Consider, though, that the number of people who interact socially with any Google product now exceeds 500 million per month! There are plenty of people posting and using the network professionally, and it’s time to catch up.

Below are the elements you’ll need to fill out and optimize for your business when you begin using Google+!

Page Title: The page title for your Google+ page should be your business’ name – it’s a representation of your business. Your Google+ page is indexed and will show up in search, but you shouldn’t try to keyword-stuff your page title. Keep it simple!

Page URL: When you first create your Google+ page, you’ll access it through a long link with a string of numbers, but it can be customized. Once you’ve set your custom URL it can’t be changed, and can be preassigned based on things like your name or the name of your linked website. You may also need to add a few letters or numbers to make it unique to you. Visit Google’s support page to get full instructions on customizing your link and the requirements to do so.

Page Tagline and Introduction: In the About tab of your Google+ page, you’ll be asked to fill out your business’ tagline and introduction, both of which serve to provide a little bit more information about your wedding business. Your tagline should be short and to the point, while your introduction will provide a bit more detail. Don’t repeat your tagline in your introduction, though – Google will pull these both to act as the meta description for your page in search results. Together, they should describe your business and use some of the best keywords for your service category and location.

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» Happy Social Media Day!

Happy Social Media Day!Today, we’re celebrating Mashable’s fifth annual Social Media Day!

Mashable launched the event in 2010 as a way to recognize this ever-growing marketing channel. Each year, thousands organize meetups to discuss social media and its broad impact on the digital world.

Even if you’re not attending a local meetup, Social Media Day is a great day for your business to think about social media marketing and your business’ strategy moving forward. It’s a day to look back at all the changes that have happened over the past few years and how your business has evolved with it!

Below are a few ways you can participate in Social Media Day 2014:

  • Take some time to evaluate your social audience. When was the last time you followed or liked new businesses you support or could learn from? Are you following any accounts that are no longer relevant to you? The more relevant users you’re following, the better your experience will be!
  • Update your social networks if you haven’t in a while. Upload a more recent profile image or cover photo, or update your About Us section. Keep these pages looking fresh so that your followers know your information is up-to-date.
  • Check out our infographic from earlier this year to see which social networks Wedding Pros love the most. If you want to connect with other wedding and event professionals, use our infographic to guide your decisions for choosing your next social network.
  • Follow the official hashtag #SMDAY on Twitter, Instagram and Google+ to see what others are doing to celebrate, or even register to attend a local Mashable Meetup.
  • Don’t forget to connect with WeddingWireEDU on FacebookTwitterPinterest, InstagramLinkedIn and Google+ to get updates and education, just for wedding professionals!

We hope you have a great time celebrating this special little holiday!

» How to Boost Your Social Media with Images

Social media is an extremely important part of your wedding business. While you may be posting statuses about your business to build brand awareness, a recent study shows that posting images may be the best way to take advantage of social media.

This summer, amp up your social media game by using more images! Below are a few things to take into consideration as you begin to leverage more images:

How to Boost Your Social Media with ImagesUse images to convey positive emotions. Did you know that posts with images are four times more likely to convey positive emotions than posts with just text? This means that when one of your customers sees that you posted an image, they are more likely to think positively about you. Images also allow more positive engagement with your customers – it’s much harder to complain about a photo than it is to complain about text.

Know where and how best to post an image. When posting an image to one of your social networks, think about your audience on that network.. A recent study revealed that Instagram posts have 58 times more engagement than a Facebook post and 120 times more engagement than a tweet, so Instagram could be your best bet. Remember, though, that since most updates on Facebook and Twitter are text, an image may help your brand stand out a bit more. Consider where you’re posting and how your audience usually interacts with your updates.

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