» Announcing SocialWeddingSpeek: The Latest from WeddingWire

We’re excited to announce that WeddingWire has joined forces with two other DC tech companies, Speek and SocialRadar, to bring you SocialWeddingSpeek, a virtual weddings platform nationwide beginning today, April 1, 2014!

Announcing SocialWeddingSpeek: The Latest from WeddingWire

With SocialWeddingSpeek, engaged couples will now be able to carry-out their nuptials on-the-go, no longer having to travel beyond their computers and smartphones to host a wedding in front of family and friends. Instead, friends and family may simply join the SocialWeddingSpeek conference and watch the couple say and type “I do.”

Speek, a conference calling platform with a visual interface, and SocialRadar, a mobile application providing real-time information on the people around you, are perfect partners to pioneer this new, less stressful and less expensive ceremony experience.

Here’s what WeddingWire CEO, Tim Chi, had to say about this exciting new venture:

“At WeddingWire, we always prioritize our mission to help simplify the wedding process for couples using technology. From increasing our mobile presence to launching SocialWeddingSpeek, we always look to our consumers needs and meet them where they are. Data shows an increase in long-distance couples in recent years, so we wanted to take that opportunity to better serve that segment of our market. Of course we could not have done it without all the weddings and events professionals who have demonstrated their shared commitment to serving all couples – whether they are together or miles apart.”

What does this new change mean for you? Read all the details in the official press release!

» Google Hummingbird: What You Need to Know

Google Hummingbird: What You Need to KnowGoogle’s latest revamp of its search algorithm, Hummingbird, has been released. The new algorithm, which affects 90% of worldwide search results, makes search more relevant and useful, and easier to use on a mobile device.

With our increasing reliance on mobile devices, the way users search has changed. Those using Google on-the-go are often searching complex, long-tail search queries through voice search (think Apple’s Siri) instead of typing the full search. Voice-based queries are more complex because they use natural-language rather than keyword strings, and with this update Google is adjusting accordingly to better serve users.

With Hummingbird, Google will be doing more than finding relevant web pages – it will begin compiling information from several sources and displaying these results within Google. This helps searchers find answers faster, with fewer steps between query and answer. This change is significant because it implies that Google is now attempting to understand what you’re searching for and return the most relevant results for your specific query.

This new update is yet another indicator of the coming shift from desktop to mobile. With Microsoft predicting that mobile web will be bigger than desktop web by 2014, the time to go mobile is now!

We’ve talked about your options for going mobile in the past, but now it’s more important than ever that your business adapt to the evolving ways your audience finds you.

Here are some simple ways you can jump of the mobile bandwagon today:

  • Use our Mobile Website Creator to easily optimize your website for mobile devices (available to all premium members). You can even customize the look of your mobile site to match your branding! Read our Quick Start Guide for a step-by-step tutorial.
  • Keep the content on your website concise and actionable so visitors accessing it from a mobile device can easily scroll and take action.
  • Similarly, keep any website forms short and simple with easy-to-fill fields.
  • Feel free to use eye-catching images and/or video, but test out how they appear on smartphones and tablets to make sure they scale properly.

Follow these tips and Google Hummingbird will be able to find you and put you in front of the people who need you!

Image Source

» Facebook Update: Shared Albums

Facebook announced another new feature this week – Shared Albums. This allows multiple users to upload images to the same album, letting others add to your photo conversation. Previously, only users could upload photos to the albums they created.

Now, the album creator can share access to as many as 50 “contributors,” who can each in turn share up to 200 photos. Album creators can choose a setting that allows contributors to invite others to the album, or retain total control over album invitations. Additionally, there are a few privacy settings to share the photos: public, friends of contributors and contributors only, which still provides some control over who can see the photos posted by the contributors.

Why is this exciting?

Shared albums are a great way for groups to connect on the world’s largest social network in new ways – and we think will be particularly relevant in the wedding and event industry.

Now, users can create a shared album of their wedding or recent event that they hosted or attended, tag users and businesses, and allow others to gain access as well to expand the content – and expand the reach to new audiences (additional contributors online community!). This means increase opportunity to expand your marketing reach across Facebook when you work a great wedding or event!

How to create a shared album:

  1. Login to Facebook
  2. Go to an album you’ve created
  3. Click ‘Make Shared Album’ in the top left corner
  4. Choose contributors and select an audience
  5. Click ‘Save’

Contributors will be able to view, add photos and add contributors to the album. It may also appear on their timeline.

Learn more about this new feature from Mashable!

More Facebook Business Tips:

If you don’t have a brand page on Facebook for your business, get started today!

» Facebook Update: Embedded Posts

Yesterday, Facebook announced that it will be rolling out Embedded Posts. This means that you will be able to click on a link in whatever you publish, get a code, and embed that content elsewhere on the web – just like you can already do with other popular social sites and apps such as YouTube, Twitter, Vine and Instagram.

According to Facebook, “Embedded Posts let people add public posts from Facebook to their blog or web site. When embedded, posts can include pictures, videos, hashtags and other content. People can also like and share the post directly from the embed.”

For example, the official British Monarchy Page published this post shortly after the royal baby was born. You can click the #RoyalBabyBoy hashtag directly from the embedded post to discover similar content on Facebook:

embed-post-FB

Currently this feature is not available to the majority of Facebook’s users and brand pages, but in the coming weeks, this feature will be expanded, and eventually available to all users.

This feature is another example of how Facebook is moving in the direction to act as a web resource and a search engine in functionality – connecting users with content they find engaging, relevant and useful. This new update goes along with other recent additions that are aiming to make Facebook’s content more accessible outside of your ‘Facebook friends’ and ‘likes,’ including Graph Search, hashtags and more.

Want to learn more about Facebook’s new announcement? Read this article from Facebook.

» Tech Update: Facebook Launches Hashtags!

Over the past few days, you may have noticed some updates to your Facebook account. While changes to your account and navigation on the leading social site are nothing new, one exciting update, which could have an impact on your business exposure has been unveiled: clickable Facebook hashtags!

Hashtags are increasingly popular throughout social media – and have been fully integrated on most popular sites, including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, but noticeably absent from Facebook… until now.

Hashtags most simply serve as a way to see a larger view on what is happening, what is being discussed, popular topics, and is a way to connect people and businesses with similar interests. Hashtags are very powerful marketing tools, and are easy ways to connect with your interested audience, gain attention quickly and easily share content discovery.

Now,  just as you may tag a recent couple, or your other wedding or event Pros in a Facebook post sharing a recent wedding’s blog post with your network, you can now add a few select, engaging hashtags to describe your post or the event.

For example, a post can read: “ABC Photography had an amazing time capturing the breath-taking, special day of @Joe and @Jane on the Cape! Check out some of our favorite photos and wedding day memories {link to blog post} #Nantucket #BeachWeddings  #ABCPhotography”

Linking to your couple (with their permission), along with any other Pros of note gives added exposure for your post, as it will tag their profiles or business pages. Tag people and businesses with the “@” key, which will link and post to their pages. Using relevant, simple hashtags that describe your post shares your content with the site and allows others looking for similar content to find your post – ultimately sharing your business, content and exposure on a much larger level. Hashtag by typing the “#” key directly before your hashtag (should always be one word with no space – so the simpler the better!). Then, when posted and clicked, these hashtags will show everyone who is publically posting using the same tag, so you can discover others with similar interests.

For some hashtags in action, check out WeddingWireEDU’s recent posts!

Here are some basic Facebook Hashtag functionality details as you get started:

  • The ability to search for specific hashtags via the Facebook search bar at the top of your page
  • The ability to click on hashtags that originate from other services, like Instagram – connecting multiple social sites
  • The ability to create new posts from within the hashtag feed and search results
  • The ability to add hashtags to Facebook ads you’re running

Ready to learn more? Check out this post from Facebook! #HappyHashtagging!

» Tech Update: Getting Started on Twitter Vine

Recently, Twitter introduced Vine: a mobile service that lets you capture and share short looping videos. Each video can only be up to 6 seconds, which is consistent with Twitter’s brevity of messages that must be 140 characters or less for impact.

Vine is a great creative outlet to capture sound and motion to represent your business and engage with your audiences! Brands, individuals and organizations have been experimenting with Vine over the past two months, and when posted, Vine videos are directly embedded in tweets and will appear on follower’s streams, whether or not they are using the application. Videos automatically play, but sound is recorded, but turned off by default – something to keep in mind as you plan your first video.

Consider creating a Vine account for your business!  Currently, Vine is available exclusively on Apple iOS mobile devices, and can be downloaded for free in the iTunes store. After downloading the app, you can sign in using your Twitter account or sign up using email address. If you have Twitter, we recommend signing in with this as it will easily integrate with your account and followers!

Create your business profile by setting your Vine profile name and description, adding your contact information, and get started growing your audience by connecting with Twitter and Facebook, and finding other friends on Vine to follow. Additionally, Vine provides a step-by-step tutorial for all newbies to get started making your first video.

Once you create your account, be sure to follow WeddingWireEDU to stay updated on our latest events and happenings in video! You can find people, businesses or tags of note by searching in the “Explore” tab.

https://twitter.com/WeddingWireEDU/status/311190560130097153

Ready to create your first video? Here are some top tips for getting started!

  • Select the video camera icon at the top left-hand corner of the homescreen.
  • Take a short video, or several photos to combine together to make your video montage by holding your finger down on your phone or iPad screen to “tape” your video. Easily start and stop recording as many times as you want during your 6 seconds to include several scenes by holding or removing your finger.
  • Share your video! Give it a title, select to share on Vine, Twitter, Facebook or all three networks.
  • We recommend using one or two hashtags in your video description so it will be able to be found when users are searching in the “Explore” tab, such as #firstdance or #wedding.

While still new, Vine is a fun tool to easily engage your audience with video content and is a great way to showcase your work, business personality and creativity. Have you used Vine? Let us know what you think!