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 14,000 Facebook fans, 44,000 Twitter followers, and over 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.
On April 10, 2009, I launched BridalTweet.com without any social following. At that time, all I had was a BIG idea – to create a more open wedding community where vendors could have complete editorial freedom to write about their businesses and post photos for free. That would lead to a place that engaged couples could turn to for free advice, planning ideas, giveaways, local events and more.
So, how did I do it, and how can this positively impact your business? I attracted the attention of brides and wedding vendors by consistently writing engaging posts on Facebook. I consider Facebook posts to be engaging only if posts deliver helpful information to your fans and if they encourage your fans to ‘Like’ or leave a comment on the content. Posting helpful information will increase your chances of rising to the top of hundreds of newly engaged couples (and their friends’) News Feeds.
Becoming influential on Facebook is bound to help your business, too. It will create more opportunities and it will drive referrals for you, and it’s something that anyone can do! But the big challenge lies in engagement. You’re certain that your latest Facebook post would inspire fans to ‘Like’, respond and share, yet there’s been little (or no) response. You keep hitting the refresh button and wondering why no one’s listening.
In celebration of BridalTweet’s 5th birthday, here are my 10 ways to get more Facebook fans to help you boost your page’s engagement!
- Create an attractive Facebook business page. Your page needs to do three main things: give people a reason to become a fan, showcase your work, and link to your website. You can also add the functionality to capture email addresses from your Facebook page to assist in building your lead list.
- Build your Facebook fan base. Add a Facebook icon linked to your page to all of your marketing materials, including all of your key website pages, your WeddingWire Storefront, and your email signature. You can also send an email to your current or past clients and friends and family inviting them to ‘Like’ your Facebook business page to drive some initial engagement.
- Act like a magazine. To understand what I mean, check out BridalTweet’s Facebook page. I’ve gotten into the habit of creating regular posts that include an inspiring wedding photo with a compelling headline or question that links back to the source of the photo (usually on my website). This formula attracts couples and is easily shareable.
- Remember that couples love compelling images. I recommend that you include at least one photo in each of your blog posts. This will make your blog posts more interesting and attractive to couples beyond just text that can easily get overlooked. Remember, if you’re using wedding images or content from a third party, be sure to give credit to those sources!
- Consistently post about one specific theme or niche. Having a theme will create the perception that you are an expert on that particular subject. More importantly, it will signal to fans what they can expect from your Facebook page. If it’s a theme that your target audience is 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,” or wedding planners can publish a “wedding planning tip of the day.” Whatever your big ideas are, they will help distinguish you and your business from others and attract attention.
- Keep it short. Keep your Facebook posts shorter than 140 characters. Posts that take too long to read and understood will be ignored.
- Ask yourself one really important question. To determine if this post will be successful, ask yourself: “Is this something that I would share with my friends?” If the answer is no, then don’t publish it!
- Save time! Spend only 10 minutes a day on Facebook by automating your posts. I use Facebook’s free scheduling tool. Using this service helps me free up my time during the day and helps me focus on what’s most important – my customers.
- Measure what’s working. Measure your posts’ engagement with Facebook Insights, the free service that Facebook offers to show you how many people are interacting with each of your posts. If a certain type of post is doing really well and getting a lot of likes, comments or shares, then try to create more posts like that one!
- Don’t become guilty of these common Facebook faux pas:
- Don’t focus on selling. While an occasional post about a product is fine, especially if it’s new or was recently featured in the news, don’t use Facebook as an overt sales vehicle. Remember, people go to Facebook to catch up and connect – when they want to buy, they’ll go to your Storefront or website.
- Don’t just talk about your business. Fans expect news, tips and photos that go beyond your business. For example, a health club may share recipes and workout tips that show its commitment to helping members stay healthy, so keep the bigger picture in mind when you’re posting.
- Don’t ignore your audience. Fans should know their feedback is appreciated, so be sure to respond to their likes, comments and questions.
- Don’t give up easily. If you place the same amount of patience and perseverance on engaging your Facebook audience that you applied to building your business, you’ll achieve success in social media.
The great thing about Facebook is that anyone can achieve positive results for free. It offers an effective channel to build your reputation, humanize your brand, network and attract new wedding leads.
Your Facebook posts shouldn’t be sales tools; they should be a mix of marketing and education to build your audience’s trust. The goal of social media is to build a connection and encourage couples and other wedding professionals to want to work with you!