I Do Wedding Marketing Episode 1: Is Consistent Social Media REALLY a Must for Wedding Pros?
Hello and welcome! The I Do Wedding Marketing Podcast is finally here, with it's debut episode about is CONSISTENT Social Media really a must for wedding professionals?
Listen to the episode here, or view the transcript below.
Also available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
I Do Wedding Marketing Podcast
Episode 01: Is Consistent Social Media Really a Must for Wedding Pros?
Hello and welcome to the I Do Wedding Marketing Podcast!
Yes, we are DOING IT! This is the debut episode of the I Do Wedding Marketing podcast and I am so glad you have made your way here!
Let me tell you a bit about I Do Wedding Marketing. The name says it all – I Do Wedding Marketing is a social media marketing business specifically for wedding professionals. My goal is to help wedding professionals learn social media marketing from the bottom up, or to gain the confidence to outsource their social media. Either way, I am here for you!
But guys…this is our debut episode, so let me tell you a little about ME! Now in today’s episode, I am going to be talking about the introductory topic of WHY SOCIAL MEDIA…no better place to start right? So stay tuned, we’re getting there! But let’s get to know each other first.
My name is Nina Addeo, and I have been doing social media for wedding professionals for 8 years now. Before my love for weddings, came social. I basically grew up as social media did…being in elementary school as AOL rolled out, with AOL kids and keywords and many many weekend days playing Slingo. (Anyone? Anyone?) How about AOL profiles does anyone remember that? And even AOL allowed you to make your own little website with extended profile info. The good old days! But that’s not what we’re talking about.
Ok ok, so then there was AIM! And AIM STUCK AROUND. AIM Profiles, away messages, self-expression for teens on social REALLY started there with the away messages. Then of course the ground breaking MySpace while I was in high school, and as I started college another platform exclusively for college students started too. Facebook.
This meant that while I was in college, social media was not a major. Businesses were not on Twitter. Professionals were still advertising in papers, commercials, radio ads and magazines. And those methods of advertising still work. But in this podcast, we are focusing on SOCIAL MEDIA.
So I didn’t learn what I know about social media in a classroom. I learned from being a consumer of social media. My first position in the industry was doing social media and administrative work for a group of wedding venues. Doing the administration work means I learned the industry from EVERY ASPECT. Booking the linen orders, articulating the cake designs for each event, sending leads lists to vendors, booking the vendors for bridal showcases, etc.
At the same time, I had the platform to experiment on Instagram from scratch to learn how we could grow on the platform. And at the time, there was no specific information for how to apply social media strategy for wedding venues, or wedding photographers, or wedding DJs. So I learned it.
Then I got married. I left that job. And something interesting happened.
I couldn’t stop thinking about promoting wedding professionals. I couldn’t stop thinking about it! I wasn’t just passionate about weddings because I was a future bride. I now no longer was a bride, and I missed it! The vendors, the tips, matching couples with professionals. I worked with a friend of mine who has a planning business doing some weddings, which I love doing to keep my pulse on the industry, but I knew where my full time place was.
It was social.
It was May of 2019 that I Do Wedding Marketing launched. It survived a pandemic, showing that now more than ever vendors know that digital is direct. When your doors temporarily close, your communication is still open online. Now more than ever we are seeing the value in social media.
And that really is my first point on today’s topic, which is Why Social Media is IDEAL for your wedding business. When your physical doors have to temporarily close, your social media profiles are still open. Your email list is still open. Your website is still active. Not only can your clients get in touch with you, but YOU CAN GET IN TOUCH WITH THEM! That is huge!
Believe me, the last thing I expected during a pandemic that STOPPED events was to book more wedding industry professionals for social media. But that is exactly what happened, because people realized that was where they needed to focus. Even before this pandemic, the trends were pointing less towards foot traffic and more towards online traffic.
Once upon a time, professionals could be on a venue’s recommended vendor list and that would be all they needed! Then, they could be on that list, add a listing on The Knot and that was all they needed! IMAGINE?!
Ok it sounds KIND OF AWESOME but here’s something more awesome. Imagine not having to be subservient to the venue or to The Knot?! Imagine calling your own shots? Imagine okay, imagine, not having to pay a venue commission for bookings? Or getting repeatedly bullied by the knot for that two page spread with your package that you don’t need!
Here’s my next point about why social media is awesome for your wedding business. You control your advertising budget. And yes, $0 counts. With social media advertising, you are in total control of how much or how little you spend. And this isn't like a misleading "free trial" or the "lite version" of a paid-program. It is totally within reason to put in time over money when it comes to Social Media Marketing. ESPECIALLY on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Organic reach could become more challenging over time, which is why the SOONER you start, the BETTER.
I can’t vouch for other agencies pricing, but speaking for myself, I know that a social media agency for your content can very likely cost less than traditional options of paid for listings online. It’s just something to consider.
I do want to give a disclaimer, that I think The Knot has huge value for professionals. It is not going away, it appears at the tippy top of search results and many brides do refer to it as a listing where they can view multiple professionals all at once. So I’m not trying to hate on the Knot, just ugh, that double page spread they always want us to book!
But keep in mind…online listing sites service the couple first, the vendors second, despite who’s paying the bills. Negative reviews can’t be taken down without being proven as false. And not all negative reviews are truthful reviews that you want attached to your name. with social media, YOU decide what reviews you are posting on your Instagram, on your website, etc. Kind of cool, right?
Here’s was I also love about Instagram and Facebook and social media for the wedding industry. The demographic is right where you need it to be. n the wedding industry, we are typically pursuing a specific age range. While we of course encourage and welcome couples of all age ranges, TheInsider.com supports that people in the United States of America on average are getting married between ages 25-30. I’ll link that in the show notes, as well as the info for this next set of statistics from Sprout Social.
81% of 18-29 year olds use Facebook
64% of 18-29 year olds use Instagram
40% of 18-29 year olds use Twitter
That is reason enough for me to get my wedding vendors on those platforms!
Guys, all of these users are literally just a fingertip away. Which is my next point in favor of social. It is easily accessible. On our phones, on our computers at work, at home, on the go, Social Media is with us anyplace our phones and computers are. Which, I don't know about you, but for me, that's all the time. And those are odds I like.
Imagine--your ideal client can come across your post and profile literally at any time! No waiting for a scheduled commercial ad to air, or a publication to come out. As long as you have a profile on the platform, then you are accessible. Of course, knowledge is power here, which is why I have been loading this blog and my Instagram with tips and tricks to help you get found on Instagram, Facebook and Social Media. Let the fact that your profile is just an application away from your client's fingertips at all times motivate you to start rocking your social presence!
Because social media is so accessible, it means that you can take control of what you are posting. (my next point!) You can decide what images of past weddings to share. You can decide what promotions to make public. And most importantly, you can control WHEN to post these things.
Bookings aren't where you thought they'd be for your Bridal Showcase next month? Send an e-mail blast! Just got a gorgeous wedding gown in, but you only have your cell phone to capture it? Showcase it on an Instagram story. Engagement season coming? Start regularly posting your favorite images that showcase your brand, and get your profile ready!
On Social media, you are in control. You can still take control if you hire an outside team member or business to do your social media. However, make sure they are crystal clear on your brand image and identity, and are prepared with portfolio images of your work. This is what we will do right away when booking as a social media client of mine. We have what I call our Oprah interview—I learn all about you, so I can learn you and your businesses voice and style. Then, we use a combination of existing content, UGC content and content I create to start filling up the schedule you’ll APPROVE. So you are still in control, but have the extra hours to show for it since I am doing the work, not you!
Here is something I try to do with all of my clients, and another reason to love social. You can create connection before the engagement and after the Wedding
Let me speak from personal experience for a moment here. After my Wedding day, I became obsessed with my photographer. He kept me running on time. He made my family laugh when they were tired of taking photos. He even fought off an evil woman in the church who refused to let us take our portraits, but that's a whole other story. My photographer was there for me on the most important day of my life. And I graciously follow him offering the same for other people. Even more? I want him to be there for other people's important moments of their lives.
Before the wedding, I dutifully followed his posts, and fan-girled a little when he liked mine, remarking to myself that I was clearly his favorite bride. I mean, clearly, right? So even before he saved my wedding (dramatic), a connection was made. A connection that could not have been made without Social Media. Unless of course, he found a way to magically appear to laugh at all my jokes or give me a thumbs up when I decide on my "OOTD" (outfit of the day, for my non-Instagram addicts.).
Get to know your couples. Get to know prospective couples. Invest in your audience, and leave the door open for them to invest back in you. If it feels awkward, start small. Like photos, or leave an occasional comment and see if you get more comfortable!
I love seeing that a bride and groom have returned to a venue for their parent’s anniversary. I get giddy when I receive photos from a photographer of a past client’s baby pictures. After being a part of someone’s wedding, you feel like a part of the family. Following one another on social keeps that connection there, leaving a space for you in the back of their minds for when the next event comes.
Did this light a fire on anyone like it did me to get those schedules up and posted? I know I am feeling ready to go! But before you do that, where are you listening to this podcast? Just like we discussed reviews for wedding pros, reviews for podcasts can mean so much. Please consider giving this podcast a review (I’ll do a dance if you give it 5-stars) so this brand new podcast can reach it’s audience!
Thank you for being part of this debut episode. I am going to be back EVERY WEDNESDAY with a new episode. I will also be LIVE on my Instagram @IDoWeddingmarketing every Wednesday at 12pm eastern so you will want to follow me there. If you have a question you’d like answered for next week, or have something you’d like to contribute to a future episode, send me an email at email@example.com
Thank you for your support on this epic endeavor. I can’t wait to see where we go next!
Xo Guys, Nina
Mentioned in this episode: https://www.insider.com/when-people-get-married-every-state-2019-1 and https://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org