Learning how to use social media to market your wedding planning business can be trying to say the least. Today, we have Emma of EP Unforgettable Events explaining what has worked for her and how to get the best results from social media marketing. If you’re new to social media, Emma has done a great job of describing each platform in detail. This is a must read!
Social Media Marketing
When I started my own business, I knew that I had to have a website with a blog and that I had to work a lot on my social media. This is because I need to reach out to couples abroad. What I had not expected was that as a wedding planner, I had to learn so many things about social media and about search engines.
I can’t say that I know everything as algorithms and strategies keep changing on social media. So it is important to learn how to use the main platforms and to follow what happens when they change as we need to change too. We need to keep updated and overcome our personal boundaries too.
The next big thing on social media is videos and possibly with subtitles as people don’t want to read blogs but they will read a video.
Website and blog
As soon as I had my name and logo, I started working on my website. The “who I am”, what I do, an anti-discrimination policy and all the pages for the website. I also worked on about 30 blog posts so that they would be ready to be used as soon as it was launched. This has been great as I still have some blog posts after months of posting, as in the meantime I have written many new blog posts.
One of the biggest problem for any business is where do I get images for my blog, website and social media.
You can find free pictures online on specific photo websites, you can buy stock pictures on the same websites, you can ask a photographer to give you or sell stock pictures and you can get some brand shots of yourself and props by a local photographer. If you don’t have a lot of money, try to find a photography student who might cost less for the brand pictures. Another good way to get extra pictures is to do styled shoots, it is a way to test vendors, to see them work and to show off your style. You can then use them on all platforms.
Social Media Marketing
While I worked on my website, I started a business Facebook page and a business Instagram page.
I know that most couples don’t even use FB, but maybe their mothers do, so I post twice a day at very different time mostly due to time zone difference and algorithm. The page is growing very slowly and it is not bringing much but I keep it very active.
I do one a day, I practically don’t get any viewings but I keep going as things might change. It only takes 1 minute to create it.
How to Post on Facebook
What I have learned is that you shouldn’t post the same posts on different platforms. The main reason is that your audience is very different. I have a 7 to 10 day difference between my Instagram post and the repost to Facebook. I omit hashtags on Facebook. The only posts that are the same and are posted on the same day, are the ones that have a date importance such as Christmas, Easter, the first day of the month.
Program Your Facebook Posts
It takes me half an hour to program my Facebook posts. I can program each post directly on my FB page. I decide the day and the time to post and I manage to organize one week of content in that very short time as I basically copy and paste.
The latest thing I have learned is that FB doesn’t like us to link our blog posts because it takes people away from the social media. I still link it, but I have discovered the feature “notes”. It looks like a blog page therefore I have started reposting my old blog posts there, with pictures and links. This way, I have extra content, people might read it as I spend a lot of time preparing them and I can pin the pictures to Pinterest.
I have tried to do specific promotions on fb but it has been a waste of time and money.
I do know that the platform is changing and that it will certainly push towards personal visibility thus videos are the next big thing on all platforms. I am slowly getting there.
Let’s talk about Instagram, this has been a completely new experience for me. I had never used Instagram before opening my business profile.
Why Open a Business Profile
The reason why I started a business profile is that you can get statistics for each post, for your story and IGTV videos. You can discover who are your audience, where they come from and all the details you need to grow as a business.
The most important thing about all social media is being consistent. The ideal thing is to post everyday. When I started my page I posted 4 times a day, then I dropped to 3, then 2, then 1. But I am back to posting 1 to 2 times a day. The main reason is that you don’t want to overdo it, as people might get fed up of you. But you want your followers to view you and be reminded that you are there.
The best way to grow is through pictures, captions and good hashtags. I was finally growing by 200 followers a month.
The reason is that you want to get people to engage, the more they engage, the more you will grow. Instagram is completely different to Facebook. It is a social media and you need to be social. You need to talk about your business and a bit about yourself. People want to know who you are. Why should they choose you instead of another professional? Social media helps you promote yourself as a brand and as a person.
You can be viewed through hashtags, therefore use them. You can use up to 30 on each post. I try to change them according to the picture I post and I often write them as a comment not on the caption.
In the past weeks, I have pushed forward and I have posted a lot on my Insta stories. Many people don’t even scroll anymore, they only look at stories so use them.
Show back stage images and videos, put pictures with hashtags, tag other people, share other professional’s posts, show what you have for lunch, post a picture of your dog, ask questions, use gif ecc. Do many a day and be consistent.
The main rule I have found that works, is keep your feed professional and make your story the conversation.
I have grown by 100 followers in my first week of pushing my insta stories.
Videos on Instagram
A few days ago, I decided to take part of a visibility challenge. 5 videos in 5 days on my Insta story. I had never done it before, it took me forever to make the 1 minute video each day but I did it. Well, my page grew a lot. People started engaging more and they started following me. So do videos.
Program Your Instagram Feed
There are many apps to use to program your instagram feed. Later, Planoly, Tailwind and many others help you program your feed and show you how your grid looks like. You can add captions and hashtags.
Some might post automatically, others might ask you to confirm your post. This allows you to work faster to create your posts without worrying each day on what to post, and what to write about.
One Last Word About Instagram
Between January and February, Instagram started cleaning up fake profiles and bot followers. This was great, I actually didn’t loose any followers as I have never paid for them. I believe that paying for them serves no purpose and that it shows, as your feed gets a low rate of likes and comments.
What happened next was that for the following months, I really slowed down with my followers growth. That is why, I started engaging more myself, I commented on other profiles and who I followed with questions and generally engaging more. Finally, things started to improve again and my followers have been growing.
Instagram, has launched IGTV some time ago. It is amazing the results that you get. You can do videos of backstage, videos on how to set up, tutorials, visits to new locations and much more but it also means that you need to be in front of the camera. The results are impressive as people want videos and possibly with the text on the video in case they cannot listen to it. You can find apps for that. The great thing is that you can then use the good videos on your blog, on Youtube, on Facebook and link them to Pinterest.
Pinterest and Youtube
Pinterest and YouTube are research engines.
If you want a YouTube channel start one and, as I said, post your videos to all your social media and create a blog post around it. This is great because you can create one piece of content and then you can use it all over. But it isn’t easy, I still have to push myself and let go of my boundaries.
As I said, Pinterest is a research engine. If you are in an industry that is visual, you need to use Pinterest.
The platform has started doing business accounts for free which can be promoted and they have amazing statistics to view.
Pinterest is great to drive people on your blog posts and on your social media as you can post them all.
Pinterest allows you to post with 2 or 3 hashtags so use them.
What I have been doing is that I schedule all my content through Tailwind. I post a lot, every single day.
The wedding industry is mostly viewed on weekends so maybe post more especially on Sundays.
I follow the rule of 30% is my own content and 70% is other people’s content.
Create your boards with a description and your hashtags and start posting. With time, you will start creating more boards and you will see what people like. If a specific post is shared a lot you can post it again, if it isn’t your own content think of writing a blog post with a similar theme.
I have gone from a new profile to 70k in less than three months. This is to show you that you mustn’t underestimate this search engine.
I know, you are asking yourself how long does it take me to do all of this. Considering that I don’t do videos yet, I can say that it takes me between half a day and 1 day of work to schedule all of my social network. I often ask myself how will I manage when the season will be fully booked. Maybe I will have to get someone to do it for me but until then, I know that it is all very useful to make my business grow and be known.
Emma Pavanelli is the founder of EP Unforgettable Events. Her wedding planning company is based out of Italy where she is an Italian Destination Wedding Planner. Her multicultural background and language skills has given her a unique prospective on destination wedding planning.