Founder of Think Splendid and Wedding Industry Jobs
Social media marketing plays such a huge role in the wedding industry. So what are three tips you would give for social media success?
1. Use social media first and foremost as a listening tool. What are wedding professionals talking about? What are real brides and grooms talking about? You can learn a lot about how you can help meet the needs of your clients just by listening to the conversations happening.
2. Blog. Even if you are on facebook or Twitter, you most likely should have a blog (not everyone in the industry should have a blog, but that’s the exception, not the rule. You probably need one). It helps your SEO since search engines index sites with fresh, relevant content more frequently and it helps get your brand out into the community in a meaningful way. Because couples spend 6-18 months planning, and are wedding information sponges for a short amount of time, wedding professionals should blog AT LEAST three times per week. Anything less and their attention is on someone who can feed their insatiable appetite for wedding information. Plus, if Google releases a wedding search engine like they’re hinting at, spending the majority of your time on Facebook is not going to help you.
3. Real ROI exists in social media. You should see a financial return by using social media for business, whether that means more clients, more sales, a book or TV deal, etc. If you’re not seeing any ROI, it’s not because social media doesn’t work, it’s because you’re probably not using it in an effective way. Develop a plan that works for your business; don’t try and copy what you think works for someone else.
What are the top three no-nos when using social media in this community?
1. Social media is not a one-way monologue or press release. People don’t care about how great you are, they care about how great you can make them. Again, be helpful, socialize and interact, and most importantly, be a real person.
2. Social media and traditional media do not work the same way. Many traditional PR agencies fail when it comes to social media marketing because they don’t (or refuse to) understand this. Using traditional marketing strategies online rarely works because people don’t consume information the same way online as they do offline.
3. Using “text speak” – OMG, U R gr8. Couples are getting married at an older age and increasingly are more educated than in the past. Using text speak is not only unprofessional, it sends a subconscious message to the reader that you are not smart. It’s the psychological “Blink” phenomenon that Malcolm Gladwell wrote about. No one wants to hire an unprofessional or dumb wedding vendor. If you use text speak to save room on Twitter or Facebook, choose to say less instead.
We love your About Me on Twitter. “Optimist. Skeptic. Insatiably curious. Difficult to impress. Lover of people. INDP post child. Digital marketing strategist for the wedding industry,” We might add brilliant and impressive! Our interest is piqued. Could you give us the longer version?
Sure! Optimist because I like to believe the best in people and I like to hope for big things. An optimist is not the opposite of a skeptic; it is the opposite of a cynic. Cynical people have a doom and gloom energy and that kind of outlook shuts ideas down before they can even start. I don’t feel the need to surround myself solely with positive-spin Pollyannas – because that’s not real life – but cynical people? No thanks.
Skeptic because while I like to believe the best in people, I also know that there is a lot of snake oil going around (and increasingly in the wedding industry, unfortunately). I don’t think people should take things at face value, whether it’s claims competitors make (I booked 800 weddings this week!) to what the news media reports to what you hear in your house of worship. Blindly following someone or something leads to pedestal promotions and idolatry and I don’t think that’s a healthy way to live.
Insatiably curious because I am Nancy Drew. I want to know what makes people tick, why something works or doesn’t, etc. I get my news from a multitude of sources and daily reads include The New York Times, BBC, Al Jazeera, among many others. This also ties in with being a skeptic – when you can get different takes on a story, you can form a better and closer-to-accurate opinion.
Lover of people - while I am not an extrovert, I love people. I love their stories, I love learning about what makes them tick, about why they act or say the things they do. There’s a quote that says “there’s more adventure in human relationships than in any amount of sightseeing or travel.” As much as I love to travel, I really believe this. Walking through life with people, through thick and thin, never ends up the way you expect it to.
INTP poster child. This refers to my Myers-Briggs personality profile. I like the big picture. I think everything can be done better or more efficiently and I’m naturally inclined to try and figure out how to make that happen. I’m not easily swayed by status, real or perceived – if someone in the industry for three years has a legitimately better idea than someone in the industry for 30 years, I will opt for the newbie’s idea. I have zero patience for people who are nice to me but not nice to others because they think I can help them in some way. A nice person who is not nice to the waiter is not a nice person. Period. There are some negative aspects, too, that I have to work hard at minimizing (still working on some of them!). For example, I’m incredibly shy in large groups or around people I don’t know, and that can often come across as rude or arrogant. Because I do a lot of public speaking in the industry (which oddly does not scare me), I’ve had to make a focused effort at events to introduce myself or strike up a conversation with other people first instead of waiting for them to come to me. This is super hard for me and I don’t always do a great job at it, but I’m trying to get better. One thing I’ve learned: many people at the top are just as shy as I am, so being the first to break the ice can take you far.
You always say you like to ask why. What are those why questions that are on your mind these days?
I don’t know if there are specific “why” questions on my mind these days because I honestly question everything. I think this ties in with being insatiably curious and not taking things at face value. The phrase, “that’s just they way it’s done” needs to be banished forever. There is a certain level of wisdom in deciding when to buck tradition and when honor it and I think most people can get to that point by simply asking “why?” to commonly held beliefs or practices.
We also wanted to let you know Liene just launched a wedding blog directory that focuses on how to submit to each blog and highlights what they are looking for. We think this is genious (and we are thrilled to see that most of them accept submissions through Two Bright Lights!) and wanted to make sure you all checked it out! It will be a great resource for those of you who are searching for the perfect place to submit your fabulous wedding!
A bit thank you to Liene for the interview!!! We love what you do and hope you always keep doing it