lifestyle

SOCIAL MEDIA MASTERCLASS FOR WEDDING PROS

Social media is a huuuuge part of my life, not just to share all our latest BLOVED content but keeping up with the latest news, friends, and trends out there. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest that rocks your social media loving world, there’s a strategy that you need to adopt to get the best results for your business.  Social media Queen at Burda Media (publishers of BLOVED fave Wedding Magazine) Katie Byrne, recently hosted a one-day Social Media Masterclass for wedding pro’s struggling with getting their social media message just right.

BLOVED Contributor’s Katie Diacon from Eagle Eyed Bride and photographer Claire Graham headed to London’s Four Season’s Hotel to take part, and share what they learnt from the day!

The message from the day was clear – Go Social or Go Home! It’s hard to believe that in 2015 people still need convincing. Maybe small businesses can’t afford the time to keep on top of their Pin-Face-Insta-Tweet accounts let alone blog?!

First up was Rona Wheeldon of Flowerona asking somewhat 30 people in the room “Who has a blog?” just 2 business owners raised their hand, do these 2 have surplus time or are they just incredibly disciplined and organized; reaping the rewards that committed blogging has to offer? It seems I can’t afford not be involved, here’s why…

Reassuringly all speakers seemed to be singing from the same hymn sheet:

  • The 80/20 rule of self-broadcasting – educate, inform, entertain and be useful reading.
  • The 60/30/10 golden ratio rule of marketing output – 60 curated / 30 owned / 10 promotional.
  • IMAGES, do not post rubbish images, please!
  • You DO NOT REALISE how lucky you are to be running a business in 2015!

Before Friday my Social Media had no structure – just a sea of messages leaving me flapping and quacking rather than tweeting. The penny dropped – schedule, plan be ‘in control’. The numbers above made it easy for me to plan a campaign with parameters and purpose. *opens hootesuite with gusto*

Amongst the common rules of 80/20 and 60/30/10 were some subtle nuances and lessons learned by some of the best in the industry. Previous City trainer turned professional floristry trainer and blogger with 8.5k followers Rona Wheeldon gave a clear and concise overview of why it’s so important to be consistent and committed to your output. The first thing we did was change all our account names from Eagle Eyed Bride @EagleEyedBride to Jacqui & Katie @EagleEyedBride – a top tip that immediately humanizes your business, giving it a warm and familiar communication style. Other tips included…

  • Choose your weapon! Where are your customers? It’s unlikely you’ll have time to dedicate to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Pertiscope, Snapchat et al. So choose the most important 3 and keep it consistent. Rona blogs 4 times a week at regular intervals – her readers anticipate her articles since they know when they’re published.
  • Standardize your bio/logo across platforms.
  • Cross pollinate to gain more readers… Hi Facebook followers! Did you know we’re on Instagram!
  • Don’t sync your posts! This is lazy, the audiences are different and it’s boring for people that follow you on both platforms. Post a picture from a different angle and reword it so it’s not identical.
  • Find your style. What is it that keeps you reading posts from other businesses?
  • Imagery is King. Explore free tools – Snapseed, VSCO Cam, Picframe, Repost, Instastec, Instasize, Iconosquare. Think about composition, use gridlines and the rule of thirds to compose a beautiful image. Think about focal points, negative space and lighting and don’t shoot in direct sunlight! Make friends with photographers, appreciate their talent and value their worth.
  • A tuttable offense is not composing your image for the right channel – square images for instagram, portrait images for Pinterest etc. if you don’t know, find out!
  • Be disciplined. Schedule posts. Be accountable to someone if you’re struggling to get motivated!

Rona drove home the importance and rewards of blogging regularly and driving people back to your website. Google looks for new and curated content so here’s a couple of ideas if you’ve got writers block.

  • Create a series of posts relevant to your business. This is easier than coming up with a fresh subject matter each time.
  • Follow a customer though their shopping journey with you. This will show potential customers how you deal with a change of direction, or a unpredictable situation.

Hootesuite’s Paul Sackmann gave us some interesting stats; a quarter of businesses are set to lose their place in the market by not embracing the trends in Social Media. Social adoption is not option, it’s crucial. Paul was the first speaker to talk about segmenting your audience and showed us an example of how Hootsuite is superior at this.  Paul really championed taking the time to understand Social Media nuances relevant to your business.

Next was an analytical presentation from the ex-scientist and City headhunter Elizabeth Solaru from Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium. We have the greatest of respect for Elizabeth, she works incredibly hard and still finds time to support others. Elizabeth remembers the days of cold calling Event Planners in the Yellow Pages and cannot believe her luck to be running a successful business in these times! Rather than being bamboozled by the volume of information out there she has the aptitude and depth to reach out to customers in a completely non-evasive way by networking on-line in places where her customers might by hanging out. Elizabeth is one helluva talented and determined lady, her capacity for caring and sharing knows no bounds and as well as having a high regard for etiquette and decency her on-line presence is more of a beautifully orchestrated craft, all of the above really comes across in her social.

Elizabeth also spoke about the power of segmenting customers and researching what else they’re ‘into’. Elizabeth is less of a stalker, more an educated entrepreneur utilizing the tools of the internet with intelligence and grace. Her top tip was to use Yoast for WordPress sites to search SEO, “it’s a traffic light system and easy to use”.

Ellie Herniman from Truffle PR spoke about listening, responding and making people feel goooood. Ellie admitted that like her customers she is always thrilled to receive a personal compliment on-line so go ahead… surprise and delight your readership!

Here are Ellie’s takeaways….

  • Being open is incredibly important, being transparent gains trust in an online world where trust is at an all time low.
  • Reply to messages, posts and comments in a timely manner!
  • Be topical, use current trends to piggy back on, curate the topic by making it relevant to you.

Shocking figures from Jeremy White at Salesforce left me feeling bewildered yet enabled and empowered. Like Ellie he stated “The biggest challenge facing business today is lack of trust”.

The average customer views a product on 5 devices before purchasing so make sure you’re thinking across platforms. In addition Rona from Flowerona informed us that on average “a customer needs to be ‘touched’ by your brand 7 times before they buy from you”. That’s a possible 35 necessary engagements for just one customer! Luckily anyone can do this free of charge from their desktop. If you don’t engage in Social Media your business will be dramatically overtaken by new content and engagements created by other businesses.

Jeremy told us “90% of web content did not exist 2 years ago, and the same will be true in 2 more years time”. Also, “You Tube users put out more material every 60 minutes than America’s biggest news channel put out in 60 years”. That is why you have to persevere, it’s increasingly important to generate relevant, regular content just to stay afloat!

At the end of an enlightening and informative day I asked Katie how she was going to be following up the session, perhaps an event with the attendees invited back to speak about how their businesses have benefited? Let’s hope so. I feel armed and enthused for the months ahead!

Featured Contributors:

Louise

After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

You’ll also find me working as an Editorial Stylist, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as contributing as a founding member of bridal inspiration hub Aisle Society, and running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive from our super pretty base in London. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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