Social media can be a minefield if you’re not prepared
Every man and his dog has a Facebook page nowadays and that means everyone thinks they know how to do business on social media. Unfortunately that is not the case. Promoting your business on social media is more difficult than most people think. It’s not just a case of creating a Facebook business page and waiting for orders to roll in. It’s so much more than that.
Each issue I am going to help debunk some of the jargon surrounding social media and hopefully give guidance and support to help you better promote your wedding business on you chosen social platforms.
So this issue‘s topic is: Which social media channels should you be promoting your business on?
There are the three main ones that first come to mind: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. There’s also Pinterest, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Tik-Tok and LinkedIn but I’m going to focus on the main three for now, otherwise I’ll be here for months!
Facebook owns Instagram, so it makes sense to use both as you can communicate similar content across each platform. Instagram is more for those who share image or video based content, which for the wedding industry, is pretty much everyone. Instagram also makes heavy use of hashtags, so if you’ve done your research on what’s popular to search for and what’s trending, adding these hashtags to your post can help gain you visibility. A post without hashtags will still be seen by those who like your Instagram page, but the chances of it reaching far and wide are limited, so the more relevant hashtags you add to your post, the better. Note, the word RELEVANT. Don’t just copy and paste all the wedding related hashtags you want as it dilutes the content down and makes it seem less relevant. Users can search for hashtags like #weddingcakesnottingham, so if your post has that hashtag, it will appear in their search.
One thing that’s also good if you’re a regular Instagram user for business, is that they’re always rolling out new
tools to help you promote and market yourself. Make use of Instagram stories when you can as updates to Instagram’s algorithms means that news feed posts won’t always be seen right away.
Instagram also seems to have the community feel like
in Facebook’s early days, so be sure to interact with your followers as well as other businesses and comment on each others’ posts. Interacting with your audience is key because it shows you’re engaging with your followers.
Important tip to remember
Links don’t work in Instagram captions; the only place you can add a link is in your main Bio (profile page), so if you like sharing links based stuff back to part of your website, the work-around for this is an app called Linktree. With Linktree, you can add several links to your Insta-bio to go to different parts of your website or your other social channels.
Facebook is the obvious channel that many businesses go to because they already have a Facebook profile, so it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to make a business page. A Facebook Business page is your platform to talk to your audience and tell them all about what you do and what makes your business special. It’s also a good platform
to dip your toe into if you’re a social media newbie for business and is relatively easy to navigate and set up. I would always recommend a Facebook Business page because although other platforms are similar in style, Facebook is where most of your active wedding planning audience is going to be.
Facebook also has its own stories that you can share, which will then disappear after 24 hours. This is good for sharing up to the minute content like a new product that’s just arrived or a snowy image of your wedding venue. These are not the same as posts as they won’t appear on your business page and stay there, but will appear at the top of your news feed and your followers, to click and see your content.
You can create and promote events through Facebook, so if you host events regularly, this is a good tool to make use of. Sharing relevant content from other pages is also a good way to fill your news feed. Plus if you share someone else’s stuff, they may share yours in return in the future.
If you’re wanting to get into serious audience targeting, Facebook has excellent targeting tools if you’re wanting to promote posts through paid ads. I’ll go into this in a later issue, but if it’s something you’re interested in, it’s worth researching.
A few things to think about when using Facebook for business
Facebook updates its algorithms regularly and it seems that if you’re not a regular poster of original content, your posts can disappear from your followers’ news feeds.
The name of the game is to stay ahead of Facebook’s algorithms and make sure that you’re always on point when it comes to communicating the right message to your audience. Be mindful of this if you’re not currently posting on a regular basis and your posts are more sporadic.
The same goes for replying to messages from users who contact your page. It’s important to respond as quickly as possible, but you might not always get the notification immediately or be able to reply there and then. A handy little tip is to turn on automatic message replies, so when someone contacts your page, you can send a pre-set up automated message without having to lift a finger. This gives you breathing time to check the message and formulate a more tailored response, whilst the user is satisfied knowing they will get a reply from you soon.
Just another small note here as well, Facebook penalises people that create fake personal profiles just for the purpose of having a business page attached to it.
So your best option is to attach your business page to your personal profile and mark yourself as an admin. Many wedding suppliers contact us for a little bit of advice regarding Facebook because they think that if their personal profile is attached to their Facebook business page, then their followers will be able to see personal content that they’re posting; this is not the case so don’t worry.
Twitter is a social platform that shares short, to the point content. It’s extremely popular for news-sharing and networking B2B. Twitter also seems to work well for event promotion, so if you have a wedding fayre you’re attending or a live virtual workshop to tell people about, be sure to make use of Twitter and those 280 characters! If you’re going to use Twitter for your business, make sure the handle or @name is as close to your business name so users can find you easily. Twitter is the hashtag queen with trending hashtags showing on the right hand side. If you do a quick Google search, you’ll also find many Twitter hours that could be beneficial to your business. These are time slots dedicated to hashtags like #weddinghour or #yorkshirehour that other followers of that hashtag will see. It’s great to meet other individuals tweeting about the same subject. For our own #idoawards, we use a Twitter feed with this hashtag that groups all the tweets together, so everyone can see what’s happening at the same time and live tweet along.
Tips for Twitter
Stay away from buying followers; yes they will increase your follower count, but they won’t interact with your content, so it’s pretty pointless.
Twitter now has a feature called Fleet; where you can share stories/images/tweets that disappear after 24 hours, like Facebook and Instagram stories. Twitter says it was created to encourage users to interact more with content more comfortably in the knowledge that the content wouldn’t remain on their profile.
To decide which social platform works for your business, you need to decide what content you’re going to post on social, how regularly and also who your target audience is.
Nowadays many users are connected on social media, so there’s a huge potential audience out there just waiting for you to talk to them. All you need to do is find out who your potential customer is and how you’re communicate to them.