Who is your social audience? Many of us have a few different audiences for our social content: current customers, potential customers, industry contacts, family, friends, etc. Additionally, we may have many different pages and channels on which to engage with those audiences: personal pages, business pages, groups, events, etc. Before you start posting (I know it’s a little late for that for most of you) begin with which audience(s) you’re trying to reach, and then what value you’re going to provide them. If they’re not getting value from the interaction, they’re not likely to come back for more.
“Why should they care?”
That’s the question all wedding professionals should be asking before posting anything on social media. As with all marketing, it’s not about us, it’s about our audience. Too often wedding pros are posting content that’s interesting to them, but their audience doesn’t care. You can see that there’s very little, if any interaction, and that’s what we’re all seeking on social media. After all, if there’s no interaction, it’s not social, it’s just you talking to yourselves.
Another issue is posting content that’s interesting to one of your audiences, but not to the others. The other audiences will disengage and not come back, feeling that there’s no value there for them. I use a personal page on Facebook in addition to a business page. That was a conscious decision because you can’t tag a business in a photo, only in the description that goes along with it. I realize that my nearly 5,000 ‘friends’ aren’t the same as my offline ‘friends.’ That said, a few of my offline friends like seeing what I’m up to with my business. They follow my travels and will comment on them to me when we’re together. That’s great, but they’re not in our industry so they’re not going to become clients.
Getting an audience is hard enough, with the millions of other pages that they could be viewing. So, once you do get their attention, how are you going to keep it? Pay attention to the posts and stories that get the most interaction, not just on your page, but also on similar pages and in related groups. Look for the influencers that your audience is already following, and take note of what kinds of posts and stories are getting good engagement. Don’t copy what they’re doing. Rather, notice what kinds of things are getting people to Like, Comment and Share those posts and stories. You should also be commenting and sharing, so the followers of those pages see you as engaged in the conversation.
What do the numbers mean?
Wedding audiences are transient. Couples might follow you during their planning, but why should, or would they keep following you after their wedding? Why should they follow you if they chose another wedding professional (in whatever service you provide)? So, don’t just see how many Likes you have, see if the number is rising. Most people won’t Un-Like your page – you’d have to do something pretty bad to make them do that – they just stop paying attention. Therefore, if your number of Likes isn’t rising, you’re not gaining a new audience. If your number is falling, that’s really bad, because you’re not gaining enough new followers to make up for those that are Un-Liking, or Un-Following you.
It’s not all about the hashtags
Hashtags are important for searches, similar to how SEO (search engine optimization) is important to your website. Once someone gets to your post or website for that matter, it’s all about the story you’re telling. Don’t just list hashtags under your photo or image, tell us the story of what’s going on the in the image, and why it matters to us, the reader. Connect the people reading to what’s going on, so there’s context. Post aspirational images, so your target audience can see themselves wanting that result.
You don’t sell services, you sell the results of those services
Every wedding planner does essentially the same things. The same goes for officiants, DJs, photographers, caterers, really every wedding and event service. If you make a list, your bullet points look pretty much like everyone else in your category. It’s the intangible feelings and experiences that make you different. Facebook says to use “Lifestyle” images, ones that show people interacting with your product or service. The operative word is ‘people.’ Your customers rely on you to create experiences for people – those throwing the party and their guests. Show those experiences. Talk about those experiences. They’re shopping for the experiences. And don’t forget, your customers are going to review those experiences. Give them something to talk about, because when they’re posting about you… that’s the best kind of social exposure!
You don’t need to be everywhere
On which social platforms should you participate? You want to be where your target audience is when they’re looking for someone like you. You want to be where they would expect you to be when they are looking for you. For instance, my audience wouldn’t expect me to be on Pinterest, because the results of what I do aren’t particularly visual. If I were an event designer, florist, cake baker, caterer or dress shop/designer, I’d certainly be active there.
Follow your audience
Ask your target audience which platforms they’re using for their wedding or event planning. See where they’re going for inspiration. That’s where you want to plant your flag. I’m very active on Facebook. I used to be more active on Twitter, but my audience, you, has moved to Instagram, so I’m much more active there. I use the easy tools in Instagram to also post my content on Twitter and my Facebook page. I wish it would also post it to my personal page but, currently, it only posts to business pages.
I’m somewhat active on LinkedIn because I keep getting connection requests there. I try to remember to post my content there as well, but I get very little engagement when I do, even when the same, or a similar post is getting interaction on Facebook or Instagram. If my audience wasn’t growing on LinkedIn, I’d stop participating.
Where’s your audience, and why should they care?
This brings us full-circle, and leaves you with a lot of questions that, hopefully, you’re able to answer:
- Where is your audience? (which platforms)
- Are you on the right platforms at the time they’re looking for someone like you?
- Are you posting content that gets them to engage?
- Where should you be purchasing ads and/or boosting posts?
- If you have multiple audiences that you’re trying to engage, do you have separate pages for each one, or are you active in the many groups where they each hang out?
- How are you going to measure your ROI (return on investment) from your efforts with social media?
See how many of those questions you can answer before you waste any more time and effort on social media. If you’re like most of us, time is your most precious asset. You only have a finite amount of time to spend with family, friends and in and on your business. Make the most of your investment in social media and don’t worry that others are on sites where you’re not. Maybe they’re not getting a good, or possibly any ROI. Maybe they are, but the time/effort/investment would be too great for you to achieve an acceptable ROI. You don’t have to be on every platform just because a friend or competitor is there. Choose where you want to be, provide a consistent value for your audience and measure your return.
© 2019 AlanBerg.com & Wedding Business Solutions LLC
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Need help deciding which social platforms make sense for you? Through consulting and sales training, I’ve helped businesses like yours reduce the friction in the sales process, and beyond. Here’s what a few have said after working with me, either on-site or virtually:
“I went to Alan’s mastermind class last week, it was so informative on leads, websites and how to deal with clients.” – Angel Nottage, Willow Creek, Kansas City, KS
“Alan is so knowledgeable in helping you market your business and how to respond to new inquiries to turn them into a client!” – Rachel Krueger, DJ Dave Productions, Houston, TX
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