In my final recap of Monday’s WeddingWire World conference (read my previous posts here and here), I wanted to share a few highlights from the other presentations of the day.
Sonny Ganguly, WeddingWire’s Chief Marketing Officer, gave a presentation called “Get Social, Go Mobile” which, like his marketing course, was packed with information. One thing he pointed out that I think a lot of wedding business owners forget is that your number of fans/followers don’t matter. If your audience isn’t engaged by your message, and genuinely interested in interacting with you, they’re useless. So many people get caught up in the “you like my page and I’ll like yours” that they lose sight of the real purpose of social media: to promote your business in a meaningful way, one that creates returns.
Sonny also made a great point about the quality of your content on social media. “Provide the pearls, not the oysters” when it comes to content, he said. Positive messages also get shared five times more often than negative ones.
While YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have long been kind of the “triumverate” of social media, Sonny explained that other platforms can be just as useful to wedding business owners. For example, most people understand the importance of a blog, even if they don’t take the time to maintain one. Sonny showed how a Tumblr can bring some of the same benefits, in a “microblog” format — enabling users to post just a quote, a picture, or a few short sentences and still receive benefits. Sonny also demonstrated how a LinkedIn profile can help a wedding business owner to get on the first page of search engine results for their name.
The two most useful social media platforms for interacting with other wedding businesses (B2B), Sonny said, are LinkedIn and Twitter. The three most useful platforms for interacting with potential clients (B2C) are YouTube, Pinterest, and Facebook. Sonny explained how YouTube has become the #2 search engine, second only to Google. He also demonstrated how some new WeddingWire features can help business owners easily develop content for YouTube and other video sites.
Finally, Sonny spoke about the importance of mobile accessibility when it comes to your content. Mobile usage will increase over 500% by 2015, he said, and therefore it’s imperative that your website is optimized for mobile devices. The last five years have been the “social revolution,” he explained, and the next five years will be the “mobile revolution.”
Later, in the last full segment of the day, Sonny and WeddingWire Chief Financial Officer Jeff Yeh gave a very entertaining presentation on the future of technology, complete with a “Back to the Future” theme. Jeff explained some of modern history’s greatest technological achievements, and how poor planning or failure to predict market changes led to those technologies’ demise. For example, he pointed out Kodak’s reluctance to jump into the digital photography market, even though Kodak itself had developed the technology long before other companies. By the time they decided to market their digital products, users had already moved on to mobile phone cameras. MySpace was another great example. Whe being worth billions at one point, the company failed to see what their new competitor Facebook did — that there is true value in real identity and real relationships, and in being able to maintain relationships with anyone you have ever known — and therefore they finally sold at a tiny fraction of their onetime worth.
Jeff repeated a famous quotation by hockey player Wayne Gretzky, which he says has served as a guide for WeddingWire over the years: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” Many heads were nodding in agreement, and I too found that quote to be pretty inspiring.
Sonny ended the presentation with a list of about 20 predictions for future technologies, including everything from the use of wireless energy transfer making power cables obsolete, to the complete obliteration of desktop computers by 2022 (noooooo!!!) It was pretty obvious that most of us were fascinated by these predictions, while also feeling a little uncomfortable about the “Big Brother”-ness of some of them!
All in all, WeddingWire World was a really worthwhile experience, and I’m definitely looking forward to future events. I do hope we’ll have the opportunity to choose which presentations we attend based on our interests and our current knowledge on a topic, which I’d think would also enable the presenters to develop their concepts with more depth. Thanks again to WeddingWire for hosting everyone!