Social media is absolutely essential to wedding businesses today.
This is not an original idea. There are countless books, websites, seminars and consultants out there crowing about the importance of using Facebook, Twitter, blogging and other platforms to connect with prospective clients and other businesses.
So why are so many businesses ignoring this very real opportunity?
I see it everywhere in the wedding world. Businesses with no Facebook page. Businesses with a Facebook page that they haven’t logged into in weeks, months or years. Businesses with one Tweet and nothing after that. Businesses with stale, untouched blogs (or the dreaded “coming soon” that never changes into a real post).
And these business owners have every excuse in the world. “I hate blogging!” “I don’t have time for Facebook!” “Twitter is a waste of time!”
I’m officially going on record to say if you think this way, you’re making a big mistake. Period.
The fact is, social media has become so important, for a variety of reasons:
It provides a fresh, dynamic view of your business. Practically any company can pay someone to develop a fancy website for them. But the thing is, websites are static. They don’t provide a compelling reason for people to return again and again. They don’t often reflect the “voice” of the company. They can’t effectively convey not only the day-to-day happenings that make your business what it is. Social media, on the other hand, is a constantly evolving window into your business, the people who run it, and the people it serves.
It presents an image of being modern and savvy. Most wedding clients today grew up with technology and use it on an almost nonstop basis. I’m older than most couples getting married today, and yet, do you know what I think when I see a business that doesn’t bother with sociual media? I think old. Behind the times. Maybe that judgment is wrong, and I’m certainly empathetic toward people who just don’t know how to use social media. But if we’re being completely honest, refusing to learn and utilize social media is not unlike typing your proposals on a typewriter or failing to use email. And, in a client’s mind, a refusal to use technology could translate to a lack of understanding of trends, too — something few wedding business owners would want.
It allows for an unparalleled level of interaction. Social media is a completely free, not-that-complicated, sit-around-in-your-pajamas method of client (and vendor) interaction. Facebook, Twitter and your blog offer a unique opportunity to promote your business and, more importantly, to develop more meaningful relationships. I’d venture to say that, if you have social media platforms affiliated with your business and you fail to use them, that’s not so different from ignoring your ringing telephone or abandoning your booth at a bridal show. In all cases, you’re mindfully passing by opportunities to interact with people about your business.
If you feel you don’t have time to manage your social media, then make time. Put yourself on a schedule so that it becomes part of your routine. Trust me, banging out a couple of blog posts per week or jotting off a Facebook status update or Tweet takes very little time, in the grand scheme of things. (If you use a smartphone, you can do some of these things on the go. Why not make the most of the time you spend standing in line or sitting in waiting rooms?)
If you don’t know how to manage your social media, there are great resources out there, from online articles to books to consultants. Some businesses may also find it helpful to hire a social media manager to oversee their blog and social media accounts — my company did this last year and found it invaluable.
I get that social media can be daunting to some people — but, like anything truly important in business, you need to make it a priority.