Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Something blue PR blog post



As wedding professionals, we all know we need to be on top of social media but sometimes the weight of expectation can get the better of us. It seems like everyone else is better at it than you; checking into trendier locations, attending glitzier events and Instagramming cooler lunches. A tuna mayo sandwich, quavers and a Ribena would look amazing with a Hudson filter, no?!

To help you slug your way around the triathlon of social media (we’ll focus on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in this article) and still leave enough time for your day job, we’ve put together our top tips for social media success in the bridal industry.

1. Rules are rules

 Whether you’re the rule-following goody-two-shoes type or the free-spirited creative that shuns convention, I’m afraid the powers that be of Silicon Valley are big on rules, and you need to know them. Each social media network has different quirks and operating practices meaning you need to at least get a handle on the basics so you can tell your peaks from your pokes. Once you’ve reviewed the written rules, find out if there are any ‘unwritten’ rules you need to know. For example, adding everyone under the sun to an Instagram post about your new boutique windows in the hope it will go ‘viral’ will ensure you are struck off the Christmas card list faster than you can say “unfollow.”

2. Proof read. Then proof read again.

A typo every now and then is not the end of the world but chronic typos, misspelling or grammatical errors could destroy your credibility. Admittedly it’s not always your fault and #autocorrectfail is a very real proble (guilty) but social media is your window to the world and you wouldn’t be happy with a sign outside your shop with the words “gon too lunsh” now would you? Of course, it may not be possible to have someone else proof read all your posts so a good way to double check yourself is to read your writing out loud if you’re on the go or to copy and paste the text into a Word document to pick up any of those pesky red squiggly lines. You will be amazed at how many typos you catch this way.

3. The 60/20/20 formula for posting.

Maths not your thing? Me neither, but this is one formula you need in your life:

60% of your posts and social activity should be helpful/useful stuff such as trends, links to inspiration/information or observations that you feel will inform or enlighten the viewer.

20% should be support for your followers/friends – sharing and liking their posts and comment on their activity.

20% of posts can be self-promotion – if you’ve followed the formula then you deserve to use the channels to tell everyone just how wonderful you are!

4. Have an identity

You agonised over your business name, typography, colour palette and logo for weeks until you decided on what would be your identity…so use it! Decide what you want your social media to say about you and what you want the public and industry folk to think about you and make sure your channels say that. Sound difficult? It’s easier than you think. Let’s start off with subtle branding of images. If there’s an image of a new collection or a boutique refurbishment that you are immensely proud of, it’s natural to want to post about it. Using free online design software such as Canva (www.canva.com) you can overlay a logo into the corner of an image that acts as a subtle nod towards the owner – YOU – and a watermark to ensure anyone else that posts it references you too. The software also turns images into the perfect shape and size for your preferred channel. What’s not to ‘Like’?

5. Content is King

Photos receive 53% more likes on Facebook than the average post and 84% more clicks, while videos increase consumers understanding of your product or service by 74%. These are stats you can’t ignore. And the good news is you don’t have to produce an Oscar-worthy piece of material. On the contrary in fact; keep it short and sweet because up to 45% of viewers stop watching a video after one minute and by the two-minute mark, 60% of viewers have tuned out. Get your message across quickly before your viewers click away. Variation is also the key to keeping an audience engaged; different types of content appeal to different people. The popularity of videos is undeniable and the popularity of Blab and Periscope shows the power of this type of content. Make sure you vary the type of content you post.

6. Be consistent

Decide how much time you are prepared to spend on social media, set up a posting schedule and stick with it. A posting schedule can be as simple as setting a reminder to pop up on your phone at 5pm every day to give you a nudge or you could create a table/chart on Excel or Word with a plan of how you wish to post. If you’re feeling super organised you could sign up to an online scheduling dashboard such as the very popular Hoot Suite (www.hootsuite.com) and let the boffins do the scheduling work for you!

7. Wise words

Everyone loves a quote don’t they? No. So called ‘inspirational quotes’ can be very tedious on social media but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post words that mean a lot to you. Why not paraphrase a testimonial that one of your lovely customers wrote to you in a thank you note? To make sure it fits with your theme (see Tip. 4) try creating an image either using free online design software or by a blank page and Text Box in PowerPoint, making sure you use your house font and house colours.

8. Think before you Tweet

Posting too much will lose followers - the key is to be relevant and consistent. For example, if you schedule a post on Facebook each day at 1 pm, your fans will expect a post from you at that time. If your schedule is inconsistent they may lose interest and only see your posts when you happen to appear at the top of their timeline. Likewise, we all have that friend or business contact who Insta’s their morning jog EVERY day (as if we weren’t feeling unfit already!) and Tweets the most benign happenings of their lives. A good rule is to ask yourself ‘would I call someone to share this?’. If the answer is no, the world doesn’t need to know.

9. Love thy neighbour

Answer questions, ask questions, comment, like and share. Tell someone if you like their window display and let a former customer know if her new hair suits her. Being social on social media means supporting your friends and fans as much as they support you and it also helps to build your online confidence (yes, there is such a thing!). If someone posts a topic you can contribute to, comment on their entry and don’t forget to like and share other people’s content. Pay attention to what others are posting and if you have a question about it, ask. Who knows where the conversation will lead. Social media is the modern day equivalent of networking luncheons and can be a brilliant ice-breaker to help start a dialogue with people you may never have had the chance to meet.

10. Don’t make a hash of it

Use hashtags but use them sensibly. Hashtags are a way for social media users to tag their posts with keywords, which in turn make them easier for social networks to organise and users to search. If you’ve ever read a post that was 90% hashtags, you’ll know how annoying it is. Use a maximum of 10 hashtags but ONLY if they are relevant to what’s in the image.


Back to posts