How to use Facebook for your wedding business

When I asked the wedding professionals on our email list for their biggest questions about using social media for their wedding businesses, the response was overwhelming!  And most of the questions that came in had to do with Facebook.

My Confession

I’m on Facebook.  I use it personally and professionally.  But I have to confess…

I haven’t done everything on Facebook for our wedding business that I know I should be doing.

So this was a wake up call for me, too.  I may not know everything there is to know about Facebook, but I’m really, really good at figuring stuff out.

Before we can get into exactly what to put on your Page and how to get brides on it, we’ve got to make sure we’re avoiding the most common…and sometimes disastrous…Facebook mistakes.

5 Facebook Business Mistakes

Mistake #1 – Using a Personal Profile For Your Wedding Business.

If you set up a new Facebook profile using your business name, you are in direct violation of Facebook’s terms of service.

Facebook only allows ONE profile for each individual.  You are not permitted to use it, “for your own commercial gain.”  If you want to promote your business, you need to create a Facebook Page.

If Facebook finds a profile used for a business, that account will be deleted and will lose all its friends and account information.

I know, it sucks.  One of my wedding professional Facebook friends set up a profile using the name of their business and had over 1,500 friends.  When Facebook found out, her account was deleted and she lost all those connections.

Yes, you will find people out there who are violating this rule, but it simply isn’t worth the risk.  Use a Facebook Page for your business and save your profile for the “real” you.

Mistake #2 – Not Using Keywords in the Page Title and Description.

The cool thing about Facebook pages is that they get indexed in the search engines.  If you set it up right, this means that your Facebook page could end up on Page 1 of Google.

However, this will only happen if you set up the page properly.

Use your targeted keywords (“san francisco wedding  planner,” “dallas wedding photographer”) in your Page’s title and description.  This will give you more visibility and get more brides to your Page and your website.

Mistake #3 – Not Including a Link to Your Website.

This seems like a no-brainer, but so many wedding professionals FORGET to put an easy to find link to their website on their business Page.

All your efforts are wasted if you don’t make it easy for brides to contact you and learn more about your business.

Make sure you add a link in the About section under your image as well as on your information tab.  Use the full url…that means http://www.YourWebsite.com.  Then click it to make sure it works when you’re done!

Mistake #4 – Promoting, Promoting and Only Promoting.

If you want brides to “like” your page, pay attention to your status updates, and come back for more, you’ve got to make your updates interesting and valuable to them.

Many wedding vendors promote their own services, products and sales with every update.  It’s like a never-ending sales pitch and it drives brides away!  If all you do is tell them how great you are, they’ll hit that little “ignore” button and you’ll disappear from their Facebook world forever.

Make sure your updates are fun, interesting and helpful for brides.  Then you can sparingly sprinkle in a promotion now and then.

Mistake #5 – Spamming the Walls of Friends With Ads.

Plastering your advertisement on every one of your friend’s Walls WILL NOT get you business.  It will earn you a reputation as a “spammer,” your friends will un-friend you or make you invisible, and brides will be completely turned off.

People hang out on Facebook to connect with other people.  That doesn’t mean you can’t use it to make money for your business…you sure can!…but you do it by building a relationship first.

If you want to advertise, buy a Facebook ad.  Don’t use your friends’ profiles.

How To Create a Bride Attracting Facebook Page in 5 Minutes

Watch this video below to learn the optimal set up for a new Facebook Page for your wedding business.  There are a few essentials in there that you won’t want to miss.

What do you think?  Did you learn anything?  Leave a comment, question or response to let me know you’re listening!

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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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27 thoughts on “5 Big Mistakes Wedding Professionals Make on Facebook”

  1. Kristian says:

    Superb article.

  2. I would also add that design of your facebook Fan Page is also key. If you’re not sure how to customize it, there are several DIY articles out there to help make your page stand out from the competition.

  3. Stepped a bride through the sequence of follow up to the point where she agreed to a meeting. In what seems like an afterthought, she sent an email a day later saying she would like to know what our prices are before the meeting, because she thinks that would be “helpful.”

    How do you deal with this situation?

    1. [quote name=”Mark Mahaffey”]Stepped a bride through the sequence of follow up to the point where she agreed to a meeting. In what seems like an afterthought, she sent an email a day later saying she would like to know what our prices are before the meeting, because she thinks that would be “helpful.” How do you deal with this situation?[/quote]

      This will often happen when you take control of the conversation and lead a bride right to the action you want: the meeting. At the end of the conversation, or in a follow up (as in your case) they’ll ask about prices.

      She most likely just wants to make sure you don’t cost a million bucks. I’d give her a realistic starting price or range, then tell her you look forward to meeting her on [INSERT DATE].

      By side-stepping the initial price question you have a much better chance of proving your value and establishing that trust and connection. Then if she asks about price again, a range should satisfy. I wouldn’t get into the specifics unless she REALLY presses for them. (Most won’t.)

  4. AES Comment says:

    Hi Stephanie,

    Super valuable content and instruction you and Jeff are providing. Thank you so much!

    I’d like to confirm the overall role of the AES. It appears to live only in the realm of communication and marketing prior to booking the wedding. Is that true?

    I’m using ShootQ now and it is really nice for sending proposals/contracts, booking & paying online and managing workflow after the event is booked. However, as a CRM it sucks.

    I am drooling over SendPepper’s contact management and email marketing features! ShootQ can’t touch that. I’d love to switch to your recommended solution of SendPepper but I need to figure out how much of my ShootQ functionality can be replaced by it.

    I don’t expect that you know ShootQ well enough to address this directly. However, could you please outline the high level usages of SendPepper for you and possibly also comment on what you use to send/manage proposals & contracts, pricing/packages and manage your post-booking workflow?

    Thank you so much!

    Jim Vetter

    1. [quote name=”AES Comment”]
      I’d like to confirm the overall role of the AES. It appears to live only in the realm of communication and marketing prior to booking the wedding. Is that true? [/quote]

      So far we’ve only covered follow up before up to booking the wedding. But the Week 4 trainings are about to dive into follow up after the booking and even after the wedding.

      That’s when it gets REALLY good. (In my opinion.)

      [quote]I don’t expect that you know ShootQ well enough to address this directly. However, could you please outline the high level usages of SendPepper for you…[/quote]

      ShootQ probably doesn’t let you mess with their proprietary software. However, they do integrate somewhat with the Mad Mimi email service, which will give you at least some of that follow up functionality. It’s worth calling them up to see how much of what you want is possible with them.

      One of the coolest things about Sendpepper is it’s “open API,” which means you can integrate it with anything that lets you tinker behind the scenes. For non-programmers, like me, that means hiring someone to do it, but it’s not too expensive depending on what you want.

      You can absolutely use Sendpepper for:
      – Sending customized proposals and contracts.
      – Invoices and payment reminders.
      – Receiving payment through Paypal or merchant account. (Upgrade to Sendpepper Pro is necessary.)
      – Post booking follow up, ie: reminders, check-ins, based on the wedding date.

      The only piece I’m not sure about is actually booking the event on your calendar and checking availability. This might be a manual step you’d have to do.

      I’d make a list of all your dream features and prioritize them. Then call up Sendpepper and see how close they can get and how involved it would be to switch over.

      [quote]possibly also comment on what you use to send/manage proposals & contracts, pricing/packages and manage your post-booking workflow?[/quote]

      We’ve been using the “old-fashioned” way of managing our post-booking workflow and follow up for our wedding business with a combination of ACT! Contact Management, Aweber and manual emails.

      Since we do only 75 events per year, it’s inconvenient, but manageable. It’s an Aweber/Google docs/DJ Intelligence hybrid.

      I have templates for all our responses both before and after the booking that make the process fairly straight-forward and simple.

      We moved over to Sendpepper/Office Autopilot for Book More Brides because of the advanced features. I’ve used it for follow up of all kinds, and LOVE the flexibility of being able to segment contacts into very specific groups, track our marketing and contact activity. The payment processing and landing pages also ROCK!

      We’re doing fewer weddings in 2012 because Book More Brides is taking up so much of our time, so I’m not going to switch our DJ business over to Sendpepper. But I will be using it for our local wedding blog.

      I’m intimately aware of the frustrations with time consuming follow up and workflow processes, as well as budget issues, which is why we’ve proposed different options. If I were doing it all over again, I’d go with Sendpepper all the way.

      Hopefully this helps! Your best bet is to talk to the Sendpepper folks about the specifics of what you want. (Ask for Sean, if you can get him. He’s my fave!)

      The more I learn about SP/OAP, the more I love it because you can automate and systemize so much with it! It takes a little time before the numerous applications become apparent because there are so many of them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Stephanie~
    Thank you so much for this article as I was inviolation of having two ‘personal’ pages, but have taken the proper steps to just have one now. I didn’t want to take the chance of losing any of my professional contacts. Now on creating a Fan page…will definitely be checking out your tutorial on that one! Thanks for the heads up on their terms!

  6. Anonymous says:

    iI love what you are doing,and need some help!!!!! van you cal me at
    Thank you
    Tracy Ballog

    1. Hi, Tracy! Please send me an email via the Contact form on this website [url]http://www.bookmorebrides.com/contact/Stephanie-and-Jeff-Padovani[/url] and I’d be happy to see how we can help.

      (I removed your phone number from your comment so you don’t end up with crank calls. 😉 )

  7. Anonymous says:

    What a fantastic tutorial. I am so ready for this kind of thing and what do you know – the teacher has appeared! I’m signing up for your blog, course, or anything else you offer. Thanks so much for bring all this to our specific market.

    Barry

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Steph, loved the article. I did actually follow many of the step you stated in this article and it really was, as you mentioned, easy and quick. I wanted to ask you if you know anything about creating an ad? I created the ad and used all keywords, business profile pic, description and mention of the website. The unfortunate thing is that I haven’t seen many “click” at all. You can target who your ad goes out to, so I did set it up to target people in a relationship or listed as engaged..any helpful hints,suggestions, comments? Thanks and keep it coming with the great information.

    1. [quote name=”Thomas K”]I wanted to ask you if you know anything about creating an ad? The unfortunate thing is that I haven’t seen many “click” at all. [/quote]

      Yes, we’ve used FB ads with a lot of success. However, it does take some testing.

      The average click through rate on FB is very low because this is “interruption” advertising; in other words, the bride isn’t actively searching for your service like she is in a search engine. Your ad “interrupts” her and possibly gets a click.

      If you’re not getting any clicks, it’s probably your ad that’s not working.

      Try a new headline. Asking a question like, “Planning a wedding?” usually tests well.

      Test out different headlines, pictures and text (one variable at a time) and see what gets the most clicks.

      Whew! Facebook ads deserves its own post, too…

  9. Anonymous says:

    I went in and made my profile page my real name. I do notice that the majority of businesses use their professional names. Now when I comment on a post it’s as me and not my business. I then made a page with my keywords but since my other wedding business has all the likes etc I have to transfer them. Do you think doing this is really going to make a difference? My wedding page currently has it’s own facebook url this one won’t. How do you “like” from our business page? It seems if I try and “like” a page it goes to my profile. I’ll stop there with my questions. I have a ton of them!

    1. [quote name=”Toni N.”]I went in and made my profile page my real name. I do notice that the majority of businesses use their professional names.[/quote]

      Yes, many businesses are still promoting with their individual profile. However, it’s at your own risk.

      If you spend a lot of time making friends and building up your account, then Facebook finds out and deletes it…which has happened to some of my “friends”…you lose all your work. It’s up to you to decide it it’s worth it.

      I don’t make the rules; I just report ’em. :-)

      [quote name=”Toni N.”] Now when I comment on a post it’s as me and not my business. [/quote]

      Yep. This means that you can’t blatantly promote your business name anymore. However, Facebook is all about relationships, and it’s much easier to build relationships as a real person rather than a company.

      So you lose something and gain something at the same time. Focus on helping people and they will seek out your business.

      [quote name=”Toni N.”]I then made a page with my keywords but since my other wedding business has all the likes etc I have to transfer them. Do you think doing this is really going to make a difference? [/quote]

      I suggest keeping BOTH pages (you can have as many as you want, per FB.) It’s always better to use your keywords because you are much more likely to appear high in the search engines for your targeted keywords. Many businesses find that their FB pages rank higher than their websites![/quote]

      [quote name=”Toni N.”]How do you “like” from our business page? [/quote]

      A business page cannot “like.” Only an individual profile can “like” something.

      Whenever you are on your page, your comments will be from your business. However, if you “like” something on your page, it will show up as liked by your individual profile.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hi Stephanie and Jeff…. Firstly, this is a FANTASTIC post, and relevant to Wedding Vendors ( even here in little old Ireland ).

    Perhaps I can impose upon your wisdom for some advice on how best to set ourselves up as a group of LOCAL vendors within Facebook.

    What is the principle of Facebook GROUPS,
    and how would you suggest we harness their power to sell to each Others Brides in our own hometown area ?

    Many thanks, Gerry

    1. [quote name=”Gerry Duffy”]
      What is the principle of Facebook GROUPS,
      and how would you suggest we harness their power to sell to each Others Brides in our own hometown area ?[/quote]

      Great question, Gerry! Groups are a whole different animal, very different from pages.

      FB just made some huge changes in the Group function that make it not so good for businesses. For instance, now you automatically add your friends to your group, and they have to opt out if they don’t want to be a group member.

      A lot of people are really upset about being added to groups without their permission; you can imagine what that would do to potential customers!

      However, groups are a really powerful way for vendors to network with one another. Maybe you could form a group of partners and then agree to promote each others’ services on your FB pages?

      This question deserves its own post. I’ll do some digging for ya!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Great video. Thanks for sharing!
    One question though, What if you can’t find the pages tab?

    1. It’s hard for me to help you without seeing your screen. :-) However, you should find “Ads and Pages” from your profile page on the left. Then click “Pages” on the left and you should see the “Create Page” button at the top.

      Facebook doesn’t always make it easy to find what you’re looking for, unfortunately. If you follow the video and pause at each step, it should help.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I would also add that design of your facebook Fan Page is also key. If you’re not sure how to customize it, there are several DIY articles out there to help make your page stand out from the competition.

    1. Excellent point, Takara. We’ll focus on setting the page up for maximum effectiveness first, then you can tweak the design and add features like a opt-in form to make it even more effective.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Steph, your advice makes sense.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Superb! Excellent, Perfect!
    Cannot ask for more, this was 10/10!

    Excellent quality, voice, volume, amazing video. Easy to read article, perfect! :)

  15. Anonymous says:

    Great article & video Stephanie

  16. Glad this is helpful! It’s really just the beginning of Facebook tools for your business, but it’s a critical piece.

    Toni, the cool thing about pages is that you can have as many as you want! You can create a second page for your wedding business that’s optimized for keywords and gives you more fields to fill in. You don’t have to give up your current page to do it.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t know I when I set up our facebook pages that I was supposed to use my name and then ad business pages. I went in & changed to my real name. As for my business pages I guesse I set them up wrong ( not the way you mentioned to in the video)
    but I have fans now so I don’t want to delete the page and start all over. So much to learn with facebook. Thanks for this info!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hey Steph, thanks SO much for this article & video demo – it was definitely VERY informative & helpful! Just want to say thank you for all you do & share with each & every one of us!

  19. Anonymous says:

    5 good pieces of advice.

    Thank you.

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