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For at least a couple years now, everyone who’s anyone has been saying you NEED to use social media for your wedding business.

“It’s where the brides are, it’s free marketing, it’s the wave of the future, it will change your entire life…”

This isn’t 100% true.

You don’t HAVE to have a Facebook page or a Twitter account to grow your wedding business. And it isn’t exactly “free” because it costs your time, eating up those precious minutes you could use to do something else. However…

If you’re a wedding business with a limited marketing budget who needs to reach your target market as quickly and inexpensively as possible, social media belongs in your marketing activities.

Consider these social media statistics:

  • 84% of couples use the internet to plan their weddings, according to the Wedding Report.
  • There are over 800 million Facebook users. At my last check there are 1,459,740 engaged females age 21-32 on Facebook in the US alone.
  • The average user spends 55 minutes on Facebook each day.
  • Twitter has fewer users (175 million accounts) but those users are more likely to follow a brand they purchase from than on Facebook, according to this Twitter vs. Facebook infographic.
  • Every post and tweet makes it easier for brides and grooms to find you whether they’re on or off their social media accounts.

One look at the demographics and it’s clear that your target brides are using social media, particularly Facebook.

Everyone’s so busy shouting from the rooftops about how critical Facebook and Twitter are for your wedding business, but very few people talk about the dangers of social media. That’s right, I said it’s dangerous.

In fact, if you don’t watch out, social media can HURT your business and even DECREASE the number of weddings you book.

Let’s take a look at the Dark Side of social media…

  • It is a colossal time waster.

A quick visit to Facebook can easily lead to an hour long voyeuristic journey through your friends’ photo albums, and watching a single Youtube video can lead to hours wasted on dumb pet tricks and giggling babies.

  • Every minute you spend on Facebook and Twitter is a minute you’re NOT spending on something else.

This is also called an, “Opportunity Cost.” Every thing we choose to do has a hidden cost because we’re sacrificing every other opportunity we could be pursuing with that time. If we’re updating our Facebook status, we’re consciously choosing NOT to follow up with leads or prepare for that big wedding this weekend.

  • It feeds our addiction to distraction and interruption.

If you keep checking your Facebook and Twitter feed, it takes forever to get anything done. Each time someone posts something vaguely interesting, it keeps you from working on the money-making activities of your business.

Studies show when we are interrupted during the course of working on something, it takes us 20 minutes to get back into that uninterrupted flow state. That’s 20 minutes wasted with each interruption.  
 

Despite the dangers of social media, it’s still one of the best marketing tools for a wedding business…as long as you have a real strategy based on results.

I recently starting using the Social Media Black Belt system from Christine Dyer of BridalTweet.com. Let me tell you, it was an eye opener!

The first time I got out a timer to track my 15 minutes, I realized how truly inefficient my social media activities have been. Most of the time I’d fall down the black hole of Youtube videos, photos and blog posts, which made me want to avoid Facebook and Twitter altogether.

I’m finally streamlining and limiting my social media activities so that I’m ONLY focused on what gets results. (Okay, I still take a moment to get goofy with my real life friends and family on social media now and then.)

5 Rules for Making Money With Social Media

Here’s a quick summary of what I’ve learned so far…

Social media activities only work to get REAL leads if:

  1. Your accounts are set up for maximum visibility.
  2. You post the right topics at the right times.
  3. You focus ONLY on activities that get results.
  4. You measure those results to track your progress.
  5. You limit your time with a routine to scheduling activities and use tools to increase your efficiency.

This system lets me do more focused lead-getting activities in 15 minutes per day on social media than most wedding professionals do in an entire year.

Wanna join me? Watch these  FREE videos from Bridal Tweet to learn how it’s done. (Note: you need to login or register for Bridal Tweet to check them out.)

What do you think about using social media for your wedding business?

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Posted By

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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6 thoughts on “The Dark Side of Social Media”

  1. Steph,

    Yet another spot on article. I’m a [url]Hudson Valley Wedding[/url] Photographer, who’s work is popular….thank the lord…..and just answering emails takes me almost an hour a day. I don’t know where I’d find another hour or two to update my facebook pages and twitter accounts. Any “auto” posts features that you know of that work well?

    steve

    1. [quote name=”steven planck”]Steph,

      just answering emails takes me almost an hour a day. I don’t know where I’d find another hour or two to update my facebook pages and twitter accounts. Any “auto” posts features that you know of that work well?

      steve[/quote]

      You absolutely DON’T have to spend an hour a day on social media to benefit from it.

      Christine Dyer’s Social Media Black Belt system (http://www.bookmorebrides.com/bt) recommends only 15 minutes per day for maximum effectiveness and efficiency with very specific activities.

      As for auto posting features, you have to be careful with it. Twitter is cracking down on accounts that ONLY auto post; they want to make sure you’re a real person who posts organically, too.

      Some to try out:

      For Facebook: Networked Blogs app, RSS Graffiti app (these will automatically post a link to your blog posts)

      For Twitter: Twitterfeed.com, Hootsuite.com, SocialOomph.com, Su.pr

      Just make sure you mix in some real time posts as well.

  2. Wedding DJ says:

    I have loads of other vendors following me on Twitter and not that many brides.

    Twitter seems to be a bit more B2B than B2C to me!

    1. [quote name=”Wedding DJ”]I have loads of other vendors following me on Twitter and not that many brides.

      Twitter seems to be a bit more B2B than B2C to me![/quote]

      Wedding vendors are often more active on Twitter than many brides.

      However, one relationship with a particular vendor who sends you referrals can lead to dozens or hundreds of booked weddings and thousands of dollars in your pocket.

      If you’d like to use social media as a part of your marketing strategy, don’t forget how helpful those vendor relationships can be.

      If you don’t have brides following you on Twitter, your content probably isn’t very interesting to them.

      Check out what @bridaltweet and the other popular wedding influencers on Twitter are tweeting. If you post about those topics, you’ll get more brides who care about what you have to say.

  3. How do I get more people to visit my F/B page ? We post, but get little “likes”. We are a small business, and dont have an advtsg. budget to spend mega bucks on. Thanks for your article .. and yes, S/M can be dangerous.

    1. [quote name=”Linda Ruckdeschel”]How do I get more people to visit my F/B page ? We post, but get little “likes”. [/quote]

      Hi, Linda.

      It’s probably a combination of a couple things. It does take some experimenting to figure out what works, unless you use Christine’s short-cuts. :-)

      [b]What are you posting?[/b]

      If you’re posts on Facebook are all about YOU, it’s not going to get much interaction, shares or likes as a result.

      Instead of posting about your offers, sales and promotions, share tips, ideas and photos brides and other wedding vendors will enjoy.

      Another great way to get interaction is to ask questions. As Christine says in our interview, ask questions that allow your friends and fans to give an opinion that makes them an “expert.”

      [b]Are you sharing and commenting on other pages and posts?[/b

      Social media is really about building those [i]social[/i] relationships.

      If you want more people to like you, you have to like them first.

      Some ways to do this:

      1) Make sure you “like” all the local wedding vendor and wedding venue pages you can find in your area. [i]Do this as your page[/i] as well as from your personal profile.

      2) When other wedding vendors share an interesting post or question, comment, like and share it.

      3) Link to an interesting or inspiring blog post on your own Page’s wall and tag them in the post. This way, your comment shows up on THEIR wall, too, with your business name attached.

      If you work on this, you’ll gradually start to grow your fans and friends. It does take time, but once you get a routine going it’s very effective.

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