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So, one year on, is there any difference in your views on what the most effective advertising is for your wedding business? Lets see what this year’s results are!

Wedding Magazines 1.15%

Newspaper Advertisements 0%

wedding directories 8.05%

Word of Mouth 19.54%

Features on Blogs 8.05%

Your Website 21.84%

Discussion Forums/Chat Rooms 5.75%

Flyers/Business Cards 2.3%

Wedding Fairs 13.79%

Recommended Supplier lists 4.6%

Facebook 11.49%

Twitter 2.3%

Bebo 0%

pay per click 1.15%

google adverts 0%

Other: 0%

As you will see, the most popular advertising option is ‘website’. In second place is ‘word of mouth’ with ‘wedding fairs’ in third.

It seems the least expensive, or zero cost, options are the most successful for you.

Facebook, blogs and directories have seen a wee increase on last year whilst we suspect some wedding businesses have yet to try Twitter (you should, its very effective!)

Any surprises? Any comments, please post them below!

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Okay, so about a week ago, out of curiousity, we asked our fellow wedding suppliers to share with us what forms of advertising they felt worked best for them.

As a wedding supplier ourselves (both the directory and wedding photography), we feel we have tried most forms of advertising over the year and have now figured out what works best, but do our fellow suppliers feel the same? Well here are the results of the poll in order of most effective to least effective:

Your Website 23.73% of the vote

Word of Mouth 22.03% of the vote 

Wedding Fairs 13.56% of the vote    

Features on Blogs 10.17% of the vote 

Facebook 6.78% of the vote

Discussion Forums/Chat rooms 6.78% of the vote

wedding directories 5.08% of the vote

Recommended Supplier lists 3.39% of the vote 

Flyers/Business Cards 3.39% of the vote

Twitter 1.69% of the vote

pay per click 1.69% of the vote

Wedding Magazines 1.69% of the vote

Newspaper Advertisements 0% of the vote

Bebo 0% of the vote

google adverts 0% of the vote

Other 0% of the vote

So…are you suprised? Especially at the fact magazine and newspaper advertising features so low? I’m not. To many businesses, starting out, bridal magazines may seem like the best and only way to advertise.

It works for some, but for the majority it wont. It can depend on where your advert is situated and how often  you advertise in that magazine – regular adverts gets you remembered, apparently.

However, I do know of someone who, for a good few years, has taken out a full page advert four times a year at a cost of about £2000 each time.

I don’t know if she haggled a reduced price, but I do know her business is struggling now so probably not…(if you’re struggling why continue to advertise in such as way?? madness in my opinion!!!)

Am I disappointed that wedding directories (considering I have one), aren’t featured higher? No. I actually feel relieved. This is because my directory is free to advertise in, so my suppliers have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

I did my research – there are lots of directories out there ranging from free up to about £300 for a year’s advertising> Sometimes they do wedding fairs, magazines or brochures on top of that, so you have to fork out more…its a LOT! When you add it all up, could it afford you a stand at the next national wedding show???

 Some directories are a great success, and some are not. I’ve witnessed many suppliers not signing up for a second year and it will be interesting to observe what happens this year, especially with the VAT rise. I anticipate some directories reducing their yearly fees (I’ve already seen this in some instances), or increasing their yearly fees.

Back to wedding shows. This is the only suprise really. You’d think they’d feature more highly, but when I spoke to some suppliers, they say they much prefer local wedding fairs and dont want to spend more than £100 on exhibiting to be sure of a good return. Thank goodness our fairs are less than that to exhibit with eh??

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Many established wedding businesses are unconvinced as to the benefits of social media to their businesses. They view Facebook solely for keeping in touch with family and friends, and if they do have a business page, they don’t use it properly.

The main benefit of Facebook is that it’s free and easy to use. So even if you’re unconvinced as to its benefits to your business, there is simply no reason not to create a fan page for your business and start putting it to use. You might be surprised by the results.

Below are advantages and disadvantages of Facebook to wedding businesses, some of these you may not have considered so I hope it helps.

Advantages:

  • You can engage customers directly
  • It gets your brand and website known.
  • show how much you care about your business
  • Instantly address any questions or concerns that your customers may have.
  • Have a review tab so that potential customers can see how good you are!
  • It can improve the SEO for your website by providing backlinks and encouraging clicks.
  • When you share news and blog posts, people can link to this and it gets passed along a wide network of people.
  • It also gives you the opportunity to keep tabs on what people are saying about your competitors, which amounts to valuable business intelligence that you can act on.
  • Prospective customers can be impressed by how many fans you have and see this as “proof” you are well known and well liked.
  • Be careful of your settings – If you chose ‘view all posts’ then potential customers will be able to see who you network with, comments from other customers and overall its further proof that you are successful, well known
  • Post links to stories you believe will interest your fan base. Don’t make it all about you! This encourages interaction as users are more likely to add their thoughts if you have already kicked off the debate.
  •  Run competitions – getting people to like your page, so it can sometimes pay to run a competition to encourage comments. But check the Facebook rules!
  • Facebook has an ‘Events’ tab that will allow you to create virtual invites for any events which you’re running. This means that you can keep your fans updated on the very latest events that you are offering, as well as reminding them about the events as they draw near.
  • Promote your page every day – include a link to your Facebook fan page in your email signature?

Disadvantages

  • Check the settings of your page. Who can post? Do you want lots of spammers?
  • Having a ‘review’ tab also means prospective clients can see how BAD you are!
  • Watch what you say! Keep it business related. While it’s good to show a bit of personality and show prospective clients that you are a nice person, you don’t want to give them a bad impression either.
  • Don’t talk about having a hangover. Don’t moan about a job that didn’t go to well. Don’t criticise your competitors, whether by name or implication unless you want to present an unprofessional image etc.
  • Settings – if people can only see your posts, it could look a bit boring. Yes it avoids spam messages being viewed (although you could just delete them!); it prevents potential customers from seeing positive comments from previous customers and other businesses you network with.
  • Time – it can take up a lot of your time. You have to post regularly to keep people interested in your page and to maintain your number of ‘likes’. Make sure that what you do post is interesting and different.
  • Administrators – having multiple administrators can help with the ‘time’ issue, but can they be trusted to be professional?
  • Fans – as you can see above, it can be good to have 1000, 5000 fans etc, BUT ARE THEY BUYING FROM YOU???
  • Security – be very careful as to the security of your page. If it is obvious who the administrators are, is that administrator’s personal page, contact details etc, easily viewable to potential customers? They could be tempted to have a ‘nosey’ at the person behind the brand. What do you have posted on your page? You want to give your potential customers a good impression and that extends beyond your business page.
  • Rules – check the Facebook rules carefully. If you have a personal profile that has your business name as opposed to your real name, this is against Facebook rules and they can delete your page without any prior warning. Also be careful what you post on your business page or indeed anywhere, as again it can lead to deletion without warning. (the report button allows people to report you to Facebook for breaking ‘rules’!)

Website: www.yourweddingatlochlomond.co.uk

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