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Archive for the ‘networking’ Category

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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www.yourweddingatlochlomond.co.uk

www.twitter.com/wedatlochlomond

Find us on facebook – Your Wedding at Loch Lomond

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If you aren’t using social media to advertise your wedding business, then you are making a huge mistake. Similarly, there are many businesses using social media, but using it wrongly. Another huge mistake.

Almost everywhere you look on the internet, you will see people arguing that traditional advertisements are dying out. Newspaper and magazine advertisements are still important, but for how much longer?

Social Media is pushing out traditional advertisements, especially because most social media sites are free to use. Do you remember only a few months ago, when there were property advertisements filling up pages of the local newspapers? Where are those adverts now? On websites such as Rightmove, on discussion forums, Gumtree, and social media sites such as people’s facebook page

This is ideal for new or small businesses in particular. Underestimating the power of social media is missing out on a great opportunity to increase your customers.

Its called SOCIAL media for a reason. Dont just post about your shop/business and thats it. Network Network Network!!

Lets look at some of the main social media sites.

  • Blogger/Wordpress etc

Everyone and their auntie seems to have a blog nowadays. Blogging can get faster results than traditional Internet marketing. This is an excellent way to boost your online brand, increase your website’s rankings on the search engines, reach new potential clients, communicate with current customers and to publicize information about your company. Include links back to your website as this will make your website’s SEO results rise.

The focus of the blog should be on presenting information, tips, advice, commentaries and opinions. Avoid direct selling and self promotion. The forthcoming Royal Wedding will give you loads of material to blog about! Furthermore, you could try to submit entries to other well known blogs.

  • Facebook

Facebook is probably the best known social media site and the most used by businesses (not just wedding businesses). Yet it is only successful if you use it properly!

There are personal Facebook pages and business pages. Do NOT get the two confused! Dont use your business page to ‘chat’ with all your friends. Its not a gossip column. Remember, your business page is public. Potential clients can see everything you write. Talking about your recent shopping trip, or even worse, slagging off your competitors either directly or indirectly, may very well cost you potential customers.  Once posted, its on the net forever, deleted or not.

Keep it relevant to your business. Share your latest news and offers. Post up pictures of your products but be careful that you dont use someone else’s pictures for copyright reasons. Share some interesting wedding facts or jokes. As long as everything you post is professional and relevant.

Some other points –

  • on business pages, you can add a ‘reviews’ or ‘feedback’ tab. This is where your potential customers can see what people think of you.
  • You can also add other people’s pages to your ‘favourites’ and encourage them to do the same back (great way to get people to notice you!).
  • One of our suppliers, CIA Photography, have had their busiest year so far, with  weddings and also bookings being taken for 2013 and 2014 already. The majority of their bookings have come through Facebook.
  • Twitter

Twitter is, in my opinion, better than Facebook. Not least because you can link the two social media sites so your message gets across doubly. However, to simply link the two and leave it at that is ineffective. You should work to grow your followers. These followers can “retweet” all your messages, which could be seen by potential customers, who could then purchase from you.

Twitter is much more sociable than facebook, so you’ll find people posting about all sorts, not just business, unless you want to set up several twitter accounts which can be a real hassle to keep up.

Grow your followers by offering advice and support. Get to know them. Be friendly. Dont be spammy – it will have the opposite effect. Pay attention to what they tweet about and reply with your thoughts and ideas. Post often, not too much or too little.

If you want further advice from some ‘tweeters’ out there, then visit One Big Present’s blog which discusses the benefits of Twitter. You’ll have to go back several pages to read everyone’s opinions (including mine!) – http://www.1bigpresent.co.uk/blog/

Other points

There are other social media sites that you can use. Youtube is particularly great if you want to post videos of say your wedding venue or a wedding fair you organised/exhibited at. Flickr is a fantastic tool for sharing examples of your work. Linkedin is another networking tool and Bebo isn’t just for teenagers.

Social media sites allow you to network with other professionals in your field, and who knows? You might get invited to a social media meetup. These are really popular. I’ve already been invited to several facebook and twitter meetups, which have proven invaluable for promoting my website and for recruiting more wedding suppliers to advertising with us.

I am, for example, the local co-ordinator of the Scottish mumpreneur network. These meetups are organised entirely through social media sites and the majority of mums who come along are now very good friends and suppliers on my directory.

To conclude, the great aspect of social media is with proper attention, it significantly expands the entry points for your brand and business. Now, instead of customers finding you through just newspapers, wedding magazines, or the Yellow Pages, they can find you through Google, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Bebo and many, many more. Its not costing you a penny.

www.yourweddingatlochlomond.co.uk

Loch Lomond’s free wedding directory

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Today I was totally stunned yet delighted to be informed I had made the list of “The Top 100 Wedding Tweeters”. Take a look at the list here: http://www.easyweddingsearch.com/twitter/top100.htm

This is a list of Top 100 UK wedding professionals and individuals currently Tweeting on Twitter and it is updated weekly.

According to the website: “These wedding suppliers are ranked by influence, not just follower numbers. A whole host of other criteria are used to get an idea of the popularity and ‘quality’ of these social media super stars.”

So how do I get onto the list, I hear you cry? Well for starters, you should follow on twitter the really lovely Christian of @uk_weddings . Christian has written a blog post with some tips, although he wont tell you the exact ‘formula’. The blog post can be found here: http://www.easyweddingsearch.com/pro/how-top100/

To follow me on twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/wedatlochlomond and why wouldn’t you want to? I’m one of the top 100, didn’t you know? 😉

Top 100 Wedding Tweeter

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The Wedding Co-op is a venture created in August 2005 – originally as a business opportunity and now evolved into the current format – a ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for Brides and Grooms. Presently there are 25 member companies in the Co-op from florists to photographers, stationers to live music bands and DJs – in fact, just about anything you need to organise your wedding.

The Co-op gives local small businesses connected to the wedding industry an opportunity to network each month with other businesses having a direct connection to the wedding industry. It also gives members priority space at our two main Wedding Fayres per year at a reduced cost, inclusion in our brochure and website, http://www.weddingcoop.co.uk, and various other ventures and opportunities which arise from time to time.

We meet once a month to discuss various matters including upcoming fayres, advertising, PR and any other business the members wish to raise.

We have guest speakers at our meetings occasionally, which are great and usually very informative. Because we’re small, we all know each other and have first hand knowledge of what each member can do, and therefore can recommend other suppliers within the co-op with confidence that this is what the bride/groom is really looking for.

We support and recommend each other to potential clients – quite often a couple will book two or three (or more) of our members purely on the recommendation of other members. Our tagline is the ‘one stop shop for Brides and Grooms’, so potentially a couple could book almost their entire wedding purely from our Co-op.

The highlight of the Wedding Co-op’s year is two large wedding shows held at the Glen Pavillion in Dunfermline, a beautiful wedding venue set in the heart of Dunfermline, Fife with extensive grounds. We hold one at the beginning of the year and one at the end (usually January and September). However, we also hold various smaller evening wedding fayres throughout the year in Dunfermline and the surrounding towns.

We also adopt a charity each year and a percentage of the profits from the two main wedding shows are given to this charity. We recently held a presentation of two donation cheques to our two charities this year – Help for Heroes and Fife Young Carers/PKAVS Young Carer’s Project, Perth.

Although we are based in Fife, many of our members are from out-with this area and many supply nationally (some even internationally).

http://www.weddingcoop.co.uk

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