Say “I Do” to Your Social Media Strategy
I've been to my share of weddings this year. I'm "at that age" where several of my friends are tying the knot, taking the plunge – insert your favorite ball and chain synonym here. At 25-years-old, my closet is filling up with dresses that I can "shorten and wear again," and my Facebook feed is continually filled with engagement and wedding day pictures.
As a young woman with friends who have spent countless hours planning their special day, I take note of all of the details on their wedding day. From the shoes and quirky personal touches (i.e., at one wedding, the groomsmen wore superhero socks) to how the centerpieces and bar are decorated.
But, working in public relations, there's one detail that I just LOVE and find extra fascinating: How the happy couple uses social media. From my careful research, I have four tips for "getting social" as part of a wedding-planning strategy.
- Where does the inspiration come from? I can only imagine how much time is devoured looking at pictures and ideas from other weddings through social media. Pinterest has completely changed the game – for better and for worse. There might be immense pressure to hand-craft parting gifts and to get those "50 MUST-HAVE photos," but it's also a reminder that social media is a great tool to see what's out there.
- Takeaway: If there's a theme, research what others have done, but don't try to incorporate every detail. Or pull from things that don't harmonize well. It's a good thermometer of seeing if you're on track, but don't forget to come up with original ideas.
- What's the hashtag? Not only can the bride and groom easily find their pictures with an instant click, but a hashtag lets them get creative. And, it's become such a necessity to have a hashtag, that there are even online generators to help! I've seen plays on last names, the event location, how they met and with the happy couple's favorite movie/TV show. For example, my friends used #WinoWedding – it combined part of the groom's last name, their drink of choice and the event.
- Takeaway: Monitoring, tracking and reporting is easy when using hashtags. Plus, hashtags add a personal touch!
- Where can I share my experience? Understanding your audience is key with any social media strategy. A friend of mine knew many of her guests didn't use social media. But. there's an app for that called WedPics! My friend turned sharing photos into a game where gifts were involved. Guests who downloaded the app and used a specific code were able to take part the bride and groom's picture scavenger hunt. The person who took the most pictures won a bottle of wine! Not to mention, everyone was able to upload and see photos in one location without any other clutter.
- Takeaway: Find ways to engage ALL of your guests, even those who may not be big on social media—and make it fun for them!
- When can I see results? Booking a great wedding photographer is something many people say isn't something to skimp out on. Pictures do help memories last forever! And sometimes that means waiting weeks, or months, to see photos. To instantly see how the wedding looked through the eye of a lens and keep the party going online, upload pictures of the event, in real time, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat, etc. Chances are that guest will share away, too!
- Takeaway: Everyone (the bride and groom, guests and those who couldn't attend) will be searching for those digital Kodak moments and will want to share them with their own networks. Encourage people to share images as soon as possible. Add the event hashtag to signage or decoration as another friendly reminder.
In a nutshell, events (especially weddings) and social media go hand-in-hand, from planning to the big day. And, if the strategy is executed appropriately, it should go off without a hitch, all while the newlyweds get hitched.