There’s huge potential for wedding venues to maximise how they use Facebook and to generate bookings and business as a result.
We’re not here to tell you that social media is taking over the world. You already know that.
But deciding where to focus your online marketing efforts as a wedding venue supplier and knowing *how *to individually tailor your approach for each social channel can be tricky.
According to the latest study into the most famous social network sites worldwide in April 2017, Facebook stands out as the clear market leader and largest social network by active users today; boasting 1.97 billion monthly active users, followed by Whatsapp (1.2 billion) and Youtube (1 billion).
Facebook is the perfect platform for wedding venues – and wedding suppliers in general – looking to market their products and services because it is the number one network for close, friendly connections over mass media broadcasting.
It is a channel made up of networks of people likely to recommend products and services to their connections, and it is a platform that enables you, as a wedding supplier, to publish both written and visual content that sells your services.
Facebook is a marketing channel that wedding venues in particular cannot ignore and we’re going to explore the ways in which you can boost your wedding bookings on this platform this summer and into the future.But firstly, let’s address a growing (or should we say, declining) problem with Facebook.
Organic reach (i.e. how many people you can reach for free when you post content on your page) on Facebook has dramatically declined since around 2012, which – if you’re active on Facebook right now – you will probably have noticed.
This is down to two things. Firstly, there’s simply too much content being published on the platform which means we’re all facing far greater competition when it comes to getting our content seen. And secondly, Facebook is now trying to display super relevant content to specific groups of people, rather than serving all content to all folk.
So the social landscape is changing and we need to change with it. More than ever before the focus is on delivering specific, relevant content to the right people and in the right ways to be seen. And being seen means being booked.
Here are 5 ways in which wedding venues can improve reach, engagement, interactions and subsequently get more bookings through Facebook alone, today:1. Paid advertising works
Facebook advertising really isn’t that scary or expensive if you know how to approach it, and let’s be clear; we’re not suggesting that you ditch existing efforts in favour of paid.
Facebook is encouraging us to consider incorporating targeted paid advertising into our social strategy rather than just using the platform as a free broadcasting channel. The reason for this is because of the renewed emphasis on content relevance and targeting.
Facebook is taking care of a lot of your targeting for you already when you post organically thanks to an updated Facebook algorithm which now adapts to individual user preferences. Put simply, this means that if someone regularly looks at photos of your wedding venue rather than reading written content, the Zuckerberg army will deliver more photos and less content to them in future.
But we can take this one step further through the use of Facebook ads (which can run for as long as you like and can be set to expire when your allocated spend runs out) and serve highly specific advertisements to specific people in your target demographic at a time and on a device that best suits your audience.
For example, a particular wedding venue may target engaged couples within a certain distance of their venue, e.g. wedding venues in London, as well as by age, gender and lifestyle preferences.
Facebook insights (which you’ll all have access to via your Facebook account) or Google Analytics (if you’ve set this up for your website) will be able to tell you much more about the kinds of people you’re attracting, such as whether they prefer to read your content on a mobile or tablet. Use these insights to build a highly engaged audience on Facebook.
In summary, you don’t have to throw a lot of money at Facebook advertising to benefit from an improved reach, and remember, it is about supplementing – not replacing – organic efforts with paid.2. Be selective with the content you post
It’s time to switch from untargeted, frequent publishing to targeted, selective publishing.
Whether you’re paying to sponsor the Facebook post or not, your objective should be to get as much engagement from each post as possible. Basic targeting options are available for organic posts e.g. engaged couples in London, which means that you have no excuse not to be thinking about the audience and the purpose of your content each and every time you post.
Delivering more relevant content to the people who matter most to your business is the key to securing more bookings.
Top tip: be sure to include trigger words in posts that indicate important events (e.g., “congratulations”) which will get the attention of Facebook (who love jumping on special events) and the engaged couples you’re looking to target.
Overly self-promotional Facebook content is not the best way to win business, and by that, we mean the kinds of posts that read “Hold your wedding at our venue and we’ll give you 10% off!” or “We pride ourselves on delivering the best weddings in the business”.
Produce useful and informative content for your audience that aims to drive traffic to your website and blog. These owned assets of yours are where your conversions and bookings are likely to happen.
With reviews and recommendations becoming increasingly important for brides and grooms in the decision making process, you can post subtly promotional content by sharing the good news stories and the positive comments of couples who’ve held their wedding day at your venue.
There’s nothing more powerful than photographs and comments from a happy couple who’ve had the best day of their lives at your wedding venue. This should be the angle you adopt.
It’s also worth partnering with wedding suppliers who’ve worked on weddings at your venue. Ask them to leave their own comments on your Facebook page and engage with your content, and then do the same for them.
And encourage fans to engage with your posts when they see them, so that they see more of them. This could be as simple as adding a reminder to “Please Like and share” at the end of your posts.3. Share videos and Broadcast on Facebook Live
Did you know that Facebook ranks live video higher in the news feed, and that users spend 3x more time watching live broadcasts than traditional videos on Facebook? This means that if you can get couples live streaming their wedding day on Facebook, you’re more likely to be seen by the brides and grooms you’re looking to attract!
Why not start broadcasting your very own live footage of your wedding venue on Facebook today and kickstart your mission to improve organic reach!
Record live behind the scenes footage of your team setting up for a wedding (but be careful not to capture anything personal to the couple who’s wedding your hosting unless you have their prior permission) and include footage of florists, caterers and musicians – remembering to tag all parties involved in the live stream; subsequently leveraging your audience reach through the audiences of other wedding suppliers.4. Update your photo gallery
This sounds like an obvious one but we really shouldn’t underestimate the power of a great picture.
Save and utilise all exceptional images from weddings held at your venue and make sure any less than spectacular snaps are removed.
Your best photographs should take pride of place as your venue’s Facebook profile picture and cover photo, and you should change these feature images now and then to test which garner the most attention and to therefore inform which photographs are best shared in future to win engagement.5. Beware the competition
Be careful not to rely too heavily on competitions or to boost your competitions too often.
The reason for this is that your audience will perhaps increase (for the short term at least) but you’ll find you often attract people less likely to spend money on booking your wedding venue and more likely to just want to win something.
Organic content and paid advertising (not boosted posts) is always best and keep competitions as an infrequent treat rather than placing them at the forefront of your social campaign.
There’s huge potential for wedding venues – and wedding suppliers in general – to really maximise how they use Facebook and to generate bookings and business as a result.
Get out there and tap in to the 2 billion internet users currently using social networks today.
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