Social Media for Wedding Venues: compelling content and mistakes to avoid
Marketing Your Wedding Venue
Marketing Your Wedding Venue
You know that social media content is a key strategy to converting sales and convincing your new wedding and social events customers that you’re the venue for them. But, do you find that you are a little lacking in inspiration for what to actually write and schedule? It’s something I hear all the time from my clients especially right now in 2020 when we have a summer season minus those fresh weddings to talk about. So, I’m here with a round-up of social media for wedding venues that works:
PEOPLE – your wedding venue team and your social media
I bang on about this a LOT. When you’re selling a unique space and place, it’s not just about the place or space and its features. A big part of a client choosing to hire a venue is getting a feel for the people. The team who run it and bring it all together. Whether that’s your in-house team or your extended team of supplier partners.
BEHIND THE SCENES – wedding team magic
Make sure your faces and your stories are loud and proud. Get your chef team, your co-ordinator or your founders telling their stories. Share why and how you came to be a wedding and events venue. How you operate day-to-day and what makes you tick. What you love about weddings, for example, your favourite part of the planning or your favourite part of the day. This all makes very compelling social media for wedding venues.
The days of Insta pretty and curated only images are over (phew!). Wedding audiences want authentic, real and insightful. They want to see what happens to make your venue what it is. Whether it’s your build projects. Your new bar installation. Your wedding team hard at work in the office.
Or a client menu tasting during the planning stages or an event set up day (and what goes into that). We all love ‘behind the scenes’. Have a look at your social channels and make sure you’re not JUST showing the finished polished article.
WEDDING INSPIRATION – your venue expert status
Always be thinking wider than your venue boundary limits. Whilst most of your content should focus on your venue day-to-day, think about how you can inspire with fresh concepts. Whether that’s creating imagery via styled photoshoots (to a new design or style). Or whether that’s sharing content that others have created that just inspires you and you think would suit your venue. Make sure you have permission to share and use this content if not your own. (See more below).
Remember the wedding world is very trend-led. And I don’t believe every trend needs to be jumped on (it has to be right for your target client/setting). However, you must show that you’re aware of trends, are keeping up with fresh products (and ideas). And that you are excited about trying the new!
NO VENUE IS AN ISLAND – be social
Or maybe it is? I do know some venues that are actually islands – but that isn’t the point I’m making. Your venue’s social media is much more engaging if it’s not just “all about you”. Make sure it’s a genuine platform where you showcase your extended team of suppliers. Whether it’s your caterer, your preferred florists, DJs or your bar company. Ensure your social platforms showcase what they do to make your venue sparkle (and through this show the service & range that’s possible to fresh new clients).
So, you’re scheduling and posting regularly and doing all of the above but are you making any faux-pas in your social media as a wedding venue?
Take a look at how you match up with this quick social media etiquette checklist.
The Basics – Social media for wedding venues
I’m sure you’re all familiar with the basic guidelines when it comes to posting on social media as a business. Don’t post offensive content, don’t engage in arguments and always represent YOUR specific brand values online. I never post anything on social media (public or group) that I wouldn’t be happy for anyone to read. Whether it’s my mum, my best client or an industry “competitor”.
I don’t particularly like the term competitor. We’re all running our own race and all have very personal USPs (but that’s another feature!). I certainly recommend giving opinions on social media. They may not be opinions everyone shares. But, so long as they are polite, positive and constructive then that’s my guideline (and one I’d recommend to you). But what about when it comes to the nitty-gritty of content?
It’s SO important that crediting is taken seriously on social media. I have seen it go wrong so many times (and lead to a break down of perfectly good business relationships). Not to mention lack of proper crediting is shooting yourself in the foot (and not tapping into the wonderful opportunity social media creates in the first place).
What do I mean?
ALWAYS credit those who’ve contributed to the creation of an image or images you’re using.
If your venue has hosted a wedding that was planned and styled by a wedding planner (and you are delighted with how stunning your spaces look) ensure you credit that wedding planner as having created that design with your couple. Or, if you’re showcasing the edible delights served at a wedding, ensure you give a full shout out to the caterer who designed and prepared it. And, if you’re raving about a wedding cake, then credit and share who created and lovingly baked it!
There’s no shame in you not “doing it all” as a venue and keeping it in-house
Modern couples expect you to have niche experts (and a small range of them is fine) on speed dial to help them pull together their version of extraordinary for their wedding. Of course, above and beyond that, the photographer who has taken any image for you should always be credited for the use of their images. This is important if you’re using images from a client’s wedding. But especially important if you have hosted a marketing event in the form of a showcase or styled photoshoot; where suppliers have provided their time and expertise for free to enhance your venue and business. Whilst they may be on your recommended list, the value should also be seen in the social media benefit and proper crediting is a big part of that.
In my view, it’s just professional courtesy to credit for work done but the social media benefits are HUGE too – if you credit, tag and mention those featured in any shot, they are much more likely to share, comment and tag their end increasing reach and exposure of your post and growing your audience. This can have big wins all around to producing return on investment in social media for your wedding venue.
Securing Client’s Permission – social media for wedding venues
If the client hasn’t given you permission to post images featuring a face from their wedding or event, then don’t. This could leave you in breach of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
And, even more importantly, leave you with some very unhappy clients. Before you get snapping and posting images that you’ve taken on a wedding day. Ensure that your couple is happy for you to share these images. When it comes to professional images, generally the photographer holds the copyright. You will need their permission is needed before you use images. They generally agree with their couples, in advance, how far any photos are to be distributed in a marketing context. This is something you need to respect. If you’ve agreed on a special fee with your couple, on the understanding of obtaining images (perhaps a new venue). Make sure you will indeed get those images and ensure that the photographer is briefed on this agreement and is OK with it.
The Big No-No
Let’s say you’ve got permission to take photos yourself of a couple. That’s great! But, pick your moments sensitively when posting on social media. I’ve heard horror stories from many a wedding planner. One who told me:
She’ll never forget the day! She had a florist post a photo of the bride (with her bouquet) standing in front of the wedding car. The post went live BEFORE SHE HAD EVEN LEFT FOR THE CHURCH! There’s a chance that those wedding guests and most importantly her groom would have seen her in her dress on social media before in real life. That is absolutely not on!
I’m a total advocate of using “in the moment” Insta stories as one part of the strategy for social media for wedding venues and I use it highly myself as a consultant and trainer. But when it comes to events with a big tradition and emotional element (ie weddings) always allow that timelapse. Always allow the guests who are there in the moment to enjoy what they will experience before you post it. Remember to check first that your couple is happy that you post from their wedding. Whether it’s people or design details.
Assuming you have permission, wait until guests are at the drinks reception before posting ceremony photos. Or they are enjoying the evening party before posting photos of the wedding breakfast etc. This is a general rule of thumb.
And finally, keep in mind the following with the social media for your wedding venue:
- Make it fun and make it social
- Keep showing up and being consistent – people are looking even when you think they are not
- Show personality and humour
And for more advice, discussion and up to the minute support for increasing your venue’s marketing success and bookings, do check out our FREE Facebook group, Wedding Spaces Going Places. You can sign up here: http://www.kellychandlerconsulting.co.uk/join-wedding-spaces-going-places/
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