Planning a wedding (and other events) with digital and social media
In January last year, I ran a social media and blogging workshop for wedding industry professionals, alongside One Life Wedding founder, Laura Nalty. This year, I have been planning my own!
This weekend, I am over the moon to be getting married to my beautiful fiancée, Charlie. In planning for the big day, I have used digital and social media a lot, and I wanted to share some of the ideas with you all.
The workshop I ran last year was designed to help wedding industry professionals (everyone from photographers and make up artists to caterers and venue managers) to get to grips with Twitter, Facebook, SEO and blogging; using online marketing to get the right message in front of the right eyes, promote their wedding business online and attract their ideal clients. This blog post is applicable to conferences and events, as well as weddings, and will be useful to anyone involved in events planning and procurement.
(1) Announce your engagement with a viral video
Film and video captures people’s hearts and imaginations. Viral videos can be a great way for small businesses to make a big splash and reach a huge number of people online. You just have to look at some of last year’s Christmas viral videos to see the impact and reach they can have. Some tips on making sure your video goes viral.
And yes – I announced my engagement with a video too!
Can’t see this video? Watch it on YouTube here.
(2) Do an online venue search
Hunting down a venue can be very time consuming for any events organiser and bride/groom-to-be. While you should never book a venue without going to see it first, an online search can quickly eliminate the definite nos! It is good way to draw up a shortlist of venues to go see for a more thorough inspection. This is why it is important for venues to have a good website with lots of photographs (and video if possible) – as well as a search engine optimised site that can be found easily online. Here is how to rank highly on Google Places search.
(3) Plan your route using Google Maps
With Google Maps streetview, you can literally walk along the street that your carriages will pass along the way. What will your bride and guests see when they approach the venue? How easy is it to find? Again, this should be about eliminating unsuitable venues, as you should always visit first to see if the signage and aspect etc has changed since the Google camera vans last came round. But it’s a nifty way of visting places from the comfort of your sofa (or office).
(4) Find suppliers using Facebook recommendations
We found a number of our suppliers on Facebook, including our photographer and chair covers supplier. Facebook is where most people chat to their family and friends and share reviews and recommendations. Word of mouth marketing is incredibly powerful. People trust their friends’ recommendations over and above any kind of advertising – and you’ll often find really unique and creative arts and crafts start-up businesses have a Facebook page before they get round to setting up a website.
(5) Use Twitter and Pinterest for creative ideas
Our wedding favours were purchased from the states after seeing something on Twitter. There is no way we would have ever known about the company had it not been for social media. It is really easy to scan and search on Twitter and Pinterest. The brevity of tweets means scanning through for ideas and links is quick and easy. And being an entirely visual platform, Pinterest is inspiring and exciting for any event where visual impact is important.
(6) Use emails for planning and organising
We have relied so much on email when planning our wedding! Literally everything has been done on email, even down to choosing the flowers! It can be quicker and easier for your guests to RSVP on email, and you can easily send links to wedding gift lists, venue map and directions etc. Emails can be auto-sorted into different folders for different aspects of your wedding, saving you a whole load of administration time. And you can batch send – which saves a lot of time on licking envelopes!
Have you planned your wedding using digital and social media? What tools and websites did you find most useful? Did you use wedding forums to talk through your ideas? Any recommendations?
So this is me signing off for now. Do excuse me if I don’t reply to your email right away over the next few days. By the time you read my blog next week, I’ll be a married man!