When it comes to wedding planning, you love every part of it: from meeting the bride at a local coffee shop and leafing through your portfolio, to picking the perfect florist and band and venue, to haggling with vendors for the best possible prices. And that moment when it all comes together on the day of the actual wedding, and you see how all your hard work has paid off? The bride is glowing and thanks you personally at the reception, saying, “we couldn’t have done it without you!” It’s amazing.
But when it comes to using Instagram, you’re not entirely sure where to get started. And even though you fully understand the importance of meeting the customer face to face, with more people turning online, you want to better understand how to use this popular social media platform to get more clients. Here’s how:
1 Be smart about hashtags
According to the online dropshipping company Oberlo, using hashtags will make you stand out from the Instagram crowd: “In the beginning, only you will be using your hashtag. However, as your brand grows in popularity and people start buying your products, you will see more people using your hashtag.” So it’s all about using the right hashtags; for example, using your company name, if it’s easy to remember (#chrissysweddingplanningco), or something promoting a sale (#weddingplanningsale, #halfoff).
The fact is, 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded, and that’s because it’s one of the most effective ways for brands to get their name out there.
2 Use the story feature
Instagram used to be only about sharing images. But now with competing social media apps such as Snapchat, Instagram’s made it possible for users to share photos and videos that sum up your day in a narrative story. Especially now that Gen Zers (who make up around 25 percent of the American population) are growing up and starting to get married, you’ll want to reach out to them in a way that they’re used to.
According to Entrepreneur, the Instagram story feature is “like Instagram marketing on steroids…You can tell your story in a variety of ways: photos, videos, boomerangs, geofilters, stickers and/or emojis.” Storytelling is an effective advertising strategy, which is why wedding dress company Azazie has a blog with featured wedding stories, and why the first thing that pops up on the People You May Know movie site is the featured trailer.
3 Make it about images–not about selling
It may sound counterintuitive, but Instagram isn’t an opportunity for your wedding planning business to sell your services. Not directly, anyway. Like other social media platforms, Instagram is all about sharing your brand identity to your followers. If you’re posting interesting, relevant, and entertaining content, people are going to start paying attention to your Instagram account, which is around the time they may start considering using your services, too.
So you’ll want to use the images to connect on a personal level with your followers. Dolce & Gabbana’s selfie guide, for example, considers posing with a prop if you’re taking a selfie (a beautiful bouquet of flowers from your favorite florist, maybe?). Considering that the national average cost of a wedding is $35,329, your clients are going to be way more likely to spend money if they relate to you personally.
4 Advertise your services on other Instagram accounts
Believe it or not, one of the best Instagram hacks for any business doesn’t even involve your own Instagram account–but other people’s, instead. According to Richard Lazazzera of the ecommerce business blog A Better Lemonade Stand, it works like this: “My number one Instagram strategy for getting massive exposure and building a huge audience is to find large Instagram accounts that are already catering to your demographic and pay for sponsored posts on them. It’s the cheapest CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions) of any ad platform right now.”
75 percent of Instagram users take an action — such as leaving a comment, sharing a post, or visiting a website — after having seen an advertisement on the platform, so this is a great idea for your wedding planning company, especially if you’re just starting out and need more followers. Obviously, you’ll have to shell out a little to the other Instagram account, but it’s a hack that can really get you far and set you apart from the competition. Additionally, consider paying Instagram influencers (or giving them free products) to advertise your products, too.
As you can see, there are lots of great hacks you can use to improve your wedding planning business’s presence on Instagram–and get more followers and clients in the process. From using the right hashtags, to creating a compelling narrative and identity for your brand, to using advertising effectively, you’ll get closer and closer to Instagram success.
What Instagram hacks are working for your wedding planning business?