Wedding Marketing Rehab…

Wedding Marketing Rehab
Photo Credit: Tim Sudall

Tuesday afternoon  at Wedding MBA, kicked off with Wedding Marketing Rehab. Andy Ebon held up a metaphorical mirror to attendees and peppered them with questions about WHY they use specific marketing tactics, their purpose, and measuring results.

The goal was to encourage people to pause, and take inventory of their marketing path. Then, armed with new information and tools from the conference, hit the reset button, change, optimize, and implement an updated, purposeful marketing plan.

Andy lampooned abandoned blogs, websites that haven’t been updated in years, and totally useless hashtags… among others.

One of the specific tools (or ‘truth-tellers) he encouraged was RescueTime.com. A quick download in Windows or Mac will enable a regular summary of your software and website activity. A weekly report arrives, via email, helping you understand, quickly, whether you are bring largely productive, or frittering away minutes and hours on unnecessary distractions.

Joe Fabitz
Contributing Writer
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Forum Spam: You can stay, but that noise has to go!

noise

Noise comes in many forms. Usually, we think of noise as sound. Spam is also noise. Useless Facebook posts and Tweets are another form of noise.

Of late, a big irritation is poorly targeted posts within Facebook groups. I manage several groups for myself and clients. Most of them are professional groups. Mostly wedding industry business groups of one sort or another. It’s amazing to me how many people don’t notice or think about the following:

  • It isn’t a group targeted toward brides. So why are their posts targeted toward brides, not businesses? Didn’t you notice what you signed up for.
  • It’s a national or international group. Why are you posting about a meeting in Oshkosh, WI or Providence, RI. You are annoying all but 1/2 of 1% of the audience.
  • A group is often operated by a single person or company with a specific mission. If your company has a competing mission, don’t make announcements on their Facebook Group page; make them on your own… or on non-competing groups that have relevance to your product or service.
  • Pride in a major league accomplishment is usually cool. People like to see others succeed. Shameless Self-Promotion is almost always two thumbs d0wn. Different people will react in different ways. Think before posting.
  • Golden Rule: Don’t encroach – Try to see potential invasion or encroachment through the group manager’s eyes. If it might be offensive or intrusive to you, assume it is 100% intrusive to them. When in doubt, ask permission.

Here are my plans for dampening the noise, going forward.

  • All Facebook groups, blogs or other gathering places, I manage, will include a ‘guidelines’ document. I expect that some number of people will read the rules… others will ignore them.
  • I’m considering enforcing an approval process for every comment/post. That will slow down the real-time value of posting and responses; however, I’m going to at least give it some thought.
  • I’m planning a near-zero tolerance for post topics, outside the group guidelines. That will result in posts being deleted, some posters being deleted from the group, and other posters being banned permanently. In reality, there is no such thing as a permanent ban; however, the offender will have to seek out the group owner or admin and grovel for re-admittance. Those who have posts deleted or are removed should probably write the owner/administrator and ask for the reason.

One of my favorite sayings in life, is:

“Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.”

Nobody’s perfect. I’m know I’m guilty of making such mistakes from time to time. And, occasionally, I have to ask for lenience or forgiveness. As a group owner or administrator, I’m going to take stronger control on behalf of my group members.

If we lose a few noisy people, it will mean less annoyance for the rest. And that should improve the participation and discourse.

“You can stay, but that noise has to go!”

Social Media words to live by.

Other reading: Wikipedia page on Forum Spam

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert

Social Media Tactics: Blogging is THE Most Important

A few months ago, after a seminar, one of the attendees approached me and asked, point-blank:

“OK, Andy, what are the top three social media choices a local wedding business should make, in what order, and why?”

Social Media Tactics

As a small crowd gathered, I didn’t miss a beat.

  • Build and maintain a blog
  • Launch a YouTube Channel
  • Have an active business Facebook presence

Numbers 4, 5 & 6, just to stimulate discussion, were:

  • Google Plus (still too early to tell at that point)
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter

I believe that Blogging is the single most important effort a small business owner can make. It enables you to publish a self-maintained highlight reel of  your business, write about your peers and clients, become a source for the media, attract prospects and entertain customers.

These days, blogging software, such as WordPress, has become a full-fledged CMS (Content Management System) that can merge your blog AND website. Even a blog that has just two new posts a week makes a major impact on SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Four years ago, if a prospect did a search for a business, like yours, it is was important to found in the first three pages of Google (or other) Search Results… the Top 30. Why? Because 90% of people clicked on a result within the Top 30.

Today, 90% of clicks occur on the first page of search results, in the Top 7. Impatience, indeed.

I’m proud that if you searched with the keywords wedding marketing, today, my business would rank #1 & #2 out of 390 million results on Google. #3 is Wedlock Magazine, a publication I write for, every issue. Of course, the 390 million results are unimportant. What’s important is that The Wedding Marketing Blog shows up in the first few results. After the Top 10, it doesn’t matter.

When people look to find interesting content about products or services you offer, in the geographic area you service, they should find you! They should find interesting stories, perspectives, and a business personality differentiating you from the competition. At those kind of results are best found by blogging.

The plan goes like this…

  • Read other business blogs
  • See what you like and don’t like
  • Start a blog
  • Write, write, write… your writing will improve
  • After about 20 posts, publicize your blog
  • Keep writing 2-3 times a week
  • The results will rocket you past the competition
Now get busy!

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Blog Your Passion

Blog Your PassionMy girlfriend, the lovely Jessica, is a movie buff of the highest order. Magazines and gossip TV shows should hire her as a fact checker. And, as is not so unusual, our movie tastes occasionally differ. Sometimes, I should pay more attention.

Last night, after watching Monday Night Football, I sauntered into the bedroom where Jessica was watching the last episode of The Sing-Off. Then, she clicked over to a movie: Julie and Julia.

I thought I understood the premise of the movie; previews will do that for you. As I understood it, Julie Powell became enamored with the cooking of Julia Child and decided to prepare ALL of Child’s 500+ cookbook recipes from Mastering The Art of French Cooking.

Her plan: Do this in just one year

I had misunderstood a major element of the story. Powell had elected to do all the cooking, and more. A writer, Powell would blog, daily, about her experience from that day: The Julie/Julia Project. Now, the movie had my attention!!

Her blog format was simple. Just text, no images; however, the writing had impeccable flair and style. Powell became convinced that the online diary of her year-long project was read by virtually no one.

Powell may have started with no audience, but great content, written with superb style, ultimately gets attention. As the year progressed, she received comments, traffic to her blog, and then the big stuff… media attention!! Interviews, articles… a book offer… and, finally, the movie, Julie & Julia.

Blog your passion

Andy’s Moral (not necessary your moral) is this: The takeaway, was one of passion, focus, consistency (writing EVERY day), and the power of blogging – social media – search engines.

Getting discovered in cyberspace by people interested in your passion is often far easier than laboring in obscurity.

In short, aside from being a great movie, it’s a public service announcement about the power of blogging.

Blog your passion well, and readers will come… in droves.

Now, I really must see The Social Network, to see what I’ve missed in THAT flick.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog