5 Things My Wedding Taught Me About Social Media
Last Saturday, May 21st I got married. It was an absolutely incredible day! The weather cooperated, I was able to enjoy every moment, and everyone who attended said it was a magical experience for them too. I learned a lot through the process of organizing the wedding, including more about the art of sociability. In fact, there are many parallels that I see between a great wedding and an effective social media presence.
1. It’s not all about you
So many people approach social media like it’s a megaphone waiting to be spoken into. They get onto Facebook or Twitter and start telling the internet about how great they are. What I find works better is to approach it as an opportunity to get to know others. Our wedding was a success in a large part because we realized that the day was just as much about our guests and the love our friends and families have given us as it was about us.We spent a lot of time showing our gratitude, and engaging our guests.
2. It requires your presence
If all you ever do in social media is go online and post messages without reading what others are up to, people will quickly start to see that you aren’t paying attention. I enjoyed my wedding thoroughly because I allowed myself to be fully present and in the moment. If you can give others that same attention online, they will start to feel connected to you. You will become more real to them, and therefore more known, liked and trusted. Key factors in having people want to do business with you.
3. It’s better if you can make it fun
Many of us fall into the trap of being overly “professional” (aka serious) when we write online. We drop the conversational tone we use with people in our daily lives or with clients we chat with “in the real world” and begin typing academically. One thing people told me they enjoyed most about the wedding was that my husband and I were completely ourselves. We told jokes, we shared our feelings, we made ourselves accessible and did everything possible to have fun. When a friend showed up with a “tickle trunk” of crazy hats and asked if it was appropriate to share them with our guests, we heartily said “yes! go for it!”. It turned out to be one of the highlights of the day. One of the things that I learned is that when you have fun, it shows, and it’s contagious.
4. Stay positive
In every situation you have a choice about how you react. On my wedding day I chose to take everything graciously and not let the little family dynamics irk me. On social media, no one likes to hear complaining and negative commentary unless it is thoughtful and constructive; especially when it comes to business. i.e. Don’t tweet about how you hate when people cut you off on the way to work. Being at a social event where it seemed my every facial expression was being caught on camera, I learned the value of being authentic with an underlying tone of optimism.
5. Know when to DIY and when to hire a professional
There are a lot of really creative things we managed to do ourselves, like creating confetti for the tables, stringing up lanterns, and writing our vows. There were many things we realized we needed help with like professional photography, videography, catering and hair and makeup for myself and my maid of honour. Those would not have been good to skimp on. With social media, depending on how much time you have, there are many things you can do yourself – such as setting up your social media accounts. But what you may want to hire a professional marketer or designer/programmer for is Facebook customization, social media training, strategy planning and time management consulting. I love it when clients are proactive, and in fact I require that my clients take care of their social media updating themselves because outsourcing that can degrade the quality of the interactions, but knowing when to hire help is critical in all aspects of business and life.
Yes, the wedding was fantastic. We had a great time with friends and family, laughed a lot, we soaked up every second of it, had help from some talented professionals and definitely strengthened the community around us – sounds like the foundation of a social media strategy to me!