Having worked with several wedding venues and hotels to help them improve their wedding leads, two things have become abundantly clear.

One, most venues haven’t spent the time or money experimenting with social media to make it work for them. I say “make it work for them” because opening a Facebook account, updating your status 10-20 times and saying “You know what, our target market just don’t use this platform”, isn’t trying to make it work.

I totally understand that most general managers or hotel owners like to stick with what they know; they like flyers, open days, cold calls and if they are online savvy, they may stretch to an email blast from an old list they have.

 

Two, every single bride in the last 3, maybe even 5 years aged 22-62 uses social media to arrange their weddings. From picking their dress, table decorations to booking a venue. So if you want to be where today’s brides to be are, you have to be on social media. It’s just a must!

 

The problem that most hotels or wedding venues have is knowing which social media channels to focus on, then working out the finer details of each of these platforms such as what to post on them, to working out which will give the quickest return; because hey, that’s what pays the bills.

 

Previously you may have used wedding venue directories: there’s too many to name and from the feedback I have received, the quality lead of these sites is very poor, not to mention rather pricey. Another issue many venues have is actually getting the bride and groom in to view the venue. If I had a £1 for every time I have heard, “If we could just get them into the venue, they would be sold” and to be fair many of the wedding co-ordinators and general manager are right.

 

This problem then becomes more aggravated when venues shell out on expensive wedding fayres such as the fayres held at the NEC, only to have found that they have booked just enough weddings to cover the stand and maybe make some extra pocket money. However, social ads can and will change all of that.

 

Today’s brides and grooms for that matter, live and breathe social media; it’s become woven into society and has changed the way we communicate. However I hear what you’re saying, “That’s great Darren, but which social media channel should we focus on”?

 

Well I’m here to help: if you’re wondering which one social media channel to focus on to improve wedding leads and booking it’s very simple; it’s Facebook. Facebook’s ad platform, to be more specific. As it is without a doubt one of the best, if not the best way to specifically reach engaged men and women not only in the UK, but in your precise location. Whether that be London, Manchester, Liverpool or Macclesfield. Its targeting options is what makes it so unique.

Facebook targeting options

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Relationship status (selected engaged)
  • Life events – This option drills down to target people who have been engaged for 0-3 months (the prime market for wedding venues) 3-6 months or 6-12 months.
  • Interest – you can even target people who are following the Facebook pages of bridal magazines and bridal brands or even your competitors. I know, insane right!

 

Now it’s one thing knowing about this ad targeting and it’s another to bring it all together into a lead generating machine. However I’m going to give away some of my best tips for creating good ads, landing pages & targeting.

 

Targeting

  • Be realistic: how far do your current brides travel to your venue. Find this out and target locations in the vicinity. It’s better to generate leads that have an actual chance of converting, than just creating leads for the sake of it.
  • Segment ages and genders such as women aged 22-32, or men aged 35-50 etc.
  • Create segments that include interests such as bridal magazines, bridal brands and competitors.

 

Ads

  • Ads using images of the actually wedding venue always out-do those of generic wedding pictures.
  • Experiment with different headlines, body text and calls to action.
  • Sell the benefits, not the features. For example: exclusive use, no need to share your wedding day with anybody else, stress free wedding day, our staff will handle everything etc.
  • Tell them the price – some people are afraid of telling people how much their weddings cost, and in most cases venues now have set packages. So tell the brides this, and when you get a lead through you already know they can actually afford your packages.

 

Landing pages

  • Match your wording and offer of your ad, with the text of your landing page.
  • Again, show images of your venue (professional photos only).
  • Ensure that when somebody fills in your contact form you have a database saving all the details, as well as emailing them to you.
  • Reiterate the benefits of your venue.
  • Make sure you have an obvious call to action such as: Fill in the below form and have one of our experienced staff show you around our elegant venue.

Well I hope that the above was useful and helped you realise what an opportunity Facebook provides for all wedding venues and hotels, to really have a chance of improving your wedding bookings.

 

If you would like to find out more about how we help hotels with their Facebook campaign or you are a hotel general manager, or wedding co-ordinator and would like us to help you then feel free to get in touch today by clicking here or calling 01625 505 904.

Jun, 22, 2015

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