First off, I'd like to say that this month marks BridalTweet's two year anniversary. Thank you to all of the 12,700 brides and wedding professionals who have joined this supportive wedding community. I'm blown away by what I learn from you every day. And thank you for inspiring me to continue to keep this community alive and thriving. Hopefully you've noticed that I've put my heart and soul into BridalTweet. It has been a ton of work but well worth it.
OK, now let's get back to business. In two years, not only was I able to build this wedding community but I was also able to build a strong following on Twitter. With over 20,000 followers on Twitter, I've captured the attention of a large audience and I've become influential in our industry. In fact, WeFollow.com has ranked BridalTweet as the #1 most influential wedding personality on Twitter. That ranks higher on Twitter than even The Knot.
Why should you care? Becoming influential on Twitter is something that anyone can achieve - and it's bound to help your wedding business. It will create more opportunities for you and it will drive referrals for you.
So how did I do it?...
Last week, I revealed my Twitter tips to 125 wedding professionals when I spoke at The 21st Century Bride Conference. And now I'll share my tips with you. The fact is that this is all really easy but the secret sauce is that you have to use these tips on a consistent basis. You just have to keep at it. So, here goes:
Tip #1: Think hard when creating your Twitter profile. Your profile is as important as your own website because your photo, username, and description are the first thing that your audience will see. It should look professional. In Twitter, using your real name creates trust. Then, your username can be your business name. Make sure to link your profile to your own personal website. And don’t forget to personalize your Twitter background for a totally unique and branded look and feel.
Tip #2: List your Twitter address on your website, blog, business cards, etc. This is an easy way to get more followers. And when you list your address, be sure to tell people why they should follow you. For example... Follow me to get wedding tips (or special offers, wedding ideas, etc.). A big pet peeve of mine is when businesses just say 'follow me' without giving anyone a real reason to do so.
Tip #3: Follow 50-100 brides or wedding professionals per week. Most people who sign up for Twitter create a profile and then don’t know what to do next. After you create your profile, start to follow others. Usually about 50% of those people will follow you back. You're probably asking yourself, how do I find brides or wedding professionals on Twitter? The trick is to first go to other influential Twitter profiles like twitter.com/TheKnot or twitter.com/StyleMePretty. Then, look at the people who are following those Influencers. They will likely be brides or wedding professionals. Follow 50-100 of them each week. The key is to do this at a slow and steady rate but to be persistent about it.
Tip #4: Listen. Initially, listen to what people are saying. What is appropriate? How are others behaving? It is great to just observe and take it all in.
Tip #5: (Most Important): When posting 1) be purposeful, 2) provide value and 3) show that you are a wedding expert. In other words, don't use Twitter to tell people what you had for breakfast and certainly don't talk about yourself. Only post (aka tweet) things that will help your audience. Ask yourself - would my audience like this post enough that they would forward it on to their friends? You can post things like wedding tips, trends, wedding planning ideas, or special offers. This will act like a magnet for followers (and bridal leads!). You can even ask engaging questions to spur conversation. Post items and comments that favorably build your professional reputation. Again, the key here is to also do this at a slow and steady rate but to be persistent. Try to post (or tweet) at least once a day.
Tip #6: Measure your results. Use Google Analytics (free) to see how much traffic Twitter is driving to your website each week. And you can also use Bit.ly (also free) to shorten and more importantly, track urls within your tweets. Tracking individual links will help you to understand what type of posts your audience is most responsive to.
The great thing about Twitter is that ANYONE can attain these results. The other great thing is that Twitter is free. It offers an effective channel to build your reputation, humanize your brand, network and attract new leads. So, here are my last words of wisdom: Your tweets (or posts) shouldn't be hard sales tools but instead they should be a mix of marketing and education to build your audience's trust. The whole point here is to build trust and to encourage brides and other wedding professionals to want to work with you.
Do you have a story about how Twitter has helped your wedding business? Or do you have Twitter tips that you'd like to share with our wedding community? Please comment below.
About This Blog: Christine Dyer is the Creator and Founder of BridalTweet. Christine has an MBA in marketing and shares over ten years of marketing expertise with the wedding community. In this weekly blog, you'll find advice on an array of wedding business topics such as how to market to brides, social networking, wedding PR, wedding sales, vendor networking, branding, pricing and much more. Please pass this news along to your own professional wedding network. To receive this advice in your email inbox each week, Sign Up for a Free BridalTweet Membership.