Top tips for using social media in your venue styling business
In this blog post, we give our top tips for using social media in your venue styling business.
We talk about the different types of social media and why you may want to consider using them for your business. Plus we consider how to work out which platform is best for your business. Our tips are based on years of experience running our own wedding and venue styling businesses.
This will be relevant to you, as a business owner, regardless of whether you are intending to do it all yourself, just part of it, or wish to outsource everything to a social media manager.
If the latter, then it is just as important to understand the basics so you can ensure whoever you outsource to is a) the correct partner for you, and b) is making the recommendations for your business.
Why use social media?
There are several reasons why you might wish to use social media in your venue styling business:
- It’s a free marketing tool! We all love “free” although you will of course need to consider how you value your time and how much of your time it is worth!
- Social media offers a great way to generate exposure and create a bigger audience for your business.
- It’s ideal for helping to get your ideal client to know, like and trust you by showcasing your personality. We all know people buy from people, and many people specifically buy from smaller businesses because they like that personal touch.
- The platform becomes an extension of your shop window to display what you do.
- It can become part of your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to help drive traffic to your website.
- You can sell on it, to different extents depending on the platform.
How do you work out which platform to use?
So how do you work out which platform to use?
As with any marketing tool, we would always suggest defining your ideal client as the very first step to take in the process.
The sort of questions you might like to ask yourself include:
- Is your ideal client a business or a consumer?
- How old are they?
- Where do they hang out and at what time of day? e.g.: Instagram? Pinterest?
- What problem do they need you to solve for them?
- What are they likely to need? (do they need a service, product or combination?)
What are the options?
Now that you’ve identified your ideal client, the next stage is to consider which social media platform they are most likely to use.
In this blog, we’re focussing on the platforms considered to be the “top 5” for small businesses.
Facebook is one of the biggest platforms, with a massive audience of 2.93bn active users per day as of January 2023 (source: Hootsuite.com).
For businesses, Facebook offers pages and groups.
Pages are the most frequently used and provide an opportunity to showcase your products and services.
Instagram is also huge with over 2bn active users per day (source: sproutsocial.com).
This differs from Facebook in that it focuses on photos and videos. It offers the opportunity to “show and tell” your products and services.
It is visually highly appealing and therefore works well for products or creative output, making it ideal for venue stylists.
Instagram even has a checkout feature so it is fully set up for e-commerce.
Although most social media platforms are considered to be used by consumers, Linked In is generally used for business to business (B2B) communication.
LinkedIn was designed for professionals to network, for example, to find career opportunities. But it is still a very powerful tool and can be useful for venue stylists to build brand awareness and to gain corporate clients.
For example, you can use the filters within the system (location, job title, company) to target your ideal client and connect with them and we know several small businesses who gain most of their new clients through LinkedIn alone.
Social Media or Search Engine?
We’ve left YouTube and Pinterest until last, as these are both different from the other platforms we’ve talked about. YouTube and Pinterest are “search engines” rather than “social media”.
YouTube has more than 2.5bn users and it is the biggest platform for sharing video content, together with being the “go to” place for learning new things.
So YouTube can be ideal for demonstrating your knowledge, products and services as a venue stylist.
For businesses in general, video content is a really powerful tool. Algorithms favour it and platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, video drives more conversions than still photos.
Pinterest is also a search engine and it is one of the top platforms used by small businesses.
With around 445m users (source: socialshepherd.com), most millennials and over 50% of women aged between 25 and 54 use Pinterest. More men are now starting to use it too.
Unlike most social media platforms Pinterest encourages external links, so it is great for driving traffic to your website (and therefore good for SEO too.)
It works best when using pretty images so it is absolutely ideal for creative industries such as venue styling.
Pinterest also works particularly well to promote products, so it partners well with Etsy, making it particularly powerful if you are selling styling products.
Finally, Pinterest has staying power. We know businesses who are still getting a good response from pins which were created many years ago. This is quite different from the transient nature of the social media platforms mentioned at the start of this blog.
Our Top Tips for Using Social Media in your Venue Styling Business
So what are our top tips for using social media in your venue styling business?
Social media is designed to be social
It’s not enough just to post. You need to be interacting with your ideal client, commenting, liking, sharing etc. and on a regular basis. It takes effort.
Mix up content
Don’t fall into the trap of trying to sell all the time. You want a mix of posts that generate engagement, get people to know, like and trust you, and make it clear to your customers what they need to do next.
Be engaging and on brand
Creating content can be time consuming and expensive, although there are lots of free products available such as Canva.com.
All platforms require you to be consistent if the algorithm is going to work for you. It is better to use one platform consistently and well, rather than several sporadically.
Engagement is Key
Don’t get hung up about the number of followers. This isn’t relevant – it’s the number of engaged followers (i.e.: your ideal client) that matters.
Use a strategy
All social media, if used for business, needs a strategy to make it work for you.
If all of this sounds like gobbledegook, then PLEASE do not panic as we fully understand!
It does take time and patience to get social media working for you – and to understand the terminology! – but it is worth it and should pay dividends in the end!
Become a successful Venue Stylist
We hope this blog post has been useful to you.
However, if you feel slightly daunted by anything you’ve read in them, then do not worry as we take a deep dive into all of these topics in our Training & Mentoring programme! A programme dedicated to helping you make the right decisions when setting up, running and delivering your venue styling business.
Liz & Doug are a husband and wife team who have been running successful wedding and event related businesses for 28 years, most notably Stressfree – The Venue Transformers, one of the UK’s first venue styling companies. From working for big companies as consultants in the 1980 and 1990s, they went solo in 1995 and now believe that with the right know-how and support, anyone with the right attributes can become a successful venue stylist!
And if you’d like some one-on-one assistance, our Stressfree Business Audit is just one of the other ways in which we can help you.
The contents of this blog are for general information purposes only. You may wish to seek professional advice in relation to specific circumstances.
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