Wedding bells are ringing as I am preparing for my upcoming wedding this January (this is also why you have not seen a blog from Simplified Social in a while!). I am so excited for the big day, even though I am starting to get ancy about a few items!
As a social media consultant/addict, I have had a few friends and family ask me how I am going to incorporate social media on my big day. Am I going to let people Instagram me walking down the aisle? Do I have a hashtag? The answers are yes and obviously!
I really do not care about the no phone policy during the ceremony. I know some couples have opted out of letting their guests snap pictures, but let's be honest, people don't listen anyways. The last three weddings I have attended, the officiant has clearly stated no phones- yet I look around and see everyone sneaking pictures and blatantly disregarding the instructions. I know the overall ceremony pictures have a better look without phones, but that is not my main concern for the day.
And I mean let's be honest, I paid $2,000.00 for my dress and $250.00 for hair and makeup, I would love for you to Snapchat or Instagram me looking my finest.
As someone who has heavily utilized social media to engage guests and enhance event experiences, here are three ways I am incorporating social media into my wedding day.
1. A Signature Hashtag
This is cliché and not news to anyone. Almost every wedding I have attended in the last two years has a hashtag. Hashtags are a great way to get your guests engaged on social. It is also a great way to easily find photos in the days following the wedding by simply clicking on the hashtag itself.
The problems I have found with wedding hashtags in the past is the ease of use. If you are using a hashtag, make it simple enough for your guests to use- even after a few cocktails! Having an overly complicated hashtag will make it hard for guests to use, therefore no one will even use it.
Another important thing to keep in mind with hashtags is that it's better to start using them sooner rather than later. Use them on your engagement photos on Instagram, put the hashtag on your invitation, literally spam people with them. This will allow your guests to easily pick up on the trend on the day of the wedding instead of wondering, "what was their hashtag again?".
I have put my hashtag on my invitations, my wedding website and on literally every social media post about my wedding (although I am trying not to spam my Instagram followers with non-stop couple photos).
If you are really stuck with trying to think of a witty hashtag, I recommend checking out this hashtag generator from Wedding Wire. It get's the ball rolling for ideas.
Treat your hashtag like any marketing campaign. The sooner you start your marketing, the more posts you have, the more it will be utilized on your event day.
2. Ohhhhhh, Snap!
If you're like any other millennial in this world, you know Snapchat comes out in full force when you have had a few drinks. Those stories that you post under the influence of tequila shots, the ones that probably get deleted in a sober self-refelction in the morning, this is what I am talking about! I am making Snapchat geo-filter for my wedding. When my guests are pulling out the snapchat filters, they will be able to scroll and see a custom filter made for my wedding.
The beauty of this feature is that not only is it relatively inexpensive, Snapchat helps you design your filter which is a savior for those, like myself, who are not graphic designers.
Essentially, all you have to do is pick your design, pick your geo-fence location (which you can easily do by entering your venue address) and then set the amount of time that you want the filter to last. For my wedding, I chose the option where my filter will become active 30 minutes before my ceremony and stay active until 2:00 a.m. This was only $22.00 (USD). Not a bad price for an engaging, fun social media option for guests! I am pretty sure that more than half of my guests are on social media so I am hoping this option will be used, heavily!
3. #InstaFamous aka a Live Instagram Wall
Okay, this is by far my favourite part of my social media wedding strategy. I have been to many events where we set up live tweet walls. Live tweet walls are so much fun and a great way to engage your guests! I have had many events trending on Twitter just from implementing a live feed. Why? Because people like to feel noticed. Having a live wall encourages people to pick up their phone and post about the experience they are having at your event.
When planning my social strategy for my wedding, I thought heavily about this option. I want to find a way to encourage people to head to Instagram, use my hashtag but also feel noticed. Instead of running a PowerPoint in the background the entire night, I will instead be hosting a live Instagram wall. Anyone that uses the hashtag will have their photo displayed on the big screen.
This could get potentially messy as the night progresses, but there is also a great option where you can moderate the photos before they hit the big screen. To be honest, I am not overly concerned about this. As long as people keep it semi-pg and don't offend my Grandma, we're good!
I plan on using Wedding Hashtag Wall for this feature.
These are three very inexpensive, user-friendly social media options for your wedding. How have you utilized social media at weddings? I'd love to hear more in the comments section below!
Until next time,
Alex is the Founder and Lead Social Media Consultant of Simplified Social. Simplified Social is an Alberta-based organization dedicated to making social media easy and affordable for business owners.