There are a few common misconceptions about social media. One is that it’s free, the other is that it’s easy. Social Media is one more arrow in your marketing quiver and should be treated as such. I’m not saying that you must devote half of your marketing budget to social media. However, just like in the offline world, there is a cheap route and a more expensive route. Standing on a corner in Times Square handing out your flyers might be cheap, but your competition decided to put some money into their campaign and bought space on the jumbotron right over your head. There is a lot of debate about how best to set up a Facebook ad and if they are worth the trouble. Do your own testing of course, but I find the return I get is huge from Facebook ads. I run 3-4 at a time, and rotate them out every few weeks to keep them fresh, I am developing a very good idea of what my target market will “Like.” Once you know what works for you, the newsfeed of hundreds is available for you to post your message. Keep in mind this is different than PPC campaigns, because on Facebook your audience isn’t in “buying mode” like they might be when doing a general search for a photo booth. So you have to treat the audience differently.
Social media also means being social. Look for groups of local pro’s. There is probably a local event professionals facebook group in your area, and if there isn’t you have a great opportunity to start one. This is a huge resource. In my local area there are requests for a photo booth from wedding planners, caterers, and event halls a couple times a week appearing on the local event pros facebook group page, and if you can get in front of all those influencers, you’re doing it right!
Take note of the major players in your area of operation, follow them on twitter, subscribe to their blog, comment on their posts. Not only does a comment give you a backlink, but it also says to the author, “I’m here, I’m listening and paying attention to what you say.” Sooner or later, you might want them to listen to something you have to say. This could be in the form of a guest blog article, or even a review of your services, either of which is great promotion!
Social media is a signal. A signal that in your industry, you are an authority. It sends a signal to the search engines that you’re engaged and know your industry, which can move you higher in the SERPs. It sends a signal to your prospects that you live and breathe photo booths. If you go through my facebook or twitter history you’ll not only see self promotional posts or personal messages, but you will also see one or two posts a day on something that is going on in the photo booth industry. Pro-Tip: “Google Alerts” I have a few different alerts so that when anything with the keywords I monitor show up anywhere on the web, a link is sent to me. I read the article, or post, decide if it has value, then I use hootsuite to schedule a post. You can even just save all your alerts to look at and schedule all your posts for the week! Then during the week you’re just filling in with things that you have going on, answering your followers, and any other ramblings that you want to share with the world. Another great tool for scheduling tweets is Buffer.
In the next post in this series I will discuss other methods of marketing your photo booth business through paid ads and press releases.
This post is the 2nd in a 4 part series. If you haven't read the first post I highly recommend that you start from the beginning.
- Marketing Your Photo Booth Business: Part 1, Search Engine Marketing and Optimization
- Marketing Your Photo Booth Business: Part 2, Social Media
- Marketing Your Photo Booth Business: Part 3, Paid Advertisements and Press Releases
- Marketing Your Photo Booth Business: Part 4, Associations and Sponsorships
Damien Hutchins is the owner of Flicker Stage Photo Booths in Dallas TX, a company that has shed the more traditional aspects of the photo booth, leading the movement to redefine the special event guest entertainment space in the Dallas area. Previously Damien served as an early employee of one of the top online wedding marketing platforms in the US. You can follow him online at Facebook and Twitter.