Is Your Social Media Inclusive?
Many events businesses claim to want to break into the LGBTQ wedding and celebration market, but are they willing to take a critical look at their social media marketing and ask if their efforts meet the needs of this growing niche? Promoting your event business by taking an inclusive approach to language, images and content allows you to demonstrate your openness, and attract all of the couples with whom you want to work.
Understand the Lingo
Before you publish word one, make sure you are familiar with inclusive language. Use wedding party in place of “bridal” party, wedding suite instead of “bridal suite,” and to-be-weds, nearlyweds or soonlyweds as opposed to brides and grooms. Your choice of words is one of the first impressions you will make on prospective clients, so choose wisely.
Also ensure that couples feel welcome when they visit your social media pages and website. Let them see other couples who look like them. Feature photos from your LGBTQ-friendly inspiration shoots and real weddings throughout your content.
Each of the major social media platforms has a unique personality, and it’s important to know how to use each one to reach your audience. Facebook has become the go-to platform for sharing information, even if it’s not exclusively yours. It is a great place to post articles relevant to your community, polls, memes, photos and observations.
If you’re trying to appeal to the same-sex wedding community, share real wedding images of LGBTQ weddings, upcoming events geared towards same-sex couples, articles discussing the ever-transforming etiquette or weddings and trend forecasts that include all kinds of couples. Your followers will begin to see you as a source for information they want and need, and your popularity will grow organically.
A Facebook Caution
Content management is constantly evolving on all major social media sites, but nowhere more than on Facebook these days. What was once an almost purely popularity-driven platform is now extremely “pay-to-play,” and even if you are popular today, you can pretty easily fall off the Facebook planet, due to new algorithms and rules overnight. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket – diversify your inclusive social media effort and build a following on Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter as well.
Instagram and Hashtags:
Instagram has taken over the wedding marketing universe, and LGBTQ couples are searching it for images and related services. While normally I would advise against using tokenizing terms like “LGBTQ Wedding” or “Gay Wedding” in a regular setting, on Insta, these hashtags are among the most highly searched by LGBTQ couples, so it makes sense to include them in your posts. If you’re trying out other hashtags to use in your photos, research to find ones that are relevant to your content and have 2,000 – 1,000,000 uses. You can also create and popularize your own with your company name.
Taking a business presence and making it feel inviting and welcoming has its unique challenges, but a lot of potential, too. Review your social media accounts and ensure that you are sensitively projecting your desire to work with LGBTQ couples beginning today.
Brittny Drye is the founder and editor-in-chief of Love Inc., one of the leading equality-minded wedding blog and digital publication. Her inclusive efforts have been celebrated by the New York Times, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Refinery29, NY Daily News, Cosmopolitan, and more. She serves on the 2018-19 North American Advisory Board for the International Academy of Wedding & Events.
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