How’s this for a cool job title: Director of Romance. Not bad for your second career, is it?
After working in the tech world, Holly Blackett made the transition to what I think is a pretty cool job. Through her company, Zuriana’s Elegant Occasions, Holly helps couples plan their destination weddings and honeymoons and clients plan group events, like reunions and vacations (and yes, that means she gets to travel).
It all started when Holly was completely overwhelmed trying to plan her own wedding 10 years ago. Since the economy was not doing well at the time (read: no one was hiring wedding planners), she added the travel component and found her niche. And she hasn’t looked back!
Since the wedding industry is a huge behemoth, I was curious as to how Holly uses social media to stand out. As it turns out, she is a social media pro! Here are some excerpts from our conversation:
Monika Jansen: What social media channels do you use?
Holly Blackett: I use Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
MJ: How do you use Twitter, and what works best for you?
HB: I use Twitter to do research. I scan to see what I can potentially talk about or comment on to raise awareness for my business. The other day, I heard DJs on the radio talking about whether you should Google engagement rings. I tweeted about it, and the radio station retweeted it to over 20,000 people!
I also use Twitter to show I’m a valuable resource and to learn and educate myself. I’m actually using it as a networking tool, believe it or not.
MJ: Very cool! How do you use Twitter for networking?
HB: If I see somebody who is interested in what I’m talking about, or they say something interesting, I’ll reach out. We start having a conversation back and forth. It’s as simple as that!
MJ: Tell me about your Pinterest boards and how you use them.
HB: I have about 120 boards, and I have about 500 people following me. I use Pinterest in a variety of ways, because brides are looking for ideas. Destination weddings are hot – they’re unique. I have boards for décor, wedding invitations, save the date cards, shoes, jewelry, makeup. I have a board called Love – what does love look like? I try to find photos that represent that idea.
The way I use Pinterest for travel is a little different. I have [a board] for Sandals, Apple vacations, couples, and then I link those photos to my co-branded site.
MJ: Do you use LinkedIn for networking as well?
HB: Yes, I do. I took a class they sponsored, and LinkedIn reached out to me for my use of visual content – I actually thought it was spam at first! Just about every post I add has a picture, and I watch how many views they get – and they get a lot. I post pictures from networking events I go to, and I had someone reach out and say, hey, could you come look at our venue on Capitol Hill?
Also, in some of the groups, I’ll answer questions as well to show expertise.
MJ: What about Facebook?
HB: When I go on travel, I take pictures of myself to prove I am there. So, when I landed in St. Lucia, I had a picture of me standing in front of an American Airlines plane. I just use it to remind people that I do a lot of traveling, and it lets me keep up with old colleagues and friends.
On the business side, I do more sales-related stuff and show my expertise. I put up a photo of a bridal show I’ll be exhibiting at and a photo from the Fiji Tourism Board.
MJ: What about email marketing? Do you use it?
HB: Yes, but not as much as I should. I’ll send an email out to past clients and current ones and say, Here are the places I’ve traveled to this year, and oh by the way, if you have friends with a food allergy need, let me know because it’s a niche I’m working on. I don’t want to pester anyone, so I don’t have an email schedule down.
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Image courtesy of Zuriana’s Elegant Occasions