What Are Your Employees Posting on Social Media?

Do you have a social media policy for your staff? If they’re an employee of your company, they may be instagramming, facebooking, tweeting, snapchatting, texting, and whatsapping images of your events. This could be awesome if it’s done with your company’s branding and marketing strategy in mind. OR, it could be detrimental if there has been no guidance given to them about what is not appropriate.

Instagram-logo1.gifHow do you create a social media policy for employees? We have a few thoughts on this…

  1. You should have an employee policy handbook. (We talked about this here and provided a template for purchase here.) An employee handbook is a guide of company rules, protocols, and standards. It goes beyond just the social media policy… discussing everything from how to dress, how to deal with conflict, vacation/sick policy, and so on.
  2. If you already have an employee handbook in place, you’ll want to add a social media section. You’ll want to describe:
    • What is the employee allowed to put onto social media?
    • Does the employee need approval before each post?
    • How should the employee talk about the company on social media?
    • Are there any branding elements that need to be portrayed on social media? (eg: all images are shot in natural daylight against a light background)
    • Who owns the images? (If the employee leaves the company, you’ll want to make sure they aren’t passing them off as their own. OR – if they had active ownership in the event, maybe it’s fair to have them own the images with an explanation that it was work they did for your company.)
    • How should the employee refer to the event? (“My wedding”, “The Company’s wedding”, “This wedding we all did as a team”?)

Keep in mind – these guidelines are for EMPLOYEES, not contractors. A contractor does not work for you. They work for themselves. You have less control over what a contractor shares online. HOWEVER, you can safeguard your business by ensuring that your contract with your contractor (yes – you need a contract) has terms for brand representation.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you have any good or bad stories to share on this topic? Share in a comment below.

Need more help with hiring, training, managing? Do you need help with interns, contractors, and employees? Make sure to check out our human resources toolbox: The People Plan.

Using Pinterest Ethically, Legally, and *Coolly*

I’ve been privy to a few conversations lately regarding some ‘less than cool’ Pinterest activity. And by ‘less than cool’ I mean… unethical or illegal or just not cool.

Today… I want to invite you all to share with me YOUR thoughts on ‘less than cool’ Pinterest activity. Please leave a comment below… what is NOT cool to do on Pinterest? (I confess. I had to give up my Pinterest addiction years ago in its early phase. I lost 2 much sleep in a 2 day bender. :) I need you to help me out.)

I’ll share some of my thoughts here…

Swapping links for yours (especially if you are swapping with monetized links) – not cool

This happens when someone pins something andpinterest  inserts a link for reference. (The link is to the original blog post and it gives credit to the creator.) Someone repins the pin and substitutes it with a link going to their site – or, worse – a link that has an affiliate code for some sort of financial gain.

That’s not cool.

This is kinda like stealing.

Borrowing’ images from Pinterest without giving credit to the original source – not cool

Pinterest can be amazing at driving traffic to artists’ sites. The flipside is that when stuff gets pinned, it can easily lose the original source information. 1000 pins down the road and this image has now been downloaded onto someone’s computer and revamped for their own purpose.

Pinterest is not a database of free-to-use creative commons artwork. It is illegal to use images or manipulate images found on Pinterest.

That’s not cool.

Always ask permission. (Here’s a cool post that talks more about this.)

Posting Your Work – that’s OK! Just be cool about it.

When Pinterest first began it was taboo to pin your own work. Now, this is a completely acceptable way to share your work. However, keep in mind… like with all social media, if you only talk about yourself, people will get bored. (“I’m so vain.”) Make sure to attribute your work to your business.

What do you think? Are these not cool? What is also not cool? I know I’m barely tapping the surface here and I’d love to get your thoughts!

Pinterest has a great little etiquette page for more thoughts..

One Minor Tweak Gets Your Blog Discovered by More Local Brides

This week, we’ve invited Kathy DalPra to share her wisdom about SEO, websites, and blogging with us.

Kathy Dalpra

Starting and maintaining a wedding blog is hard enough without the added frustration of getting brides and grooms to actually find your blog. That’s why I want to share with you a very simple adjustment you can make to your blog content that will leverage the power of search engines to automatically help local brides find your blog with ease.

All you need to do is start incorporating locally based words that you know your ideal clients are likely searching for when scouring the internet for information about planning their wedding. When they do, they’ll come across your blog and a wealth of information on that topic and other related topics that are relevant to them as a couple getting married in the area.

Here’s a short list of local topic ideas to get you started:

  • local wedding venues
  • cities, towns and counties nearby
  • bridal shows, events and happenings
  • bridal boutiques and salons
  • names of other wedding vendors you’ve partnered with

Add these words to the title of your blog post as well as to the body of the content itself so that Google has an easy time discerning what your post is about.

Then, be sure to spread the word about your post to anyone you’ve mentioned within it. When your colleagues see that they’re included, they’ll be eager to share your post, helping you reach even more readers faster while boosting your search engine visibility at the same time.

About the Author:

Kathy DalPra is a bridal-preneur who unexpectedly fell in love with web design and SEO. Today she helps other wedding professionals use their website to get more traffic, leads and inquiries so they can create a thriving wedding business in any economy. Learn how to turn curious visitors into paying brides™ on her website at http://brideappeal.com

Snowy Orange – Bookkeeping, Graphic Design, and Social Media Support for Your Wedding Business

I’m thrilled to introduce you to snowy orange! This is for all of you wedding professionals who need administrative help. It’s for all those loose ends that don’t always seem to get done in your business… monthly bookkeeping, on-going graphic design, and social media marketing.  (andddd… psssttt… they have a cool promotion going on… read on to take advantage!)

snowy orange is a crisp, refreshing alternative to the way you do business. The team at snowy orange is made up of 4 very bright individuals (Tyler, Nicole, Joey, Stephanie) who want to take on these tasks for you. Wouldn’t you rather spend your time focusing on your passion? Your craft?

Here’s a sampling of what they offer:

  • Income and expense tracking
  • Client invoicing
  • Month end financial reports
  • Sales tax reporting
  • Payroll processing
  • Assistance with social media content creation (organization & scheduling)
  • Daily or weekly blog posts
  • Facebook cover photo updates
  • Mailing distribution
  • Postcards
  • Magazine and website ads
  • Image manipulation
  • E-newsletters
  • Media kits and Press releases

A list of services can be found at: http://www.snowyorange.com/what-we-offer/

snowy orange understands that the day to day business tasks can be time consuming and overwhelming so they offer an alternative to the business owner doing everything on their own by creating a partnership which gives them support in a wide range of day to day tasks.

SAGE READERS get $25 off thru July 31st, 2013. Just input the coupon code “SAGE25″ when you sign up!

I’m so excited for y’all to get partnered with them!

Note: Sage Wedding Pros receives a small affiliate fee from snowy orange. Regardless of this compensation, we believe in this company and only endorse businesses we truly believe are a good resource for our readers.

Google Reader Is Being Discontinued

Sigh…. Google Reader will be no more on July 1, 2013. Do you use Google Reader? (Are you reading *THIS* right now on Google Reader?)

I have been a long time google reader user. I LOVE BLOGS! I LOVE READING.

If you read these posts (and other blog posts) on Google Reader, you can continue to do so by doing one of the following:

1. Subscribe by email. Sage Wedding Pros in your email inbox ~3 times weekly. It’s like MAGIC.

OR

2. Transition your google feed to Feedly. I have transitioned to Feedly in the last year and I LOVE IT. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. It’s pretty to look at. And, it’s easy to stay on top of my favorite reads. You can easily transition to Feedly by inputting your gmail/google reader account in the site login… and VOILA! All of your blogs will now be readable in Feedly.

PS – If you want to learn more. Read Copyblogger’s post on this transition.

PPS – If you have a blog, don’t lose YOUR readers! Share this information with them also!