“I f you build it, they will come.” That line may have worked for Kevin Costner’s character in Field of Dreams, but such advice doesn’t quite ring true for social media strategy. That’s because you could quite literally build the most beautiful Instagram or Facebook presence for your business, but still not see the followers. Why? Because you’re likely missing out on the other important half of social media strategy: paid social.
This was an issue that The Vine, a wedding venue in Houston, knew they needed to address. While they had worked with Hawthorn for at least a year – first on improving their brand presence in both print marketing materials and with a new website, as well as paid social – it wasn’t until June 2020, when they handed us control of their organic social media strategy, as well. And by allowing us to take over the tactics to sync both paid and organic social for their brand, they actually booked twice as many weddings as a result. No, you didn’t misread that: Twice as many weddings in 2020 – with COVID in full force – than in 2019. In fact, the average monthly leads more than doubled in 2020, while the conversation rate of completed wedding inquiry forms on their site from organic social media traffic more than tripled in that same time frame.
Here’s how we did it…and how you can do it, too.
But First, Why Synced Social Efforts Matter
When you sync your paid social media and organic social media strategies, you maximize your overall presence. The two ultimately go hand-in-hand, they are two sides of the same coin. Your organic content is the driver behind community engagement and brand loyalty. Your paid content is the driver behind finding and growing that community. If one suffers, they both suffer, and when one excels, they both excel.
For example, let’s say someone discovers your brand through a Facebook ad. That user then proceeds to browse your brand through your social profiles. The ad sparked interest, but if there isn’t a solid organic presence that shows new users what you’re about within a few seconds, you lose that lead before you even knew they existed. In short, organic social is where users will choose to convert or not, paid is how you get more users there and fast.
Social Media Marketing That’ll Stop Their Scrolling
Explore our highly successful newly engaged social campaigns
The Vine: Synced Social Scores Double the Bookings
With acres of stunning indoor and outdoor space to celebrate, The Vine wedding venue and vineyard truly is the Houston-area’s hidden gem. Couples, guests, and community members alike are all quick to gush over the sheer magic and unrivaled experiences this venue has to offer… but being the “hidden gem” of a city packed with other wedding venues poses the challenge of creating brand awareness. Especially to the right audience, at the right times.
In June 2019, we began managing the venue’s paid social media campaigns, targeting newly engaged brides in the Houston area among other Texas cities. After initial optimization, their campaign continues to consistently see between 15-20 wedding inquiries per month.
In June 2020, The Vine transitioned their organic social efforts over to Hawthorn, providing us with the ability to sync ongoing paid efforts with a new, fine-tuned organic strategy to elevate their Instagram and Facebook presence that lacked organization and strategic structure.
2020 generated 55 booked weddings for The Vine. That’s double the weddings generated in 2019. And 2020 was a pandemic year!
- Paid efforts were responsible for 249 inquiries in 2020, averaging over 20 leads a month. These efforts have continually been growing month over month despite the many challenges of 2020.
Website traffic from Instagram and Facebook combined increased by 203.5% in the first 6 months of managing The Vine’s organic social media channels.
- Of that new organic social media traffic, the conversion rate of completed wedding inquiry forms more than tripled, with a growth of 326.3% compared to the previous period (116 v. 27 leads).
For the first time ever, The Vine is booked straight through the upcoming year, and are already booking weddings for 2023.
Get Ready for 2021
How our paid search strategies helped position these two wedding venues for a successful 2021
So How Did We Do It?
1. A Purposeful & Cohesive
Any Instagram account can have great photos that generate a lot of “likes,” but if the engagement stops at just liking your photos, it isn’t enough. In the case of the Vine, we immediately wanted to show off all the unique draws of their venue through Story Highlights. Using elements of their new website and logo designs, we created cohesive icons and image templates to make their highlight reel feel akin to flipping through a brochure. Testimonials, Real Weddings, Property Details, and more are all now right there for couples to click through during their first views of the Instagram page. We also created more specific content pillars to assure a variety of imagery, content, topics, all while having one aesthetically pleasing grid.
2. A Clear Path of Conversion
for New Users
So, we elevated the Vine’s social accounts and captured an organic audience with the use of highlight reels and thoughtful content. Now what? Brand awareness is important, but it’s just one piece of the social strategy puzzle. Don’t let any agency tell you otherwise. The ROI lies in turning Instagram followers into leads – whatever that may mean for your business.
For the Vine, that meant wedding inquiries that lead to bookings. The venue has a new and beautiful website with great landing pages that we were eager to drive organic traffic to. Instagram is known for poor conversion rates due to the inability to use a link in grid posts and only allowing one link in a page’s bio. But there are ways to turn that low conversion rate on its head. With the combined use of frequent CTAs within captions and the optimized Link in Bio that actually brings users to multiple links (through using tools like Linktree) to choose from, we saw (and continue to see) great success on Instagram conversions.
3. Divide and Conquer
While Instagram rates are only going up for brand marketing and organic engagement, Facebook’s are going down (its organic engagement has been on the decline for years). But when it comes to paid ad campaigns, Facebook is the place to post. With paid and organic social media now both under Hawthorn’s management, we were able to strategically play to the strengths of each platform. That means we are able to excel at both platforms by allowing organic strategy to prioritize the Instagram brand while our paid efforts assured the effectiveness of Facebook ad campaigns. That way, no matter where the initial user saw The Vine – be it targeting by a newly engaged ad or on the Explore page of Instagram – the other online outlets are as cohesive and sophisticated as the first interaction.
Does all the above sound great, but you’re not sure how to put it into action (nor have the time)?
Our team of designers, writers, and strategists are at your digital disposal. Just drop us a line any time.