How to make your wedding a social media success

So you’re getting married. Congratulations. It’s kind of awesome, kind of scary, and kind of give you the feeling of being lost in the woods. You want the world to know you rock. I get it. But not too many of us are really focused on making our wedding a massive success when it comes to social media. Some like everyone knowing, while others like only those invited to be privy to those details.

But if you are reading this article more than likely you are the ones looking to crowd source your wedding with the tons of cameras, comments, and cheers that this new age can provide us. There are some benefits to having a horde of loving and engaged community members watching to capture the moment. Crowd sourcing means you get the crazy, the fun, and  the planned unexpected.

In this day and age, when every phone has the same or greater megapixels than the professional cameras of a decade ago, it’s insane for us not to utilize the community. They are, after all, there for you!

Here are and handful of suggestions, tips, and tactics to get some crowd sourced photos and sayings for your wedding.

1. Hashtag forethought

The first thing you’ll want to do is come up with a hashtag. Hashtag: The #OMGSOMEKEYWORD! I.e. #epic #fail The # must be right against the other word.

This may sound silly, absurd or whatever but think of it as a keyword. If you were searching twitter for all of your pictures, then you could do so by simply searching this one hashtag. One potential pitfall to be aware of:  using a popular hashtag.  Remember, they are public and thus ANYONE can throw on any hashtag to their pictures. Having a unique hashtag is important if you want an easier time filtering through all of your pictures.

If you want to crowd source, you WILL have to come up with a unique hashtag because if you don’t, then it just is, well…pointless. Trust me on this. The biggest thing you need to worry about is someone NOT putting in your hashtag.

The next step, of course, is that you’ll want to let everyone know your hashtag, otherwise you aren’t really crowd sourcing are you? Here are some ways to start out.

A. BRAINSTORM

Think of some awesome hashtags for your wedding. The simplest format is #[Groom\’s First Initial][Bride\’s First Initial][YY] Example: #CJ13

This is a pretty steadfast one, but if you have nicknames or want to refer to your ‘theme’ (if you have a theme) then run with it. i.e. #Elegant2013C&J

#WinterBall13CJ

#CJWedding2013

#CJJustGotMarried

Keep it short.

No one wants to type a hundred characters to attach to their photos or shout outs, especially when they are tweeting. Have fewer characters than your long-winded friends and family members would suggest.

B. RESEARCH

This is a critical step. You’ll want to search the top 3 hashtags you come up with. Because you may *gasp* not be the first to think like this! A shocker, I know.

You are likely to have pretty good luck.  Even today with pervasive social media, this isn’t the most commonly used feature for wedding, especially if you have an older family. Your grandparents/parents may confuse twitter with twerking. It’s ok.

C. CONFIRM

Once you determine a hashtag, confirm with each other that this is the one that will fit your needs. If not, go back to the brainstorming stage and repeat finding another top 3. Don’t get too married to one hashtag (HAHA, pun not intended).

2. Advertise

A. PUT IT ON THE SAVE THE DATE

On your save the date announcement, drop the hashtag somewhere fancy, obvious, or somewhere where it will not be confusing. “Hey pa, they have a tic-tac-toe thing here! Wanna play?” This is not what you are going for…

B. PUT IT ON THE SAVE THE INVITATION

On the invitation, have a phrase letting people know they can talk about your big day on the social net using this hashtag.

Examples: Share the experience with us by using #YOURHASHTAG

It’s ok to talk about us when we’re not there, just please use #YOURHASHTAG

C. SOCIAL BOARD

At the wedding itself, have a fancy “social board” where all of your guests will see it. You may choose to phrase it more formally here. Example: On this day of joy for us, please share your experience with any social media site you like to use. Please include #YOURHASHTAG with your content.

D. AT YOUR RECEPTION

Here is where you can be a little more informal. Have the DJ announce it, have it printed at the tables or incorporated into a social board before everyone walks in.

3. Gather

A. IFTTT

This is a “recipe” site, meaning that you can just put in a formula and out it goes. It has been declawed recently due to some changes with several social media sites, but it is still an awesome way for you to gather photos.

Recipes

Get your photos from twitter downloaded automatically to your dropbox.

Get your photos from facebook downloaded automatically to your dropbox

Get your photos from instagram downloaded automatically to your dropbox

B.Tagboard

A wedding is an absolutely awesome way to use tagboard. Aggregate the social network hashtags into one little spot and boom, you have yourself an awesome little gathering of the entire event.