Here’s a dirty little secret that many wedding and event pros don’t like to admit: Most weddings and events on social media look the same.
Even more troubling is that most captions about weddings and events on social media sound the same. We talk about how much we loved so-and-so’s wedding last weekend, or how honored we were to participate in some nonprofit’s gala.
When everything looks and sounds the same on social media, you end up competing on price with your competition. Why? Because there is no other way to distinguish you from anybody else.
Worse still, we often copy the captioning style of planners and photographers the most, talking in value and general terms about an event, rather than showcasing how rentals can transform an event and the guests’ experience.
In fact, with all else being equal, your captions matter more than you think.
Whether you are a specialty rental company or a standard rental business, here are five powerful tips for transforming your social media game with storytelling and captions:
1) Show AND tell
Rentals are everywhere at an event. It’s easy to show an image with your rentals featured and write a basic caption like, “so pretty!” or “We loved Jaime and Casey’s wedding last weekend.” In other words, don’t be basic.
Instead, talk about the rentals the couple chose and why; then, have a link in your bio that leads to the collections on your website so followers can browse the items they find appealing.
2) Show happy clients (transformed)
People are attracted to people. Instead of always showing empty rooms full of your rentals, sprinkle in images of happy couples and guests and write captions about the client’s vision and how the guests experienced the event because of the rentals.
3) One rental, many ways
Different pieces can be used in different ways and with different styles. Don’t pigeonhole your long farmhouse tables by only showing them in rustic events. Do a mini styled shoot to show how those same farmhouse tables can be used at events with more modern and traditional design aesthetics. Mention your rental items by name and reference the fact that you’ve featured them in other ways. For bonus points, you can even do a branded hashtag (such as #YourBusinessFarmhouseTables) for each collection or rental type so potential clients can click on it to see all the ways one piece can be used.
4) Use Linktr.ee on Instagram
Not everyone is ready to buy on social media. Clients may be just looking for inspiration or researching you and your competitors more before inquiring. They have different needs at different points of the event planning journey. Unfortunately, Instagram only allows you to have one link in your bio. A great way to offer options is to use a “free-mium” product called Linktr.ee, which allows you to create multiple links in your bio to your collections, portfolio, key blog posts and, of course, your inquiry page. Then, when you show different pieces and collections, you can end your Instagram caption with “Shop our collections. Link in bio” without having to constantly edit old posts and change the link in your bio.
5) Use Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories have become wildly popular for showcasing behind-the-scenes content, which is helpful for educating clients about what goes into delivery, clean up and maintenance. They are also a great way to showcase your staff culture and new additions to your collection.
A great way for rental companies to use Instagram Stories is with “This-or-That” polls. A close relative to the one rental, many ways post, a “This-or-That” post shows a rental item styled differently. Show one at a time, then end with a poll asking which one they liked better. It’s great for engagement and you can even follow up with those who participated with a DM and a link to the collections to get them solidly on the path to doing business with you.
It’s time to move past the rut of showcasing events and saying how “pretty” or “gorgeous” they are and start creating deliberate captions and using thoughtful visual storytelling techniques. This is how your rental company can rise above the competition and give potential clients a real reason for renting from you.
Christie Osborne is the owner of Mountainside Media, a company that helps event industry professionals brands develop scalable marketing strategies that bring in more inquiries and leads. Christie is a national educator with recent speaking engagements at NACE Experience, WIPA, and the ABC Conference.