I wrote a blog post about Miss Bush bride Ellen (link) trying to describe with some clarity how I would develop my social media marketing to attract more ‘Ellens’. Having read extensively, listened intently & consulted all & sundry on the subject I decided to adopt a strategy similar to the one advocated by Laura Caudery here (link). In a major presentation that she gave, at the Social Media World Forum no less, Laura described how her wedding venue business was defined on social media from the outset.
I knew the tone of voice was going to be very important too: no bland corporate statements but something with a real personality – my own. I’m also happy to share a certain amount of my personal life through my accounts as it’s just as important that people get to know ‘me’ as the business – it reinforces the connection people feel with the house (Fetcham Park wedding venue). Whilst it may not be appropriate for all businesses, giving your business a human voice on social media is key to building that conversation.
The idea of attracting a ‘connection’ with like-minded women before, during and after their wedding with whom you can converse on all matters, not just dresses, seemed the most logical use of Miss Bush’s social media. I can’t, and don’t want to, sell a dress to everyone I have neither the desire nor the business acumen to become David’s Bridal. Neither do I have the location or the connections to be Brown’s. Dressing & styling women in one of their lifetimes most significant outfits is a great responsibility & a very great pleasure. The pleasure is magnified for both my client & I if we get on.
I have faced steely faced groups of women on some Saturdays that approach wedding dress shopping & shops as if ‘we’ were pickpockets & charlatans. They grip their handbags close & defy me to show them something they’ll like. I have done twenty years on the shop floor & it seems a shame to spend an appointment hour working hard to prove my credibility when you could learn a little about Miss Bush & I beforehand to see whether an appointment was worthwhile.
I have had Lindsay’s photos for a while, Jenny Packham discontinued the dress Eve and inevitably it would lead to lots of disappointed enquirers. Today though I am bringing out the redheads for some Miss Bush bolstering. Friend of Miss Bush, Annabel Beeforth of Love My Dress published a discussion post about bridal shops ‘charging’ for appointments. It proved rather explosive and I feel quite a lot of readers may fall into the ‘steely faced’ group that think ‘we’ are parasitic peddlers of over priced pretty.
This is simply not true & one, mercifully deleted comment, accused me of being a PR disaster bride hater. Clearly I don’t hate brides. I crucially don’t define my customers as, simply, ‘brides.’ First & foremost they are intelligent, fabulous & quite over achieving women. This is why I don’t mind giving my own opinion, my human voice as Laura Caudery would have it. My clients, that-happen-to-be-brides-to-be, should know that the Miss Bush philosophy is ‘style & expertise with integrity.’
Sometimes I will get a backlash as yesterday. My three fabulous redheads that paid for an appointment with me on Saturday had a ball! Miss M has written ‘Thank you for making the experience so great’. They have their gift vouchers & huge strides were made towards defining their personal style & removing wedding dress apprehension.
I hope that, like beautiful Lindsay, one or more of Saturday’s three redheads will become Miss Bush brides. I hope I can quite surprise them as I did Lindsay with a choice of dress that is as individual as it is gorgeous. I hope that we keep in touch periodically across social media like I occasionally Tweet Lindsay. I hope to be more stylist than sales person. I know my clients recognise that worth – even though sometimes it involves me telling them that their hair trial up-do was ageing – sorry Miss C!
I loved seeing Lindsay’s pictures, I love seeing how her story progressed, I loved being a character in her story.
…one of the key things businesses need to understand about social media: it’s not just about you telling your story, it’s about getting other people to tell it for you. Laura Caudery
View the full gallery
Photography: Babb Photo
The Dress: Jenny Packham ‘Eve’ from Miss Bush Bridalwear
Brides Shoes: Rachel Simpson Shoes
Reception Venue: The Forbury Hotel
Transport: London Legend
Hair and Make Up: Amy Brandon
Emma xxx Emma Meek, MD of Miss Bush Bridalwear
Miss Bush Bridalwear is Surrey’s leading designer bridal shop