Trouble getting all your wedding guests to use the same hashtag on Instagram?
Brides- and grooms-to-be can prevent this #nightmare with the help of a social media wedding concierge.
For a cool $3,000, New York City’s W Hotels are offering expert help for brides- and grooms-to-be looking to create the perfect social media experience for their wedding. W Hotels’ Global Social Media Strategist Alyssa Kiefer says the concierge will be involved in every step of the planning process, from live-tweeting the ceremony and reception and uploading images to Instagram and Vine to encouraging guests to use a specified hashtag.
“We’ve seen couples take selfies, create last name mashup hashtags, and even update their relationship statuses at the altar! It’s a modern day evolution of the traditional wedding planner,” says Kiefer.
While the price tag of the W’s concierge service may be shocking, consumer psychology expert Liene Stevens, who specializes in the wedding industry, says social media is, in fact, playing a major role in weddings today.
“At times, a couple's wedding planner or the planner's assistant will help set up a wedding blog or wedding website, but most often the couple selects a hashtag on their own,” says Stevens. She says wedding programs or welcome signs are being printed with hashtags on them, though she adds that social media management remains largely DIY at this point.
Online “wedding inspiration” company OneWed.com agrees the importance of social media at weddings is growing. OneWed.com community manager Claire Koerner says Instagram, which allows guests to post photos and videos, is currently the most important platform for brides and grooms.
“We’ve seen the rise of two extremes. There are brides actually putting signs up saying, ‘Don’t use social media,’ and brides saying, ‘Use this hashtag or this app to take pictures and share them,’” says Koerner.
While OneWed.com, which hosts an online vendor directory, doesn’t have a specific category yet for social media concierges, Koerner says she is seeing W Hotel-like services offered.
“It’s the photographers offering [this service],” says Koerner. “That’s the vendor category taking this on the most.”
The entrepreneurs behind Book More Brides, an online marketing resource for wedding professionals, agree with Koerner about the new role photographers are playing for social media-obsessed couples.
“Photographers are creating offerings designed for Facebook -- that’s where couples want to share their images, and Instagram,” says Stephanie Padovani , who runs Book More Brides with her husband Jeff. “Photographers are now optimizing images for Facebook specifically.”
And though the W’s service just became available on Tuesday, Kiefer says she is confident social media concierges will become the next big thing.
“At W, we pride ourselves on our Whatever/Whenever service, so what better way to stay ahead of the curve than to offer social media capabilities as part of a wedding package with W hotels?” says Kiefer. “It’s one less thing a bride and groom have to worry about!”