We chat to Lisa Hogg, founder of WeddingHour, about the online chat and what it can do for your business
In 2012, WeddingHour became one of the first #hour chats on Twitter. It has grown considerably since its inception and has been voted one of the UK’s leading hashtags. Taking place every Wednesday between 9.00pm and 10.00pm, this online networking event inspires the industry, with over 5,500 tweets in an hour, reaching 30 million followers worldwide.
“There were no other #hours when we launched and it has grown rapidly, not just locally but nationally and internationally,” says Lisa Hogg, Managing Director of The Wedding Affair and Founder of WeddingHour. “It has allowed the wedding industry to connect at a specified time each week without having to leave the house.”
Used by industry experts and couples alike, WeddingHour helps users build relationships, gain trust and make new contacts, while offering the opportunity to reach a wider audience.
“It’s completely free and really easy to get involved, so it’s a great way to develop your online presence and help your business grow,” says Lisa. “We often have Twitter Takeovers from our media partners and magazines launching new issues, too, and we work closely with The Wedding Industry Awards, The UK Blog Awards and many other events across the country, so the exposure is huge.”
Using the hashtag #WeddingHour, suppliers, boutiques, media partners and brides can all connect in one place, at one time. As a dedicated marketing tool, WeddingHour helps businesses interact with customers and others in the field all in the shape of a supportive and friendly online community. As well as an ideal chance for promotion, WeddingHour brings the experts together, and those involved are nurtured and encouraged to continue thriving within their businesses, and are able to enhance the reputation and profile of their brand in a fun and informal environment.
While mainly a trade chat, WeddingHour is becoming increasingly popular with brides and grooms, making it the perfect opportunity to answer questions, offer inspiration and create those all-important personal relationships with consumers and potential customers. The hashtag regularly appears in the UK Top 10 Trend List, meaning not only are users likely to gain followers as a result, but they will also benefit from greater exposure for their online marketing - something that definitely can’t be overlooked in today’s competitive arena.
The internet allows businesses to reach those they may not have originally targeted - and social media is instant - so ideas, promotions, sales and competitions can be marketed and achieve an immediate response.
“Business attitudes have definitely changed with a move towards online content,” says Lisa. “Companies, services and products can be accessed straight away, day and night, and promoted in different ways, instantaneously. The online world is only helping the bridal industry - we can target clients and future brides quickly and efficiently with very little effort. This certainly has to be a plus.”