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    A Penny for Your Tweet

    Written by Marta, Editorial Director of GigMasters.com 

    Dear BB,

    Although I’ve written versions of this that were definitely rants, I feel like I’ve calmed down a little and now have “a discussion I would like to start with others in the wedding business.”

    Let me share some stories. A friend of mine, with a decent size blog following and business was recently booked to appear on a national television show about weddings. Unfortunately, a big, gigantic, mammoth wedding site decided that they wanted to be the sponsor of that show. Not only did they say my friend could no longer appear on the show, they forbid that company’s name from being mentioned.

    Now, this would make sense if say the big company was Coke and my friend was Pepsi. But this is more like the big company is Coke my friend is the old lady who runs the Italian Ice stand down the street (without the mole on the chin). She does ok for herself, but does Coke really need to go nuclear on her?

    I actually used to work with one of the bigger named wedding companies and a few years ago I switched jobs to work for GigMasters, which is less well known, but much more fabulous! I sent out an email telling all my contacts where I had gone and letting them know all the ways I’d be able to help them out in my new job. These are people I’d worked with and done favors for in the past. One fairly well known name (not as big as my old company but much bigger than me) sent me back an email with no personal message and her advertising rate card.

    Recently, we at GigMasters held a contest with two other companies and asked our blogger and social media friends to help promote the contest with a Tweet or FB post. Most (like Bitchless) were super sweet and did so right away. It costs nothing to send a Tweet and she now has three companies waiting to do her a favor in return.

    A few people ignored the request, which hey – it happens. But one company, a company that has asked and received favors from all three of us in the past, said she has a policy of only promoting things from people who advertise with her. Another company offered a tweet and a FB post for $100. Let that sink in, $100 for a Tweet from a mid-level wedding company. 

    Now, I am not one of those people that believe social media is free advertising. I am in fact, a social media strategist. I make good money helping people figure out the best ways to use social media. I believe that if you are going to go to bat for a company and use your resources and friends to help them, you deserve to be paid for it.

    But, I also believe that the way the world and social media works is by helping each other out. A few years ago at my old company I worked with a huge name in the industry. She was sweet as can be and very supportive of me when I changed jobs. Then, because of a corporate takeover she lost her own job. She’d jut had a baby and wasn’t really sure what she wanted to do next.

    Even though she’s much better known than I am, I was able to hire her to do some freelance work. See how that works? You never know when you’ll be up or down and you never know who might be in a position to help you. It would be great if we all helped each other because we are all nice. But even if you aren’t nice, you should help people – because in the end, it’s good for you!

    The company I mentioned that said she wouldn’t tweet because we don’t advertise with her, I noticed that the same day she started a LinkedIn conversation asking, “Do you follow and Like your competition on social media?”

    I do. Not only do I follow them, if they have something interesting to say, I RT it or post it on FB, or leave a comment. You know why - because they aren’t just my competition, they’re MY COLLEAGUES! 

    Also, it ‘s good for my traffic. If brides think of us as a great place to get information, no matter where that info comes from they’ll keep coming back to us.  See, again, if you can’t be nice because you’re nice, be nice because it’s good for you personally!

    What do you think? Am I naïve and unrealistic in thinking that the least we can do for each other is a little tweet here and there? Should we view each other as competitors or as potential colleagues? Do you charge to be helpful? If you don’t charge do you risk being taken advantage of?

    Am I an idiot for putting my name on this post? 


    Marta, Editorial Director of GigMasters.com 

    p.s. all the opinions here are mine. So if you don’t like what I said, don’t take it out on GigMasters!


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    Reader Comments (4)

    Marta I completely agree with you! I always try to be as helpful as I can to anyone but especially someone who asks for help that doesn't require me to do "anything". Sending a simple "tweet" or facebook status.. no big deal! I'm sorry that other people don't see it the same way!

    I also completely agree with the fact that you never know who you might need help from in the future, so don't burn your bridges!

    For a local example where I am. There are so many wedding photographers who work on the same wedding with different vendors and want to charge for a few portfolio shots. My boyfriend is a wedding photographer and he wants to keep a good relationship with other vendors, therefor he offers pictures to the vendors with either his logo or a mention from the vendor.

    Not only does that vendor now think he is amazing because he is one of the few photographers who don't give vendors a hard time, but he has also created a link to his website, which will attract future brides. Did it cost him any money to send a file over? No. Did it take any extra time? No. So what he didn't make "x" amount of money off of one or two pictures, he made a "friend" and a referrer. And if he wants to turn around and order flowers or cake from those vendors... don't you think they will remember that?

    If you can help someone and not even have to go out of your way to do it, why would you even question it!?

    July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeagan

    Thanks for your support and thoughts Meagan. I could see a photographer charging for shots if the vendor wanted him to come in early, or was asking for the photographer to do work that took him away from the client, but seriously - if you get a good shot of the band, will you send it to me, seems reasonable. Although, that's another good reason vendors and photographers alike should check out Two Bright Lights. It makes sharing the event shots much easier and less awkward.

    July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarta (GigMasters)

    Meagan & Marta,

    It's like we have to regress back to kindergarten for a lesson in basic human decency... And you're right Meagan, being nice goes a long way... with everybody! Not to mention that it could lead to future business. Because you NEVER know where your next piece can come from!


    July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBitchless Bride

    Of course, this morning I get the other side of this. I just got a generic email from someone telling me about a new app he has created related to weddings. There's about two sentences of vague description and then closes with "I would be grateful if you could mention us, as we are a start up working hard." Um, dude, how do you want me to mention you? Is there a site I could check out? Would you like to write a guest post about your product and offer my readers a chance to try it? Do you have a Tweet you want me to send? And why? What will this app do for my readers? Why should they know about it? Anything? I'm all about helping, but you gotta help people help you.

    July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarta (GigMasters)

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