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DJ Talk: Why I Am A Wedding DJ Not Embracing Social Media

27 September 2020

These past few weeks have been quite busy for me. I went from no weddings since March 7th (close to 6 months) due to COVID 19 to 2 weddings in a 3 week span. Both weddings were thankfully a tremendous success. Time is literally flying so fast right now, and as we are now in the latter part of September, and will be kicking off October very soon. Normally we should be thinking about a packed Fall schedule.  Instead, Charleston is still looking at a high degree of uncertainty with it's wedding industry as we continue to meander around the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. Simply put, no one knows how this pandemic is going to shake out. During this downtime and through this long period of uncertainty, I've been thinking a lot about my company and potential new ways to connect with my current and prospective clients.  Today's post is about social media, and my lack of it in recent years as it pertains to my company. I've managed to garner a rather impeccable reputation without the excessive use of social media and wanted to let my clients know where I stand with these platforms

 Over the years, I've had  a love / hate relationship over the years with most all of the platforms of social media, but in recent years, I've grown disillusioned with the constant change in algorithms. This change in algorithms has caused a lot of the work that's been put into social media to become unnoticed by the small fraction of clients who just so happen to find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.  Back at the end of 2016 and the early parts of 2017, I began to post a lot of compelling content that began to attract a lot of wedding planners from all over the world, as well as a lot of local wedding vendors. Then, as time progressed the algorithm began to change and I began to wonder where the followers went.

Social Media Is Lots Of Work For Very Little Return On Investment Of Time
Back in the fall of 2019, I launched my very own podcast: The Mike Bills Podcast.  Putting together a podcast (the right way) was a very lengthy process.  Luckily, my prior radio experience allowed me to gain experience in audio production, which assisted in me designing and putting together the final product.   One of the reasons that podcasts fail is because most people are not aware of the time and energy it takes to try to get people to find your podcast and listen to it. Allowing brides and grooms to find your podcast  is a lot like having brides and grooms find your website. It's taken me years and a lot of resources for me to be into a situation where brides and grooms can find me easily. Well, after I put my podcast together, I wanted to begin to sell it online, specifically on Instagram. Over the years, I had seen many people use the Instagram Stories to showcase 15 second commercials with music behind them. For whatever reason, I could never get the "music feature" to work on my Instagram app. After several deletions of the app on my phone, I gave up and decided to professionally produce promos for each one of my podcasts.  These small promos would be produced into Adobe Premiere and uploaded into my Instagram stories.  Every time I would upload these promos to my stories, the same people would like them, including people in Africa, Malaysia, and Russia. Did any prospective brides looking for a wedding DJ in Charleston see that I had a podcast about wedding DJing? I'll never know. There is no real way to measure this, but when you very few local wedding vendors liking these posts, what good is it for me to spend my time to produce quality content when no one is going to see it? 

12,000 Followers And You Only Have 100 Likes On A Post
I reached out to a few of my wedding vendors who own companies and services that might be more friendly on Instagram and Facebook. One of these was a photographer who had close to 12,000 followers. It would be completely understandable for a photographer (if they are excellent in their shooting) to have 12,000 followers. After all, Instagram is about pictures, isn't it?  I noticed that even some of the most compelling and "wedding-inspiration" worthy images had only 100 likes. Why didn't the other 99% of this person's followers like the post? Why didn't even 50% of this person's followers like the post? After I saw common themes of this problem across the platform, I began to question all the time I had been putting into creating content on Instagram.  It was not soon after I got on Instagram that I learned that you need to amass 10,000 followers to add hyperlinks into your IG stories. In case you missed it, my wedding DJ blog has become one of the highest ranked blogs on Google.  You better believe I thought about the possible reach I could experience if I was able to successfully share links to my blog on IG stories. How long was it going to take to get `10,000 followers though? Is it really worth the time to try to build a following like that if only 100 people are going to like a post? Who are those 100 people? Are they prospective brides or grooms? How do I know who they are? As you can see, there are lots of questions about social media. Looking at my website analytics, the clickover rates from my social media platforms have been minimal, but I keep them up anyway. At the end of the day, this is totally NOT worth my time.  I would rather convey my thoughts about this industry and what I am going to provide my clients on this medium, rather than a medium that doesn't give me what I want.

Social Media Platforms Are Getting SUPER Strict On Recorded Music 
If you look at a lot of wedding DJs and their social media accounts, you might see some footage from their recent weddings. Perhaps they caught a brief 30-60 seconds of  a bride and groom dancing with their bridal party to their favorite Jay-Z song.  It's an awesome display of the skills to show prospective clients that the wedding dJ knows how to fill the dance floor.  But, did the wedding DJ ask Jay-Z if they could use his song in that little snippit of the video? Odds are no. Does the DJ own the license to use that Jay-Z song for whatever he or she wants? Odds are no.  Do you think Jay-Z is going to let the DJ use his song for whatever purpose without paying thousands of dollars? No, and even the biggest DJ services in the country don't have the capital to purchase licenses of that nature to allow them to use "one" song.   Professional wedding DJs pay fees to ASCAP / BMI on an annual to play music, but that does not cover uploading a video of a packed dance floor. I suppose that you could remove the sound, but that sort of defeats the purpose of uploading the video. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more bands, as well as DJs began to livestream their performances. Effective October 1, 2020 Facebook will be clamping down on this practice and has threatened to shut down a lot of pages for this type of activity. There has been no word on Instagram's practices, but since FB and IG are owned by the same entity, you can bet there will be a similar precedent on that social media platform too. 

Record labels and representatives of musicians are constantly scouring social media platforms looking for recorded music in videos.  Back in August of 2019, I had just finished setting up at my wedding and was doing a soundcheck. I was playing a song and took a quick video with a song playing in the background.  It took close to 6 months, but I received an email from Twitter saying that this tweet would be removed from my profile because it contained a video of recorded music. This was the biggest clue that record labels were paying people to flag videos online with recorded music in them. The same thing also happened back in March 2020 at one of my weddings before COVID. I had uploaded a snippit of a video to IG and unlike the Twitter experience, this video was taken down within the hour.

Social Media Is Good For "In The Moment" Stuff,  But Not To Sell Yourself Online
I've always looked at social media as one of those things where you could quickly showcase something going on with you right then and there.   But as a wedding DJ, you begin to limit yourself if you are becoming more and more fearful that the content that you are putting up is going to be removed because there is recorded music inside it.  If you are a photographer, you got it made. If you are a caterer and want to upload a photo of the main course of a 5 course sit-down dinner at a luxury wedding, you've got it made.  I guess you could say that social media is awesome for "visual" things, but to be honest with you, if I am not going to benefit by booking more great modern brides and grooms like you, then it's not worth my time. 

I Got So Frustrated With Social Media That I Deleted One Of My Accounts
At the beginning of 2020, I got so enraged and frustrated with social media that I deleted my account. I have since created a new Instagram profile that is only a fraction of the old one. The sad part of this new profile is I am seeing the same things on it that were happening on the old profile. Spam followers, people from on the other side of the world and so forth were beginning to occupy this brand new profile. So, I give up on trying to be the best wedding DJ on Instagram.  Nearly 100% of my clients have found me through Google search, so I am going to continue to put together a world-class website to sell myself as a wedding DJ with an ever-growing blog that has become one of the highest ranked on the world wide web.

Facebook Groups Can Be Very Impersonal Too
During the pandemic I joined a few Facebook groups and have noticed a lot of wedding vendors posting that they need a particular wedding vendor and you'll see 25-30 comments with different companies.  If you arrived at the post late and realize they were looking for a DJ, you certainly don't want to be comment #29. Why didn't this vendor just do a Google Search for what they needed? If they had done this, they would have seen some of the top wedding vendors for that particular category on Page 1 of Google.  I've also had impersonal experiences with people throwing my name into certain Facebook groups without ever going to my website. If you want to learn more the most of someone you really want to work with, you have to head over to their website.   Their website is what truly identifies them, it's their viewpoint and totally explains what you'll be getting. I've got everything you need on my website for you to make an educated decision on hiring a wedding DJ. You've got links to my podcasts, real weddings, popular wedding playlists, and you can also get inside my mind by reading over my blog.  It's all there for you. 

Wanna Hire Mike Bills To Be Your Wedding DJ?
And there you have it. My viewpoints on social media. I constantly see people talking about social media as though I wouldn't be operating my business effectively without it. Well, I suppose if I am happy with the way things are going right now, I see no reason to start a greater exploration into social media.  This post was more or less an informational post letting my clients know where I stand with social media. It can be a huge selling point, but it can also be a huge debbie-downer when you put so much time into your content and it's taken down. I would love to be your wedding DJ.  I really appreciate you taking the time to find me online and make it through the end of this post.  Finding the best wedding DJ for your most special day should never be a hasty decision. Even if you should not hire me to be the DJ at your wedding, I hope you'll find some of the guidance you find on my website to be of great help in your DJ search.  If you'd like to set up a time to speak with me, please click on the link up above and we'll set up a time to speak.  Thank you so much for checking me out.