What Is a Social Media Consultant and Should You Hire One For Your Wedding?

By Madeleine Luckel
Photo: Courtesy of Kim Kardashian

Have you encountered the burgeoning phenomenon of social media consultants yet? Increasingly, it seems couples are looking to hire a professional to help curate their social media presence on their wedding. And while no two consultants are exactly alike, these types of packages generally include help with coming up with the hashtag and day-of posting duties.

So how exactly did this small but growing industry first come about? “I think the idea of having a social media consultant work on a wedding comes from the fascination that people have with wedding weekends,” says Samantha Roberts, a social media and content creation strategist who works with wedding professionals. “I coordinated one of the first weddings that had a very thorough social media strategy back in April 2014,” she adds. “It was fun to see how many people were tagging friends to follow along, and one of the photos from Instagram was even published in print the next day.”

This fact speaks to Instagram’s ever-increasing power within the extended wedding landscape. After all, if couples weren’t seeing robust wedding presences on their own social media feeds, there wouldn’t be much demand for professional assistance.

Roberts traces back the popularity of Instagram-centric weddings to once specific moment: “The biggest wedding to go viral was Nell Diamond and Teddy Wasserman’s wedding weekend (#NellAndTeddy),” she says. “I remember going to work the following Monday and all of my coworkers had watched this wedding happen through the couple’s hashtag. I think that was the event that changed the wedding social media game.”

For those people out there looking to replicate #NellAndTeddy’s success, or at least have a likable presence of their own, what exactly should you know? “I think there needs to be a social media game plan before every wedding day,” Roberts says. “The right consultant can actually outline how the wedding will look on social and direct what photos go onto what accounts. The consultant can also coordinate the photo sharing with other larger accounts to maximize impressions.”

Roberts is quick to add that every couple should also have a social media-focused meeting with their planner. “This meeting will also help set up some ground rules,” she says. “For example, the bride’s sister could be very shy and not want any photos of her shared. It’s important to know these things before the wedding day.”

Ok, so what should you look for when you book your own consultant? “I think a basic understanding of how a wedding day works is extremely important,” Roberts stresses. “A social media consultant doesn’t walk around with an iPhone taking photos of the couple behind the photographer. Instead, a consultant should work with the photographer to use his or her images, while staying out of the way of both this professional and the couple.”

However, that’s not to say that the couple, and guests, can’t commit social media faux pas of their own on the big day. “I think ceremonies should be completely unplugged,” Roberts says. “The ceremony is such an intimate and important part of the wedding day. Nothing infuriates me more then when I see guests holding iPhones (or iPads) along the aisles. Those devices will be in the couple’s photos forever.”

As for the one big social media taboo: “Never ever show the bride before she walks down the aisle on social media!” Roberts adds. “Every once in a while I’ll see a bridesmaid post a photo of the bride before her big reveal and I cringe,” Roberts laments. “Honestly, this should be a no brainer.”

That type of error can extend to those hired to execute the event as well. “I hate when wedding professionals reveal big moments, such as the reception room, before guests experience it,” Roberts says. “The guests should be able to see something first in real life, before seeing it on a social media post.”

This however isn’t to say that vendors shouldn’t be posting at all. “I wish more couples would communicate their hashtags to their vendors,” Roberts says. “Guests generally only post photos of themselves and their dates at a wedding, so it’s fun to have the vendors also post the details shots.” Now you know, when it comes to your hashtag’s feed in 2018, more often is really more.