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Reaching the Masses via Social Media: What the Royals Got Right

In United Kingdom on August 13, 2011 by sdaniellebenjamin Tagged: , , , , , , ,

When you think of those people and groups that use social media well, there are a few types that easily come to mind: people in their late teens to mid thirties, the super internet savvy and… the royals?

Believe it or not, the Queen and her posse of royalty are fairly active via the social media networks. Granted, perhaps it shouldn’t have come at such a surprise considering more than 80 percent of the UK population is online. I just arrived in London this morning and started checking out various tourist sites and attractions. Of course, Buckingham Palace (and the dress) was top on my list. Low and behold, when I went to view the official website for The Royal Collection, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were effectively using a couple of social platforms to reach the masses.

What the Royals Got Right

Twitter: With over 225,000 followers, @TheBritishMonarchy is leading the way as it engages its audience of both the English and “fans” from across the world who love to follow the celebutante royals. By regularly tweeting information on events and activities taking place at the Palace, one can easily plan a visit around the daily schedules that most interest them. While this is a significant first step, the Monarchy may also consider more two-way conversation with their audience. When appropriate, answering questions or sharing thoughts based on Twitter comments they receive can be a way to show that they are in touch with those who follow them.

Flicker: No, we’re not suggesting that anyone do that to the Queen. BUT the Royal Collection website connects visitors to its flicker page where they regularly post photos of weddings, marches and other exciting happenings of the Palace. The visuals provide an easy storytelling opportunity that can be easily incorporated into the existing site as a way of moving the visitor through a historical narrative of a day in the life of a royal. In this way, the visitor isn’t just looking at pictures, but they can begin to imagine themselves living the “privileged” life.

How Can the Queen Take it Up a Notch?

  • Despite concerns that Facebook is declining in the UK, the immense popularity of this social media site makes it almost impossible to ignore this platform. Establishing a Royal Collection facebook page where people can “friend” the royals and have easy access to photos, page links and other interesting tidbits would be another way to invite the commoner into their world.
  • Just this July, YouTube had its biggest month of traffic ever in the UK. As video watching on mobile devices continues to grow, this opens up another avenue that the royals can employ to share footage with the people. Who wouldn’t love to see the changing of the guards or a celebratory event at the Palace… and then easily share it with friends and family across the country and the world via their smartphone or other mobile device?

I am so excited about my first time in London and my plan is to see as many sights and experience the city for all that it has to offer! The Buckingham Palace is definitely staying on my list and the social tools the royals use just make it easier for me to stay up-to-date and get the fullest out of my visit.

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One Response to “Reaching the Masses via Social Media: What the Royals Got Right”

  1. This is a topic where it would be tough to not boil the ocean, so to speak and there are plenty of examples out there of the Royal Family using social media. You share two interesting ones, and I loved your excitement about experiencing Buckingham Palace and I hope you did make it there. Your examples you found were good ones, and I appreciated your effort to try and offer some real suggestions for what else the Royal Family could do to use social media. Unfortunately, the fact that you probably researched and wrote this quite quickly meant that you missed some fairly big efforts already happening. For example, the British Monarchy was one of the first in the world to create an “official” YouTube channel which now has more than 32 million video views (http://www.youtube.com/user/TheRoyalChannel). In addition, the British Monarchy already has a Facebook page with significant engagement (https://www.facebook.com/TheBritishMonarchy) and more than half a million fans already. From your post, it seemed that you didn’t find (or at least focus) on either of these. This illustrates the danger of writing about a topic like this a bit too quickly or offering general conclusions without digging deeply enough into what was already out there. (3)

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