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The Common Touch: Social Media and the Royals.
28 Apr 2011
With only a day to go, everyone’s getting very excited about the impending royal nuptials. I still can’t muster anything stronger than mild curiosity, but I appear to be in the minority and yet here I am blogging about it again! I’m mostly impressed with the Royals’ continued commitment to social media. In the last few days they’ve really ramped up the activity; this really is going to be a royal wedding of its age. If you can’t get down to London, or near a TV in the UK, you can watch the official YouTube Channel live to see them stream the BBC’s coverage, even if it is without the commentary. Once it’s over, YouTube will keep the coverage there, so you can relive the event as much as you please – better than an interactive Google Maps Street View – although, I expect you could do both at the same time if you want!
The Royal Household staff are going to upload their snaps to Flickr and will be updating a live multimedia blog throughout the day. They’ll also be tweeting continually and are encouraging the use of the hash tag #rw2011. So there’s room for ‘unofficial’ or more unguarded moments – a far cry from the stuffy, old-fashioned image the Royal Family are trying to escape. It will be interesting to see how thick and fast the tweets and posts are tomorrow, and just how much is posted by both the official sources and the wider public. If you want to go the extra mile, you can submit a message of good luck to the happy couple via the YouTube Royal Channel’s ‘wedding book.’ They have disabled comments but seeing that as many people ‘dislike’ the wedding book as ‘like’ it, I’m sure there are plenty of detractors that they want to discourage from commenting. That may be the thinking behind the new Facebook page they’ve put up, which serves as a landing page to direct people to the official sites rather than letting people go straight in and comment. That said, they have now created a Facebook event, which allows you to say that ‘you’re attending’ – again a small detail, but an inclusive one. It’s a historical occasion and lots of people are excited, so it’s fitting that this is being broadcasted so far and wide through as many media as possible – using the social networks we’re all using everyday. I’m glad they’ve made the effort to engage their subjects and make it a participatory event, even though a lot of people will be a long way from events at Westminster Abbey. The wedding does seem to have captured a lot of people’s imagination in these times of austerity, which is just as well as there’s nowhere to hide from it! With that in mind be sure to check out our Leeds based social media products, specialising in social engagement and community building strategies. (Photo: Online Social Media)