Social Media #RoyalWedding #RW2011

When William’s parents married in 1981, there were around 3,500 in St Paul’s Cathedral, and it is estimated that around 750 million people watched on TV (I was 6, and most of the people from our (breathren) church watched it around someone else’s house).

So, in the age of social media, how many are going to be engaging with social media. As of writing this (Thursday afternoon), #RoyalWedding and ‘William & Kate’ have been trending (amongst the top 10 mentioned topics) all day, and as I cycled past Westminster Abbey this morning, I could check in on Foursquare/send a photo of the chaos outside… and I won’t be the only one. Billions are likely to be using all styles of Social Media to talk about the Royal Wedding (whether in positive or negative terminology), and Greenlight have produced the following inforgraphic, demonstrating that even last week, the wedding was mentioned every 10 seconds:


The Royal Household have been keen to engage with Social Media (it would be interesting to know where the push for this came from, the marketing team, or the couple themselves), for a wedding which clearly is of interest across the world (if you believe eveything you see, of more interest for those outside the UK!). So, what are some of the ways that social media are being used:

  1. On Facebook join over 380,000 fans  The British Monarchy Facebook Page, indicate whether you’re “attending” the event , or sign one of the online Wedding Books (‘The People’s Wedding Book), or, along with nearly 70,000 others, add your name to the The Wedding Book App to wish them a happy marriage.
  2. On Twitter, follow @clarencehouse, @BBCroyalwedding and @ITNroyalwedding (or the unofficial @royalwedding)to keep up with updates (official and media). Check out the hashtags #royalwedding and #rw2011 to engage in conversations about the Royal Wedding.
  3. Read the Royal Wedding ‘Order of Service‘ from the PDF which has been made available (of course, amongst all the hype, William and Kate will make the same vows as any other marrying couple).
  4. Watch the Royal Channel Live Stream, accompanied by a live multi-media blog put together by St. James’s Palace, and even become one of the 52,000 subscribers to the Channel.
  5. View the royal wedding photos on The British Monarchy Flickr Page tagged rw2011, or the public content tagged the same.
  6. Donate money to the Royal Wedding Charity Fund (I wonder if that will stop them receiving strange gifts – such as Charles/Diana received a piece of toast, burnt in someone’s excitement… which was slop by the time it was opened!).

Whatever you think about the Royal Wedding (and most tweets/Facebook posts I’ve seen are along the lines are “wish them well, of course, but not that bothered personally”), it is definitely a fascinating case study in the use of social media… so, are the Royal Family seeking to use it to become “The People’s Monarchy” (the idea of ‘The People’s x’ started with ‘The People’s War’ in the Second World War’ (see the section ‘The Planning of the First Posters’ on my PhD), then there was ‘The People’s Princess’, now….

If you want to see the route in 3D from Google Earth (quite a good way to get a different perspective on London:

and if you’ve not seen this video by T-Mobile, you’ve missed out on a great piece of viral marketing!

I will probably sleep through the wedding itself, but no worries that I won’t see what’s happened – via the platforms above, via YouTube, via the rolling news stories online for the rest of the day!]

This post was first written for BigBible.

By Digital Fingerprint

Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @ Manchester Metropolitan University. Interested in digital literacy and digital culture  in the third sector (especially faith). Author of 'Raising Children in a Digital Age', regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.

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