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Social media RC experience



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  • This is the story of River Cottage and their social media. The most common question we get is “I can set up my twitter account but I don’ t know what to do with it…talk about ’ so this session is aimed at giving you lots of ideas and help with using social media for your business. Also to understand how to be strategic about social media and This is a case study of River Cottage – helping you to learn from what River Cottage have done.
  • Iit’s obviously all about Hugh Fearnly-Whittinstall – started as a sous Chef in London’s River Café and then became a journalist Since 1997 – when river cottage started in Dorset, in the gatekeepers house inSlape Manor in Netherbury , Dorset then many other cottages until bought Park Farm in 2006, a 66 acre farm here. Not saying they are experts at Social Media – it is just they do it well
  • There’s only 15 people that run the events at River Cottage
  • Twitter 10 million active UK users of Twitter – and 80% of them now connect via mobile @rivercottage (River Cottage) Followers – 60,143 Weekly : 700 Re-Tweets 3000 Click-Through 2. @RCHQevents (Visit River Cottage) Followers - 3,683 3. @RCFeedback (River Cottage) Followers - 210
  • They have two other ones that need to be removed – Bath Canteen
  • Suggestions – Claim the page too to create adverts related to check-in – so when people check-in, their friends see the river cottage advert – might relate to an app download or the FB page
  • Note: 15,777 views of the River Cottage fire video
  • River Cottage are tagged in thousands of photographs – by them and by others 8,277 views of summer members party, 36,009 views of the pop-up hotel
  • Add a new recipe and get recipes Can sign in using Facebook – makes it REALLY easy to engage
  • And it helps you to receive the newsletter at the same time This is done by using Facebook API (application programming interface) Single sign on (SSO) AND it will show in Facebook when you have signed up too.
  • Start your own blog and read other people ’ s
  • Changing the mindset means they then want to buy from you.
  • Where most of us are is in particiaption – where River Cottage are is in Community Building – Kate improve slide with animation
  • Events and courses at River Cottage are the mainstay of the business. They run around 300 events a year
  • Clear and obvious on the website. This is the centre of bookings for courses and events. ‘Its all about the website’ Easy to book online and to add in all the details you need too.
  • Show the video – this video footage was then used
  • Note people comment the most when there is a video posted 104 people liked this and look at the number of commented – are these people ‘super fans’ Important thing is that these people’s comments are posted on their friends pages, sharing the messages further.
  • This is also about community building
  • Facebook app powered by open table
  • First news breaking on Twitter Social Media lead : Murry : in South East working
  • Blog updates
  • Date for the start of courses 24 th Feb – 2 weeks later.


  • 1. Social Media – The River Cottage experience welcome #rivercottage
  • 2. About the Project
  • 3. What are the project aims?• To provide improved broadband connectivity in specific rural areas that get slow* or non-existent services (and may never get high speed services)• to support business productivity• to benefit the wider community *(under 2mbps)
  • 4. Who is involved?• Devon & Somerset County Councils• Funded by RDPE (Rural Development Programme for England)Delivery Partners• Tooway Direct – broadband solution• Cosmic – providing IT support & advice
  • 5. What is the project offering?• If you are eligible – Free satellite and installation (pay monthly fee for broadband starts at £25 a month) – Free one-to-one IT help and support – Free group workshops
  • 6. How fast is my speed?Visitwww.broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk
  • 7. Social media& River Cottage
  • 8. Strategy, facts and figuresRiver Cottage on…4.Marketing5.Campaigning6.CrisisQuestions
  • 9. What is River Cottage?‘less dependence on the outside world, food integrity, and the consumption of local, seasonal produce.’
  • 10. As a business?Food, multimedia & TV company – Courses & events – Restaurants - Plymouth & Axminster Canteens – Film company (Keo films) – Books, DVDs, food column
  • 11. River Cottage Team Social media side •Graeme – marketing manager •Murry – digital producerTime spent working on social media? Roughly 1.5 days a week
  • 12. Facts & figures• Social media tools used by River Cottage• the ‘guided tour’ of application, facts and figures• the overview of strategy and how impact is measured
  • 13. What tools do they use?Off site – Twitter – Facebook – Flickr – YouTubeOn site – Blog – Forum 14
  • 14. Social Media Cycles• River Cottage is on its 3rd – 4th Cycle• The process is cyclical – not linear• Constant review, monitoring, improvement• Repeat the things which work well• Fit to business activities, key messages, events
  • 15. Facts & figures - Twitter7 Twitter accounts@rivercottage60,143 Followers@RCHQevents3,683 Followers@RCFeedback210 Followers
  • 16. Twitter - Canteens• Plymouth – @plymouthcanteen – Followers 1,959 – @plymfeedback – Followers 0• Axminster – @axcanteen – Followers 2,411
  • 17. Facebook.com/rivercottagehq• River Cottage HQ – 62,273 ‘likes’ – 3.4 million impressions per week – 2140 new likes last week
  • 18. Check-in/Places Facebook Check-in• HQ – 1,351• Axminster Canteen – 2,392• Plymouth Canteen - 1071
  • 19. YouTube156 official videosYouTubeVimeo
  • 20. Flickr
  • 21. Onsite - Community Forums Create your own blog Questions Recipes My page 300,000 users
  • 22. Find a recipeUpload your ownrecipe
  • 23. Community created blogs
  • 24. River CottageWhat’s the strategy?
  • 25. Customer journeyMoving people ..to passionateFrom interested • Growing •Brand advocates • Sustainability •Attend events • Curious about the Brand • Curious about Hugh •Join in campaigns • Living a rural life •Get into growing/eating/ cooking •Lifestyle choice
  • 26. What’s the strategy?• Who? Audience – urban : people desire country living, association with River Cottage product and experience – local : developing connection with the local base and ability to visit, buy and share experience• Why? Engage – Build brand – Communicate – Customer services – Marketing channel – Campaign
  • 27. DemographicsBiggest segment-25 – 44 year olds Sprout social demographicGender-split -44% male56% female
  • 28. What’s the strategy?• What? Brand • When? – Recipes – During TV shows – Menus – During events – Sell events – Pre and post events – Added value and courses – Advocacy• Where? Channels – Twitter – Facebook – YouTube – Flickr – Blogs
  • 29. Social media engagement ladder Community building Content Forum creation Facebook Participation You Tube LinkedIn Blog Newsletter Twitter Flickr Facebook iTunes Virtual worldsListen TwitterGoogle AlertsTwitterGoogle ReaderLess time More time
  • 30. Choose your Channel• Find the right application and platform for the message and content• Where is your audience?• Split channels – Separate brand – Different audience – Emphasis (eg campaign)• Use #hashtag
  • 31. Questions?
  • 32. River Cottage on…sales & marketing
  • 33. Sales & Marketingusing social media for ‘bottom line’activities – and how does it supportgeneral promotion and brand?
  • 34. River Cottage Events• About 300 events every year at RCHQ• Private, public, invited events & courses – 4 day courses – Day courses – Day and evening events – Weddings, corporate events, parties
  • 35. How can social media help sales? … ‘Generates a good crowd of followers who know you and like you’ – Encourage shares – Give out good content – Mix sales into the messages
  • 36. ‘It’s all about the website’Everything comes back to thewebsite - CentraldestinationEasy to book & payBack end integration withdatabase
  • 37. Creative selling‘Create stories – lead through editorial’ – Visual – Photography, video – Engaging people – with product – In experiences – Raising desire for product & experience“Make it Fun! … don’t be too worthy”
  • 38. Hugh’s Fishing Trip posted to… – Fish Fight – Blog – attract people to corporate days – Workshops – training how to prep & cook fish – Autumn Cookery Course – extended training – Facebook page – Twitter streams – 1 video 6 uses – Content shared ….. then used to sell
  • 39. River Cottage Posting rulesDon’t post ANYTHING unless3. Small amount of value4. There’s advocacy attached5. Shares expertise or knowledge
  • 40. Example:Get Growing in SpringTwo day visitor weekend March
  • 41. Pre-event publicity• Created stories around speakers, animals, activities going on during the event• Stories were Tweeted, Facebook, through e-newsletter and blogged• Created a hash tag #GetGrowingInSpring
  • 42. Run up to the event
  • 43. On the day of the eventGraeme took photos all day and posted them on TwitterStill engaged with people during that dayPosted on Twitter and Facebook
  • 44. Re-tweeting people’s comments (listening using TweetDeck)
  • 45. After the event… Encouraging people to post their photos
  • 46. Advertise events in Facebook EventsPublic event
  • 47. Facebook Page – Book a table at the Canteen
  • 48. Dealing with Feedback@Rcfeedback•Sells events•Not a big twitterfeed or following•But used inwebsite auto-pullfeeds onfeedback
  • 49. Dealing with complaints
  • 50. Learning points• Create stories• Use video content and re-use liberally• Use content to encourage share – then sell• Encourage commentary• Engage before, during and after event• Encourage click-through to website
  • 51. Learning points• Patience is Key – Accumulated effect – it takes time – Immediate returns are obvious but trickle- effect is also working – Build-up of messages and engagement – Tickets sell so fast, because people are for tickets already. They are already waiting, engaged.
  • 52. Questions?
  • 53. River Cottage on…Campaigning
  • 54. Campaigning & Social Media– a match made in heaven! •Brand reinforcement •Building community •Advocacy is an important business skill – show you care! •Building your reputation •Shows wider interest and commitment, passion
  • 55. Campaigning• Hugh’s Fish Fight – Half of all caught fish thrown back at sea – ‘discards’ - Hugh joined the campaign to stop discards at sea
  • 56. How did they do it?3 nights of TV helped! Channel 4Fish Fight800,000 signed up to websitepetitionWebsite encouraged Sign up toFacebook, newsletter andTwitter
  • 57. 243,000 likes
  • 58. 30,478 followers
  • 59. • All this aimed to – Tweet to the MEPs involved in the debate – On the day of the debate…. – 140,000 Tweeted in support of the fight changed the minds of the European Parliamentary debate
  • 60. Campaign break down Website with Twitter addresses
  • 61. Look at the number of likes and shares!
  • 62. Campaigning• Compared to – – Chicken-Out • Pre-Social Media • 160,000 signed petition online• FishFight Campaign nominated for BAFTA Award – new media
  • 63. Lessons Learned• It’s not about selling, just using media as a way to influence big change• Must not harm the brand. It must reinforce it• Build drama, get deadlines and create events• Decide an end date
  • 64. How can we campaign?• Decide if you want to set up your own campaign or join in an existing one• Create Facebook Group or Page• Decide if new channel or #HashTag• Create editorial – make it good• Get the storyline• Plan as a 2 year project, create deadline, find it a home after (exit strategy!)
  • 65. Questions?
  • 66. River Cottage on..Crisis management
  • 67. Social Media use during and aftercrisis – how can it help, how can itassist recovery of a business
  • 68. River Cottage CrisisSerious Fire – 7th February 2012Badly affected HQ buildings
  • 69. River Cottage Crisis– Phone lines on-site were down – no communication • Immediate Tweets to share info (and reassure) • Twitter became the communication channel on which to develop key messages, share updates and inform audiences • Commitment to regular updates – follow-up
  • 70. Immediate decisions on priorities 1. Safety – staff and visitors on-site 2. Support for short-term/guests arriving that morning 3. Protecting long term bookings and business
  • 71. ‘Be positive’
  • 72. Handling the media• Gathered interest from press and TV -local, regional, national• Press became reliant on social media channels for updates• News content driven by River Cottage staff and spokes-people• River Cottage remained in control of the story and used materials from social media
  • 73. River Cottage Crisis• Key Social Media use – Twitter • Short, sharp messages and updates • Sharing photos and messages of support – Blog • Narrative and explanation • Information about bookings, what to expect
  • 74. Business as usual – 2 weeks
  • 75. • Social media helped – get message out quickly, accurately, succinctly – Provided place for positive support and response from public – Allowed central resource for materials for the Press, kept control of news stories
  • 76. What happened?- Follower numbers increased–Interest and business support grew as a result–Guest feedback on the new experience washighly positive and supportive–Reduced impact on business, speeded recovery– Maintained reputation
  • 77. Lessons Learned• Act quickly• Say what you will do and do it• Provide images and video for content• Ask followers to spread the word• Tweet short messages – point to your blog or website longer messages• Video is very powerful
  • 78. Questions?
  • 79. Summary
  • 80. Lessons Learned1. ‘Learning to use social media is about cycles’2. ‘Our strategy? We’re about moving people from interested to passionate’3. ‘Point back to the website’4. Don’t post anything unless.. It has value, advocacy, expertise5. ‘Social media is about content’
  • 81. 6. ‘Engage with people’7. ‘Monitor wisely’8. ‘Make it fun’9. ‘Think about when to split channels’10. ‘Be patient’
  • 82. Take a moment….Consider two points from thismorning for you to take awayto either do or learn to do… Questions?
  • 83. Would you like help?Our digital mentors team are here tohelp you0845 094 6108talk@cosmic.org.ukwww.cosmic.org.uk@cosmic_uk Evaluation forms!