As the countdown for Prince William's wedding to Kate Middleton continues (counting down, anyone?), look at some of the official Royal social media efforts to draw people in from around the globe:
- @ClarenceHouse (named for the official residence of the Prince of Wales) has a steady stream of information it's releasing, from who's doing the flowers to Twitpics of the gathering hordes. It's created a hashtag to keep track of wedding wishes coming the young couple's way on Twitter (#rw2011, in case you'd like to be one of them), and will be providing live updates on the day of the wedding.
- You can "RSVP" to the wedding via its Facebook page (and some of the responses in themselves are worth "liking" the page).
- It's keeping its Flickr stream updated.
- Its YouTube channel will live-stream the wedding, and is letting well-wishers leave their own video messages for the couple.
- And just in case you missed any of the above, the official Royal Wedding website puts it all together for you.
But back to the Royals. Here's an institution which has, for centuries, retained its mystique by locking itself away in a proverbial ivory tower, and now it has made a huge about-face.
I'm no royal expert, but it looks to me like the Monarchy is taking the opportunity to capitalize on the goodwill (and fascination) that a lot of people still have for Will's mom, aka the late Diana, Princess of Wales. (I must confess, I was a fan.) And perhaps -- though don't quote me on it -- the Monarchy is leveraging nearly every social media tool imaginable to counter the "little" image problem said Royals have been grappling with since the passing of said Princess D.
The official line from the palace is that the digitally savvy Prince Will and Kate just want more folks to be able to watch.
Whatever it is, the sheer social media saturation is pretty remarkable -- and instructive.
Yes, the Royals have the resources to do so, but we've talked before about how you don't have to spend a ton of money to "get" social, whether it's becoming a media source or building your community to "back" your way into PR.
You don't have to spend a lot of money (though you do have to spend the time). But most of all, you do have to have the desire to actually connect with people, who might turn into potential customers and evangelizers.
So if a centuries-old institution that, in earlier years, couldn't have spelled the word "social" if you'd put an Oxford dictionary in front of it, is now not just using social media, but embracing it...