The GBBO model of social media management.
Unless you live with your head firmly under a rock and your television set unplugged and facing the wall, you’ll have heard of, seen, and become addicted to, the Great British Bake Off.
The programme, which began in 2010, has recently returned in style and after amassing some of the highest viewing figures on the BBC this year, has been granted its own emoji on Twitter, and a following of over 1.5m across all social media platforms.
And yes, it can of course be argued that Bake Off has become so popular because of its content – its British niche, its diverse contestants, its kitsch homely branding and pastel painted rolling pins; but it is, at its most basic description, a cooking competition.
So what is it exactly that makes this foodie show stand out from the crowd? Longer running shows such as Master Chef, or Saturday Kitchen have never laid claim to cutesy emojis, or prime time viewing slots. And when the show first began, it scarcely scratched through the surface of a tea-time talk topic.
But now it’s online. And in the last five years, the Twitter profiles, Instagram Accounts and Facebook pages for the Great British Bake Off have actually lapped the viewing figures for the show itself.
So how have they done it, and how can you use it to help boost your business’s social media footprint in this digital age?
From the biggest televised baking programme to the smallest of puppy grooming parlours, every business should have a consistent social media campaign – to attract and inform, entertain and retain the interest of your consumers.
The digital marvels behind the GBBO Twitter account have got these four goals down to a T. They keep a consistent voice, schedule, content structure and media use in every Tweet they post, building up a relationship of familiarity and reliability with their audience that is clearly paying off pretty well for them.
With a system of at least one Tweet a day, reminding their followers of the upcoming programme or sharing their highlights of the previous one, and then a session of live Tweets as the episode airs for users to join in with and reply to, their social media timelines can almost be as entertaining as the programme itself.
But even if you’re not a business with a major weekly event to Tweet or post about, there are still plenty of useful tips you can pick up from the Bake Off social media accounts.
- Humour (Or a voice that suits your branding). For any of us who have had that age old argument over ‘it wasn’t what you said, it’s the way you said it’, the concept of conscious inflection is a familiar one, and one that really can make a big difference to how to interact with consumers. The voice behind the Bake Off Twitter account is one of enthusiasm and warmth, and the mad appreciation for the inane baking show that has taken over the UK – it compliments the tone of the show, and creates a secondary screen for Bake Off to be enjoyed upon. But if you’re a business with a more serious or professional branding, then a regular stream of topical facts or personal updates could work in your favour. Adopting a persona to humanise your branding is a simple route to establishing a relationship with your consumers, one that allows them to see you as more than just the machine they Google you on. (Source: Twitter @greatbritishbakeoff)
- Creative Media. The mediums of photography, videography, and graphic design are some of social medias most hidden gems. A Tweet with an image is more likely to catch an eye than one without, whilst a video story on Instagram is more likely to entertain than a still picture. Get creative with your photography – attaching a cosy pic of your morning coffee to the first Tweet of the day is going to be make for a much more aesthetically pleasing timeline for consumers to enjoy that a simple, unfiltered line of text. Create an official and unique aesthetic for your business, whether it be exposed and polished, matte and low lit, or graphic and colourful, and use this format across every image, graphic and video you use to transmit your brand. GBBO has already bagsied the British-in-the-springtime pastel palette, with their flo-fauna flags and sugary sweet crockery, so take the time to find your own palette to suit the business you want the public to see.(Source: Instagram @britishbakeoff)
- Verification. Ah that little blue tick that walks the line between official and officially faked. With that tick, it doesn’t matter what your account does, says, and how many times you use the #mondaymotivation, your Twitter account is authentic, and has been deemed useful and safe for the public to view. This tick can encourage consumers to engage with your profile, as they will know that it is trustworthy, and can also, by simple visual approval, make your account seem more important and professional. And now that Twitter has opened up an application process for the tick, if you’re a valid business or public brand, every account can be submitted for verification! To get your own Blue Tick, or to find out more about the Verification, a Twitter blogger has written a helpful little guide to talk you through the process. Good luck! (Source: yourpieceofcake.com)
- Keywords. Every Tweet you share, every Instagram you post, every Facebook status you write will contain keywords. These are essentially the words that search engines and topic lists will pick up on to help bring your relevant content to the top of the search results page. If your business blogs, include as many keywords that can be linked to your niche as possible for example; ‘bake off’ ‘bake’ ‘gbbo’ ‘great british’ ‘baking’ ‘berry’ ‘hollywood’ are all keywords used, linked to, and easily identifiable with the Great British Bake Off. These are words that, should you type them into any search engine, social media search box, or SEO site, will connect you to the closest relevant name or topic. And to make sure that your brand, business or blog is at the top of that results list, narrow down your keywords, and tuck them into every corner of your site, social media, and digital space possible. Image names, URL slugs, hashtags, alt text options, snippets…The more a keyword is repeated, the higher it climbs that results page.
- Management. Your social media response time is something that genuinely does make a real difference in how consumers will view your brand. And whilst an account as large and popular as @britishbakeoff might not necessarily get the chance to reply or retweet every message and mention they get, they certainly make an effort to include their viewers in their social media profiles .Whether it’s a comical response, a share, a like or a follow, their accounts are ones of engagement and they have the power to make the consumer feel connected and en-par with their favourite show. So whether you employ someone to run your social media, use your own existing staff members, or simply do it yourself, making time to boost your social media profiles can definitely pay off in attracting new clients and users!
So before the Great British Bake Off descends up into BBC heaven and becomes a stripped bare Channel 4 nightmare, why not take the chance to make the most of the GBBO social media model, and build up your own business footprint around it?