3 Companies in Wales nailing social media

Social media is a constant minefield for so many of us. So to begin my Tech Dragons column, I thought I’d start off with a spotlight on a few companies I think are really starting to harness social media in Wales and beyond.

It takes a while for tech to trickle its way to Wales sometimes, but here a few great examples. Let us know in the comments who else you think deserves a mention!

Confused.com

Based on Greyfriars Road in Cardiff, Confused.com is a big player in the insurance/comparison industry in South Wales.

The numbers

Twitter followers: 65k

Facebook fans: 32k

The rivals

Many other comparison sites have comparatively far lower numbers. Despite its recent promoted trend ‘Gio Returns’, fellow Wales-based company Go Compare is currently on just shy of 10k Twitter followers and almost non-existent on Facebook.

Compare the Market is only on just over 3,000 followers because its campaigns centre around mascots instead – with ‘Mr Aleksander’ receiving similar numbers to Confused on Twitter but far more on Facebook. Confused.com has at least managed to centre its following around itself, rather than its Brian the Robot mascot – which may give more flexibility in deploying content in the future.

The content

In my opinion, Confused has got the right idea by becoming a publisher in its own right. Its frequent articles and blogs have a slightly ‘buzzfeed’ type feel to them, and it invests heavily in design work and infographics. In fact, when you go to its recruitment web page, the only ads there are three design focused-vacancies. It’s also managed to harness plenty of user-generated content by encouraging parents to share pictures of their kids with the ‘Brain The Robot Toys’.

Do it yourself

Generate and deploy articles and blogs frequently that appeal to your audience on a human (not a corporate) level. Take inspiration from the type of content you’d read on your sofa in front of the tv, and remember that with social you’re targeting people in their own personal time!

Howies

Located in West Wales, Howies is a great example of a really interesting company that doesn’t need any corporate BS. Founded by David Hiaett in the 90s before he moved on to other local projects, the company is also great at showing it’s invested in local events and news.

The numbers

Twitter: 14k

Facebook 17k

Instagram: 5k

The rivals

Howies, in my opinion, has done exceptionally well in carving out its own niche. If you’ve ever heard David Hiaett speak, he’s exceptionally passionate around getting West Wales retail and manufacture working. Check out Huit Denim and The Do Lectures for some similar numbers, projects and vibes.

The content

Retail on social is a fine balancing act between showing off your great products and over-selling. Howies fixes this problem by mixing product shots in situ with local events and its interesting staff. This also extends to its website, where you can really get invested in its people without any rubbish corporate headshots. Instead, the website is full of the firm’s employees’ cute self-portraits and a bespoke font – again hand-crafted to suit them exactly.

Do it yourself

If you’re a retailer, remember to be specific about your products and place them in situ for social. Invest in getting your staff involved on social media too, and show your customers you value your employees just as much as you value your sales.

Cadw

Cadw is the historic environment service for the Welsh Government – in other words it maintains all the castles. I was told by a good friend a few days ago that Wales has the most castles per capita than any other country in the world, so it stands to reason that Cadw should be pretty popular on social media.

 The numbers

Twitter (English): 12.5k

Twitter (Cymraeg): 1954

Facebook 9.8k

The rivals

As a comparison, I took a quick look at the National Trust Wales pages, and both the English and Welsh language Twitter accounts were slightly lower in numbers. Personally, I’d put this down to using content from visitors as much as possible and having super clear focus.

The content

Cadw has managed to harness lots of user-generated content and pictures – making its job far, far easier. It’s also translating as much content as possible over to its Welsh language channel and bi-lingual updates on its main Facebook page. This usually gets less engagement but is a requirement in accordance with Welsh language policies.

Do it yourself

Encourage your customers to share and promote your venues, services or products for you, and make sure you have good searches in place on Twitter to listen out for those people who aren’t tweeting you directly. For example, Cadw might search regularly for ‘Conwy Castle’. If you’ve got more than one account to manage with separate languages, it’s helpful to use a scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite.

Image credit: Jason Howie/Flickr