Importance of social media in the creation of Old Timey Winey

After I leave University, I hope to go into the marketing profession, looking mainly at social media marketing. So being one of the individuals on this project in charge of the Old Timey Winey social media accounts, was the perfect way to get an insight into what I will be doing in the future. The name of our project needed to be clear in its intentions so we came up with ‘Old Timey Winey.’ This was perfect as it described exactly what we wanted to do, which was recreating both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink recipes from the Early Modern period, from the EMROC website. Part of the project was a social media outlet, we considered various outlets such as a YouTube channel, but in the end, we decided on just Twitter and Instagram.
Social media was a big part of this project. We were relying on Twitter and Instagram to highlight our project and gain attention. Setting up our Twitter account was important because many historians use Twitter as their preferred social media platform, including the various history lecturers at the University of Essex, therefore following them first would gain attention to the project if they followed us back. Twitter was also a good outlet to use as it allows us to post up to 4 pictures on one post and write a short and snappy comment to go along with it due to the 280 character limit. The character limit means that our pictures needed to be sharp and interesting, and the caption needed to be attention-grabbing.
Twitter allows you to retweet and like other people’s posts. By following similar projects such as, @Rare_Cooking and @EMRecipes who followed us back, we have automatically gained more following. If one of these accounts, or any account who follows us retweeted our posts to their high number of followings it gains attention to our account and hopefully means some of their followers follow us too. Following similar projects also gives us an insight into how our profiles should look.
Instagram is very different from Twitter. We were able to get the same handle (@OldTimeyWiney) on both platforms so we could easily link our profiles together. Instagram is a photo central platform, which also has Instagram stories so we are able to post our recreations including our raspberry wine. Instagram is also good because we do not have a word or character limit, therefore we are able to post a caption with the pictures, and then post hashtags to also bring attention to the project.
We also had the task of creating a blog site. This blog site would be used to show all of our recipes and the process behind them, showing the original recipes and the way that we were able to transcribe them and then modernising it. The blog would go alongside our Twitter and Instagram going into more detail about why we chose a certain recipe and showing the step by step process, as some of our recipes took a couple of weeks. (Above image: our blog site)
Hashtags (#) are essential to a social media post. An article from Jenna MacDonald from 2017 on the importance of using hashtags as a way to grow a brand states that they are vital as they make your content viewable by anyone who has an interest in your project because it goes beyond your own following and you are more likely to gain an audience from using them than not. When writing our hashtags, we are able to see if anyone that we follow, follows a certain hashtag.
Instagram is also a good outlet to use as we have set the profile up as a business profile, meaning we are able to see insights on our post and also our profile. Insights on our posts allow us to see how many people it attracted, and we can see how and where people are seeing our posts. Our insights on our Instagram posts show us how many people have seen our post, and how many who haven’t followed us have seen them. As you can see from the picture below, 7 people have found our post through hashtags, and whilst this does not seem much for a new and smaller account, it is 10% of the people reached was through hashtags highlighting their importance.
Instagram stories are also a great reason we chose Instagram as a chosen platform. When we were deciding if YouTube should be one of our platforms and decided it would be too much, we realised that we could incorporate the video side of a YouTube channel on Instagram through Instagram stories and Instagram Live. Instagram Live would have allowed us to Livestream trying our beverages to see how they tasted, and we would promote this Livestream on our personal accounts to bring in more followers to the page.
Social media was also perfect for our audience. Our main audience was university students, as university students and alcohol go well together! Additionally, a survey from the Independent in September 2019 revealed that British student spends an average of 55 hours a week on social media compared to just 14 hours on university work. This figure shows us that university students are our perfect audience for our social media platforms.
Once our recipes were transcribed, we had the job of modernising them so that we could more easily follow the recipes to re-create. We had a few issues along the way to do with the fermentation of the wines, however by snapping these failure shots it provided the perfect Instagram shot to show the reality side, that it has not been easy to make these recipes.
Overall social media has been a huge part of this project and we are happy that our platforms are growing in following and we aim to keep it updated with our various recipes.

Our current social media profiles. Instagram and Twitter (25/3/20)

7 thoughts on “Importance of social media in the creation of Old Timey Winey

  1. you have clearly listed the social media platforms used in the project and their specific functions, are there any other platforms which you think could be useful in posting content and building a following? Which is more effective?

  2. I couldn’t agree more with you that social media has been crucial to “Old Timey Winey” and in this blog you really display well the process you, as an Instagram Manager, have taken to create interest from your posts. As a public history output it does differ from the more traditional academic history. This taken into account, did you find it difficult to find relevant references in order to compose this blog?

  3. How did you balance the word length of instagram captions with the knowledge that sometime too-long captions can turn audiences away?

    1. I made sure to just state the key points, and a fun fact, and then direct our followers to our blog where they can read more if they are interested! Not too long just enough to reel them in and make them want to look at the blog!

  4. Nice blog, I especially liked the way you broke down each component of the social media aspects such as the hashtags, separating twitter and Instagram and all that. Do you think this sort of thing is practical for any other aspects of historical research?

  5. As someone who is also interested in the world of marketing as a potential career path, I found this blog very interesting! I liked how you have emphasised the importance of hashtags and the business profile option, as those are key to a succesful Instagram profile today. Which social media platform do you prefer for projects such as Old Timey Winey?

    1. I can’t say that one is more important, however as one of the Instagram managers I do have a preference for Instagram as it can display more than twitter such as Instagram stories and then multiple pictures to a post and then a few fun facts that can then interest people in reading more on our blog

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