Rosie Cake Diva is one of the UK’s best known cake decorating artists. Since leaving her career as a military helicopter pilot, Rosie has made a complete step change into the creative world of cakes.
Demonstrating at the leading cake shows, appearing on the Craft Channel and winning Wedding Cake of the Year Award from Cake Masters Magazine. Her cakes have taken her to Buckingham Palace, appeared on the Graham Norton Show and been eaten by A-list movie stars!
With over a million followers on Facebook and her Youtube tutorials reaching 4 million views, Rosie has really embraced social media to build her brand. We caught up with her to find out why social is so important for her and what advice she can give to small businesses.
What is your favourite social media channel and why?
‘I’ve historically had a soft spot for Facebook because it’s a combination of visual and interactive in a way that really suits creative activities. It allows fans to share thoughts and opinions and that has always worked really well for the cake community. The Facebook landscape has been changing though and it has been increasingly important to keep abreast of how Facebook prioritises content in order to make sure that you are still being seen.’
Youtube is a key channel for you, what is the process of making your videos (i.e is it important to have a professional film crew or can it be one on an iPhone)?
‘I think it can be harder for creatives to make good videos as you are trying to make sure that the audience follows all the important steps. If you don’t show something clearly you will always get a flurry of questions so you become quite picky about angles and detail. I usually just film with my camera guy Jim, or my husband, but in truth it is sometimes easier to just have the camera in place and film whilst I’m creating. A cake can take days to complete and having someone there all the time would be tedious, so I am trying to get better at filming on my own, only bringing help in for the shots to camera. We have a few photographer’s lights in the kitchen and I get so comfortable with them that I hate to work without them. As most crafters know, a good light source is always appreciated!
Our cameras are just normal cannon and Nikons. (I’m sure that some people use iPhones though). For us it can sometimes be more about the editing than the actual filming. That can be a pain. We have started to relax and leave some of our personality in the edits, as we’ve learned that sometimes it’s more friendly for people to see our banter and hiccoughs too.’
When you have finished one of your Vlogs / tutorials how do get these to the public?
‘Once a video is ready it really is simple to upload it to YouTube. Once you are registered with an account you just select and upload. But we also tend to do a shortened version for Facebook and an even shorter one for Instagram. We have learned that it is much better to spread content across different social outlets.’
You have over one million followers on Facebook – what is the secret to building a big following?
‘Facebook was a great stage to show all my creations. Once people started sharing my work it just grew like a snowball effect. I also like sharing other artists. I marvel at some of the talent out there…and my page just became a appreciation society for all the crazy cake art in the world! But in addition to that I think my FB page became an extension of me.
From the very beginning I liked engaging with my audience. They are the ones that want to look at creative, artistic content just like I do so the conversation I have with them is just like that I would have with like-minded friends. I love that. And my husband no longer has to pretend to be interested any more because I have a whole community of crafty artist types to chat to. I think that’s why my following started to grow. A combination of the content that I put out and the community of cake worshippers. It’s like my own personal form of cake-therapy.’
How important is it for businesses to use social media?
‘I’m sure some businesses get by without social media…but why on earth would they want to? To not have an online presence in this day and age could mean the difference between success and failure.’
Social media gives you the chance to talk to your fans. How significant is it for businesses to interact with their customers?
‘I think that a two way conversation with customers is paramount. If you’re not doing it…you can bet your competition will! In my opinion, any marketing strategy that fails to evaluate the benefits of free internet communication is woefully incomplete.’
Do you use any social media tools (Hootsuite, Buffer) – if so, which ones?
‘I used to use Hootsuite which is actually really useful, especially if you are constantly interacting on Twitter. But nowadays I tend to schedule posts and just dip in and out to interact as it suits my working pattern to do so. Otherwise I would be on there 24/7. It’s easy to get drawn in.’
You demonstrate at some of the biggest cake exhibitions in the UK. Do you think it’s important for brands to be present at these shows?
“I think Brands need to think about their target market demographics very carefully when they consider the shows. There is definitely a difference between the audiences I see at different events and also in different parts of the country. Industry knowledge is crucial and the best brand managers that I have come across are the ones who not only understand their industry but also understand the community that forms their main customer base.
The best brand managers also evaluate what their aims are during these shows and recognise the balance between pushing for sales and brand recognition. I have seen some brands slowly build up from obscurity to be industry leaders with some good placements at shows and exhibitions.”
Your tutorials are incredibly informative – do you think it is important for retailers to educate and teach their customers (as well as sell product)?
“I have learned that no matter how stunning my cakes…it is the tutorials for the simple ones that are most popular. People want to see me make things that they can replicate, and that means that they will go off and have a go themselves. It follows that they will go out and buy the tools and ingredients too, so yes….education is a key marketing tool for retailers if they do it well.”
“My first bit of advice is don’t stick to one outlet. Social Media outlets are businesses. They are constantly changing and you do not want to throw all your eggs into one basket. It might develop into a medium that no longer works well for you.
I would also say stay true to yourself. Don’t be tempted to push out second rate content just to feed the masses. Your reputation is everything so protect it.
And finally I would say show your unique selling point. Why are you different? Why do you stand out?. If you don’t actually stand out….well….do something amazing and make it so!”
Thank you Rosie!
It may seem daunting to use social media to market your business but it is a cost effective way of reaching your target audience with the products and education that they desire. Grey Sergeant, a leading Social Media & PR agency about a strategy to get you started. Come and speak to them at One Big Sho