Social Animal Week 4 (Part 2) - Social Media in Practice, Nikki McWilliams Special

Social Animal Week 4 (Part 2) - Social Media in Practice, Nikki McWilliams Special

Frances Brown  Posted by Frances Brown, Nov 11th 2013, 19:23

Blog Header Photo: Nikki McWilliams all rights reserved.

In the Social Animal mini-series we have covered a lot of different social media channels and signposted you to lots of information on the theory of social media we thought it would be a good idea to give you an example of a small business who is using multiple social media channels really well.

Nikki Mcwilliams is a designer maker creating homewares and accessories inspired by British culture, pop art and her love of tea and biscuits!  Nikki shows great examples of how to utilise multiple social media streams to communicate with and engage an audience.  Nikki has an Instagram account, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Blog and sends out a regular E-mail Newsletter.  She also has her website configured so that visitors can easily tweet, pin and share the content.  As well as managing multiple streams and playing to the strengths of each she has made a real effort in making sure each channel is representative of her brand for example she uses her biscuit repeat print that features on her wrapping paper as the backdrop for her twitter page.  These little touches can make a big difference in standing out to visitors and presenting a coherent brand image. 

Check out Nikki and her beautiful products at

Photo: Nikki McWilliams all rights reserved.

We thought it would be useful to break down her different streams and highlight what we think is really good about each:


Nikki blogs regularly but is not focussed on selling.  She talks about and shares her printing and creative process, her design experiments, press and activities as well as fun items like baking her own versions of biscuit classics and running competitions such as prize draws, biscuity surveys to help her with product development with prizes for lucky entrants and contests where she asks her audience to tell her about themselves with questions such as Q. What was your favourite childhood biscuit and why?  Nikki then chooses the best response to win a prize.  This a great way of starting conversations and buzz around her products and their nostalgic inspiration.

E-Mail Newsletter

Her newsletter is visually engaging and sticks to those useful rules about both informing AND containing calls to action for customers and are a great way of driving traffic to her blog and website.    You can sign up on her site.

Twitter @nikkimcwilliams 

Her twitter is used for quick updates on her work and chatting to business contacts and customers who love to send her images of their newly received purchases or letting her know when her cushions etc. Have been spotted in magazines or on tv.  Nikki also uses Twitter to open up her sample sales to people who couldn’t attend in person by running twitter sales using hashtags such as #biscuitsale.  Her Twitter feed is the perfect place for her to signpost to her other channels too.


Her Pinterest is a lovely collection of products and inspiration that let her customers get to know her and her style.  Her products are included in the Pinterest and sit so well with the other pins that you can really see Nikki's tastes and how her designs are inspired.


Her Facebook is very visual with lots of photos of her on her travels, press and in the studio.  Perfect for sharing smaller stories that don’t need individual blog posts.


A great competition run by Nikki was her Instagram photo competition that invited her audience to post a photo tagged with #nmbreaktime showing their own tea and biscuity breaks.  The response was brilliant with so many people getting involved with creative pictures of their own.

Photo: Nikki McWilliams all rights reserved.

Your Turn

There is no 'right' way to create a social media strategy as each will be as unique as your business and customer base but have a think about how Nikki has used each channel to best communicate her work and brand and ask yourself the following questions...

Which channels are suitable for your business?  
Are you consciously managing what content is delivered on each channel?
Do they all present the business brand and image coherently?
Are you using your channels to showcase aspects of your brand beyond selling?
Are you using calls to action in your posts?
Are you effectively using conversations and feedback to understand your customer and meet their needs better?

Next week we will be having a very quick look at video and then summing up with the ten commandments of social media!

See you soon!

Starting Team