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Why heritage and history are essential social media tactics

The history of Ernest Wright, experts in the craft of scissor making, reflects everything Sheffield Steel has become famous for. Highly skilled craftsmen making supreme quality products. A lot has changed since the heyday of manufacturing, but they're proud to be here and able to pass on the heritage of an ancient craft from a business that dates back to early 1900’s.

Now under the care of Paul Jacobs and his team of nine based in Sheffield, Ernest Wright has entered the digital age focusing on using social media to tell the story of their craft, history and their heritage.

They use social media to connect with the right customers and creatives and drive their brand awareness through link ups with other businesses and indeed media outlets interested in strong, British craftsmanship.

Read on to discover their top social media tactics.

Social media tactics from Sheffield's Ernest Wright

Although no longer a family business Paul still runs Ernest Wright with a Sheffield business family ethos.

"One issue you have with artisan crafts is that the ‘creatives’ tend to work alone and the business/finance team separately. Then you have the blue collar worker who is not part of the end product but a key piece in the production line and doesn’t always get paid well therefore we feel there is room for people to look at how things are made and showcase the craftsmanship to ensure that everyone involved is shown to be a key piece in the craft to building the end product.

To inspire people to work in this craft you pay a good salary, provide a healthy environment and family feeling to make sure everyone knows the essential part they play in the end product.

With that in mind, this is what we show on social media, we don’t sell or do ads. We don't use Facebook or google ads because we believe if we show people what we are doing, the effort and passion that goes into creating a decent pair of scissors they will purchase because they have seen the whole process.

The team are master craftsman and we use social media to show the heritage, the history and our ethos" says Paul. "We have had the likes of  McLaren and Mercedes come to film our craftmanship and we were found via social media. We were on the BBC television series Made in Britain. All these things tell our story. Its showing off our shop window that we can be proud of".

Their biggest tip however was to create connections with other craftsman or businesses that complement yours- you can learn, grow, collaborate, support and inspire/ be inspired.

Ernest Wright want to connect to anyone who fell in love with handcrafting. Tailors, dressmakers, even a plumber or electrician who all work with their hands. "We don’t post to sell, we post to create our brand story, to connect with people who either want to learn or want to engage with us in some way" expresses Paul. He goes on to add:

"We reach out to other craftsmen to learn as well. Sharing information, techniques, tools etc so we can understand more about what they are doing and could even improve ourselves. It could be knife makers - we can learn something from everyone. Cooks, fabric manufacturers, whoever. If we do connect with another business we do post and shine a light on the craftsman from that company because we believe in supporting other businesses. 

We also sometimes sponsor people who are young and getting started in dressmaking. We give them a brand new pair of our scissors and the only thing we ever ask from them is feedback. We don’t ask for testimonials on social media as we believe that if they truly love our product they will do it anyway. If they don’t they need the space to tell us why so we can improve".

Top tip: Social media is a powerful story telling tool. Use your heritage, history and ethos to showcase who you are and connect to likeminded businesses with whom you share passion.

With the Maybe* platform, you don’t have to be a social media pro to increase traffic and sales.

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