Businesses across Selby district are being invited to access new, free social media support through a new collaboration between Selby District Council and social media specialists, Maybe* Tech.
The support on offer includes new online High Street Guides, a social media monitoring platform and social media training.
The initiative will be the first of its kind in Yorkshire (with successful programmes already running in Kent and Bristol among other locations) and aims to help retailers across the towns recover from the impact of COVID-19, support them in reaching more customers through online engagement and making more sales.
Cllr David Buckle, Selby District Council’s Lead Executive Member for Communities and Economic Development, said: “During the pandemic we have all become increasingly aware of how social media by local businesses can be used to maintain and boost their customer base.
“Our district has a diverse, thriving retail sector and this new initiative will help those with little or no experience of social media to gain a better understanding of how to use it to boost their sales and easily connect with customers and other businesses.
“As we start the economic recovery from Covid-19, this programme will be a useful tool for our local business community and is a way we as a council can support the retail sector at this time.”
The programme allows businesses to communicate with shoppers when they hit the high streets and has been created with the intention of ‘levelling the playing field’ between local retailers and giants. Businesses can also cross-promote and support their high street neighbours to create an online network of connected traders.
This will help promote the fantastic town centres in the Selby district and what they have to offer, through collaborative place promotion engaging local shoppers and visitors alike. Creating an online ‘buzz’ around high streets results in more people making visits to them, one way the Council is working to support local businesses.
The technology enables shoppers to see businesses near them and view their social media content, engage and shop with them on mobile phones and desktops, and discover who they want to visit via High Street Guides.
Data within the technology shows that across Selby around 26% of retailers use social media. Of those retailers on social media only around 27% are active, posting most days.
The platform is also useful for those experienced retailers who already use social media often, to engage effectively with their customers and understand their online audience and the impact social media is having on their business.
Every business that signs up will have free 12-month access to an extensive range of social media tools and training provided by Maybe* Tech, worth £35 per month. The programme is funded by ERDF Reopening High Streets Safely Funding.
Polly Barnfield OBE, CEO of Maybe* Tech comments, “Around two thirds of shoppers regularly look online for inspiration and the Maybe* High Street Guide programme groups all social media content by location to encourage people to browse what’s available on their local high street
“High streets need infrastructure that until now has only been available for online businesses and this programme will help local retailers in Selby District level the playing field with giants like Amazon,” adds Barnfield.
“They need to communicate with shoppers in real-time and be able to showcase what’s available. In order to compete, high street businesses need to up their digital game, promote their physical stores and collaborate. Our platforms help them collectively to do that and we are delighted to be working with businesses in the town.
Businesses can sign up to the platform online at www.maybetech.com and join weekly free training sessions to get the most out of the access.
Retailers and shoppers can access the high street guides at https://www.localrewards.chat/ and just search for their area.
The platform has been developed to provide high street businesses across the retail, hospitality, leisure, health and beauty sectors, with access to social media, the tools and training to increase their customer base and drive sales. It also gives businesses the opportunity to engage with each other, creating a network of connected traders that can support and promote each other across social media. The Maybe* platform also provides practical suggestions and easy to use tools allowing organisations to connect with their audience, improve their return on investment and understand how to stay ahead of their competition.
The Maybe* platform collates the data from 3.4 million businesses from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis and provides engagement, insight and reporting tools that enable clients to increase their sales via social media.
Maybe* is a partner on the UK Government's High Street Task Force which is a 5-year project that supports High Street regeneration. Maybe* supplies the social media data for all UK Local Authority dashboards.
To help High Streets recover from COVID, the Maybe* team has created Guides for over 3,600 UK High Streets. This is a nationwide program that provides free tools that connect shoppers, local businesses and places.
View High Street Guides: www.localrewards.chat
View Social Media Tools and Training: www.maybetech.com
To learn more about the support on offer please attend this webinar: www.maybetech.com/maybe-webinars