17th Dec, 2017

Savvy shoppers boost town's social media status

LEAMINGTON is a social media high street hotspot.

Loyal locals have pushed Leamington into the top two per cent of towns and cities using social media to boost business.

By adopting the hashtags #WDYT (‘what do you think’) and #LoveLeam, consumers, retailers and local businesses have helped the town make the top 30 on the UK Digital Influence Index.

Its risen up the ranking from 189 to 28, putting it above local rivals, including Coventry (33), Stratford (208) and Warwick (322).

Leamington joined the #WDYT campaign in February this year in a bid to engage local shoppers. As well as using the hashtags, supporters are encouraged to share daily photos and start online conversations.

The index measures this activity and compares it to data from more than 1,300 areas. The higher the ranking, the more likely a place is to be found by online consumers, ultimately resulting in more footfall on the high street.

Stephanie Kerr, executive director at BID Leamington, said: “The #WDYT campaign has been embraced by both independent and national businesses and we are pleased to see the town’s offer has reached a far wider audience.

“Building on our well established #LoveLeam brand, #WDYT has enabled local businesses to tap into this national campaign and effectively expand their shop window.”

The #WDYT campaign initially launched as a pilot scheme last year in Gloucestershire.

Polly Barnfield, CEO and founder of Maybe* which is delivering the #WDYT campaign, said: “With the increasing culture of online shopping, reviews and research, retail is now a 24/7 experience.

“The use of digital channels influences 78 per cent of purchase decisions. Embracing these channels can reap significant benefits for both individual retailers and their combined towns and cities.”

To support the campaign, businesses and customers can post to Twitter or Instagram using #LoveLeam and #WDYT and, where possible, @ mention local businesses too.

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